In three words I can sum up my experiences in Salamanca thus far: hot, strange, and exciting
Going into this experience, I really had no idea what to expect. After arriving in the Madrid airport, I spent some time wandering around until I found an IES representative. I remember thinking, "This is it. Hasn't even been 20 min and I'm lost." Much to my delight, I was able to find the meeting point after asking around. I met two kids from my program right away, Jacob and Lindsay. They are both from North Carolina. I wasn't sure if I was going to be left out because I knew almost all of the kids were from North Carolina (mostly Chapel Hill). Luckily, everyone was willing to mingle and we have gotten to know each other really well in just a few days. After the bus ride to Salamanca, I met my host dad, who greeted me with two kisses. We took a taxi home and I met my host mother. She showed me my room and after we sat down to eat lunch. At the time, I was unaware that lunch consisted of three large courses. I quickly ate as much salad as I could, until realizing there were still two more impending courses.
I spent the first day getting unpacked and resting. No one ever mentions how hard the initial adjustement to leaving home is. I was surprised to be feeling so alone and homesick on the first night. My thoughts of home coupled with the extreme heat and lack of a fan did not make my first night a memorable one. I woke up the next morning (sweating), determined to make it better. IES planned a jam packed day full of orientation events which allowed us to get to know our peers better. I have become good friends with a girl named Sophia, who lives nearby me. Sophia and I live quite far away compared to the others, so we spend a lot of time walking back and forth together. After orientation, we visited the biggest touristy spots of Salamanca- which are cathedrals, plazas, and the university. The walk never gets old- everything is beautiful, artistic, and historic. Everywhere you look, there is history. After the first two days of classes, a few of us travelled to Madrid. Madrid is much bigger than Salamanca and was 10x more crowded. I wouldn't say it was my favorte place in the world just because it was such a huge city and it felt like most people spoke English, instead of Spanish. Nonetheless, I enjoyed the experience of travelling with friends and am excited to do it again. My favorite place in Madrid was El Museo de Prado and my favorite place in Salamanca thus far has been La Plaza Mayor. I love the ambience and welcoming nature of the plaza, despite its large size.
More Blogs From This Author
<p>My name is Sri Narayanan and I am a junior at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. I am studying Biology and Spanish with med school aspirations after graduation. At school, I am involved with Medlife, student government, and research. Outside of class, I enjoy meeting new people, retrieving stolen possessions from puppy, and traveling. This summer I will be spending four weeks in Salamanca, Spain. It will be my first time in Europe and I am incredibly excited to explore Salamanca, make new friends, and enjoy the different foods!</p>