Living in Valencia these past two months has not poised challenges that have been too difficult; however, I believe that when anyone leaves home for an extended period of time there is always something that that person will need to overcome, whether it be making new friends, getting used to a different atmosphere or in my case the communication barrier. Among getting used to a new class schedule and living with a new family that is not my own, I would say communicating in Spanish has been the most challenging aspect of studying abroad.
Posts from the ‘Valencia’ Category
Good food and good conversation. These two things are simply some of my favorite things about Valencia. There is a place just down the tree-lined street from my apartment that has weekly intercambios, or language exchanges. Once I overcame my shyness with speaking, I came to the intercambio to speak with Spaniards, and it turned out to be one of the best decisions I have made.
Are you a self-proclaimed ‘homebody’? I’ll be the first one to say that I am. I love relaxing, staying in, having the comforts of home at my fingertips, being near my family and friends, and knowing that all is well and peaceful. Then I had this grand idea to study abroad and experience something completely different. Go figure.
In my last blog I mentioned that time flies, and I had only been in Valencia for three weeks. Well those three weeks have already turned into 2 months! (Short of a week or so) That’s right I am counting. Mainly because I kind of don’t want this experience to end because after adjusting to life at school and Valencia in general, I am appreciating every moment.
Since living in Valencia, I have seen so many beautiful, cool, and crazy things. The past 1.5 months have been packed full of fun activities and awesome views from here to Barcelona. I’ll share with you the top 10 places that I have seen since January.
1. The City of Arts and Sciences
This new-age structures are located in the Turia riverbed (now dry, of course) and are massive! I felt like I was in the future; I would not have been surprised to see spaceships flying in at that moment. It is really neat to see such modern buildings in a historic city. Although a little creepy, they are a must-see in Valencia.
Madrid, Toledo, Valencia. What a whirlwind first few days in beautiful Spain! The ISA orientation was a packed-full four days of touring, exploring, friend-making, Spanish-speaking, and jet lag aftermath. I don’t know about you, but I built up my first European experience so much in my head. Amid the nerves and hesitations that accompany traveling to a foreign country, there were imaginative scenarios and experiences that I thought of. Oftentimes when people do this, expectations are not reached. But you know what the best part is? My first experiences in Spain completely blew every expectation I had out of the Mediterranean water.
Saludos desde Valencia!
So far my 3 weeks in Spain and 2 weeks in Valencia has gone by incredibly fast. Landing in Madrid was an experience to say the least, mainly because I had more luggage than I could carry and the airport was so huge I had to take a metro bus to get to a different terminal! But I survived and was so happy when Manuel, one the ISA staff members, greeted me at the airport. After settling into the hotel, jet lag quickly became apparent. Even though our first panoramic tour of Madrid was amazing I found myself uncomfortably tired and after an orientation meeting I was excited to go to sleep. Read more
So, this is it…well, for most of us. The semester is winding down, final exams are upon us, and everyone is packing up to head back to the states. I, however, have a whole semester left here in Valencia. When I left Newark Airport on September 7th, I had a moment of panic–I must be crazy, I thought. Eight months in a foreign country? Well, I still have the occasional have-you-lost-your-mind moment, but Valencia is home now. I chose the academic year program so that I could (mostly) complete my Spanish major, improve my language skills, and have an authentic Spanish experience. But in just three and a half months I have gotten so much more than that.
Today marks exactly two months that I have been living in Valencia. I’ve traversed the city on foot and on valenbisi, by metro and by bus, and have explored many of the 4,000 streets of this beautiful city. I’ve been to all of the touristy spots and many local favorites, too. I could go on for days about how beautiful this place is! El Centro has the most beautiful medieval architecture and narrow winding streets; the City of Arts and Sciences is modern and gorgeous (especially at night from its lounge/discoteca L’umbracle); the beach sands stretch from gorgeous restaurants and hotels to the incredible Mediterranean Sea.
This past Monday marked one month that I’ve been living in Spain. I honestly can’t believe how fast it’s gone by! At long last, I (sort of) know my way around the city and my Spanish is improving everyday. In the last five weeks, I have been to six cities in two countries (I went to Paris last weekend!), but I have to say I still love Valencia the most. I could go on forever raving about this place, but I’ve narrowed down a list of my top five favorite things about Valencia.