Intercultural

6 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Spain

Natasha Pineiros is a student at The College of New Jersey and an ISA Featured Blogger. She studied abroad with ISA in Salamanca, Spain.

A different sense of time

How do Spaniards know when to say “good morning” or “good afternoon?” It all depends on when they had their last meal. So if they haven’t had lunch yet, they will greet you with a ¨buenos dias,¨ even if it’s 2pm (many families eat lunch between 2-3pm)! In the afternoon, they will greet you with a ¨buenas tardes¨until 9 or 10pm when they finally eat dinner!  There is also no word for evening, and they refer to the early hours in the morning as “madrugada.”

Most bars and restaurants in Spain offer free Wi-Fi; so my phone would automatically connect to places when I would just walk around!

Most bars and restaurants in Spain offer free Wi-Fi; so my phone would automatically connect to places when I would just walk around!

Limited overtime pay

As opposed to the United States, where there is no limit  on the number of hours employees aged 16 and older may work in any workweek, Spaniards are limited to 80 overtime hours per year. My professor told us that people are limited with their overtime because the State would prefer to give more job opportunities to more people. (source: https://www.dol.gov/whd/overtime_pay.htm)

Spaniards get paid monthly, 14 times per year

Spaniards get paid every month, but collect 14 paychecks each year. The two additional paychecks, however, are not “extra” paychecks. Their annual salary is simply divided in 14 payments where they receive an additional paycheck once in the summer and the other in the winter.

Taxi rides in Spain are very convenient but can be quite expensive. Taking the Metro is my favorite mode of transportation.

Taxi rides in Spain are very convenient but can be quite expensive. Taking the Metro is my favorite mode of transportation.

Eurostat

Eurostat is currently the leading provider of high quality statistics within the European Union. It offers a whole range of important and interesting data that governments, businesses, the education sector, journalists and the public can use for their work and daily life in Europe (source: eurostat.eu). HOWEVER, the eurostat website is only found in French, Dutch, and English, not Spanish. Therefore, Spaniards who don’t know French, Dutch or English can’t access information from Eurostat.

No Tipping

I learned very quickly that it is not common to leave tips at restaurants or bars for any reason. Traditionally, waiters and bartenders earn a good salary and receive health coverage like any other professional.

While visiting the market in Madrid, I found this peculiar snack for tourists to enjoy. Tapas to go.

While visiting the market in Madrid, I found this peculiar snack for tourists to enjoy. Tapas to go.

Infrastructure, Automobiles, and Tourism

The above are the three major industries in Spain. Spanish infrastructure firms are recognized worldwide. Some of their international projects include: Panama Canal (Panama), Mecca-Medina High-Speed Railway (Saudi Arabia), Lima Underground Railway (Peru), Tunnel under the Bosphorus and Istanbul-Ankara High-Speed Railway (Turkey), among others. (source: http://www.exteriores.gob.es/Portal/es/SalaDePrensa/Multimedia/Publicaciones/Documents/2014_FOLLETO%20GRANDES%20OBRAS%20ENG.pdf)

Spain is among the top auto manufacturing countries worldwide.  In 2014, Spain produced over 2.4 million cars. According to the International Organization of Motor Vehicle Manufacturers, Spain was the 9th largest automobile manufacturing country in the world! It was also named the 2nd largest car manufacturer in Europe after Germany. (source: http://www.exteriores.gob.es/Portal/es/SalaDePrensa/Multimedia/Publicaciones/Documents/2014_FOLLETO%20GRANDES%20OBRAS%20ENG.pdf)

This is a breathtaking view I stumbled upon when getting lost in Barcelona!

This is a breathtaking view I stumbled upon when getting lost in Barcelona!

Spain is one of the world’s most popular tourist destinations. In 2014, it ranked third in the number of foreign visitors and second in terms of income.

The world awaits…discover it.

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