*Please note: This post was first published on the blog I kept in 2011 while studying abroad *
So during these first (2-3ish) days in Spain I have come to some conclusions that I should have already known but didn’t.
1) Never EVER judge how your experience will be while still exhausted and jet-lagged from your flight. You probably will anyway but be ready to quickly change your mind.
2) If you’re slow at making friends like me because you’re shy give it time and force yourself to talk to new people.
3) If you live with a host family try your hardest not to predict what they’ll be like before you get there. You’ll only end up comparing them with the family in your head.
On Tuesday my host mom, María, took me on the metro to campus. Fortunately for those of us from small cities there are only two subway lines (well one line and a part that branches off) so as long as you read the signs there is little fear of getting on the wrong train.
After we had our orientation we went to a restaurant with really nice food. They served pasta for the first course and then chicken (neither of which I could eat much of but qué será será and my appetite is fortunately returning). We then went to Casco Viejo, the old part of Bilbao and saw some really cool buildings. One of which was Catedral de Santiago (pictured on the left). We also saw La Plaza Nueva (pictured on the right) which is modeled after La Plaza Mayor in Madrid which I go to see when I went there in high school.
Afterward the tour I returned to my family’s apartment and was fortunately with other students from the program on the metro. I was alone for several hours but then when my family came back my host sister invited me to draw with her which helped wash away most of the anxiety I was feeling. Amazing how being included in something as simple as drawing can help lift ones mood.
Today we took our language placement test which I was unfortunately a little late to because I underestimated how long it would take me to get to campus. I made it just in time to start the test and ended up feeling okay about it. Afterwards we had a tour of the campus which confused me almost more than anything but I found an ATM that works with my debit card which is always a good thing.
After that was done I tagged along with a few other people to the mall although we didn’t stick around long since we were all hungry. One of the girls I met helped me get the ID card I would need to buy a monthly metro pass.