It may seem superficial, but all summer while I’ve been signing my way through IES Abroad forms, my mind has been stuck on “Is my style good enough for Europe?” and “How many plug adapters am I gonna need?” Now, while I feel that doing things like looking at outfit inspo and listening to Rosalía are very valid ways to prepare, they’re probably just distracting me from the real things I’m nervous about.
I am beyond excited to be living in Spain this fall, and am totally not anxious about the looming culture shock. Nope, not at all. Because Granada and my little college town of Los Angeles (not sure if you’ve heard of it) are totally similar.
In truth I have no idea what to expect. I visited Granada for one day on a school trip my junior year of high school, and only have about 25 pictures to look back on as reference. That’s not much to go off of.
So while my nerves manifest themselves into Pinterest boards of various style aesthetics, the real preparations are all happening in my mind. I have to keep reminding myself that while new things are always a bit scary, this is something I am really really looking forward to. Like c’mon now Katie, you’ve wanted to do this since you were twelve. Don’t let your apprehensions cloud the excitement of your American-takes-on-Europe fantasy! Truly I can’t wait to go on a proper Tapas dinner tour and learn flamenco choreography from its region of origin; and of course I’m excited to make new friends and to get to know locals.
One of the big things that attracted me to Granada was the opportunity to take classes at the local university — all of which are taught in Spanish. So my mind has also been busy preparing itself to tackle the foreign language aspect of studying abroad.
I have this annoyingly persistent sense of doubt that keeps telling me I won’t remember any Spanish; as if I haven’t been hearing and speaking it since I was in diapers. Because of all that — and because I need to prove to myself and the world that I do in fact speak fluent Spanish — I have been reviewing my old high school notes and making sure I can mentally translate all the lyrics to my favorite Latinx songs. It’s nice to know that I still have an extensive list of random vocab words stored in my brain, because who knows when I may need to whip out something weird like the word ‘throat’ in conversation (which in Spanish is ‘garganta’ by the way).
So it seems that while, yes, I’m doing all the boring stuff like paperwork, much of my preparation involves getting myself in the mindset of being abroad. I am incredibly lucky to get to have this experience and I seriously cannot wait to get there. And I’m especially looking forward to blogging it all through the Correspondent program, which I know I’ll be grateful to go back and read when I’m old. All I’ve gotta do now is a little online shopping and some practice games on conjuguemos.com, then Granada here I come!
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<p>Hey Y'all! My name is Katie and I am so excited to be studying in Granada, Spain this fall! I go to Occidental College in Los Angeles and am a psychology major with a double minor in linguistics and journalism. I am very active in my school's dance community and have choreographed twice for our all-school showcase called Dance Production. As a dancer, I can't wait to learn more about Flamenco and explore new music from the area. I love going on long walks, trying out new foods, and I'm very much a movie nerd. I'm looking forward to sharing my adventures with you, and hope you enjoy reading along with me!</p>