I’d like to say things have slowed down, and to an extent they have. Everyone started class this week which is called “curso intensivo” (Intensive course). This course includes 2 hours of history and art (with everyone), followed by 2 hours of grammar, composition, and conversation (where we are split according to Spanish proficiency). This “curso intensivo” only lasts for 3 weeks and counts as 3 credits for whichever spanish class we need next back at our home university… which is really nice.
So far, class has been going well and the professors are pretty easy to understand so long as I’ve had my coffee in the morning. It’s been a little difficult to readjust to waking up early and going to school after summer but it’s getting better. I’m just not a morning person.
For regular students at Complutense, normal classes don’t start until the beginning of October. So after we finish our “curso intensivo” we start our Reunidas classes (designed specifically for study abroad students) and Complutense classes. We have to register for our classes soon so I’ll need to look at what type of classes I want/need to take. I DO know that I’ll probably be taking a Com Arts class (which is in a different facultad than our program covers) so I’ll probably need to pay a little extra to take this class. But in order to graduate with a double major in 4 years, this is necessary.
This week we also had an orientation with representatives from the U.S. Embassy here in Spain. They passed along useful information about what types of services they offer i.e. what we would do if our passport was lost or stollen. The ladies were very nice and after the presentation we all took a group photo. However one of the two photos we took turned out blurry so I’ve only included the one.
Between going to class, orientations, and homework (which they call “deberes” here in Spain), everyone has also been on the hunt for apartments (pisos). Everyday we send emails and make calls to landlords in order to set up appointments to look at apartments in hopes of finding “the one”. And guess what?! I found one!!
I really really like it. I found it on a site called idealista.com and it has 3 bedrooms, a living room, kitchen, and bathroom. The girl I’ll be living with is named Maria and she’s from Spain. She’s super nice and I like her a lot and was one of the reasons I chose this specific piso. I also really like my land lady which is very important. Our flat is in a great metropolitan location called Argüelles and is really close to a metro stop and has lots of awesome stores in the neighborhood. My room specifically, has it’s own little balcony which is very european and I love it.
Before I was super worried because it was only the second flat I visited so I didn’t want to make any snap decisions but the more I think about it, the more sure I am that this is the place for me. Now Maria and I are waiting for a third girl to rent the last room in the flat. But this is it! I paid my señal (down payment) and next week I’m paying my rent and fianza (security deposit) so this is very real.
I can’t wait to decorate it and obviously more pictures will be coming soon.
In all honesty, the apartment hunt was NOT as bad as I thought it was going to be. Sure, calling people and speaking to them in Spanish regarding renting their place was a bit intimidating especially since the reception on my phone is not perfect and the Spaniard accent etc.etc. But it all worked out in the end 🙂
Other than that, the cultural adjustment is getting a little more difficult with every passing day. It’s not bad by any means! But the duration of time considered “vacation time”, or where you think you’re simply on vacation, is ending. It’s comforting to have little reminders of home. I write this as I sit here listening to my High School Musical playlist. Also, by taking grammar classes, I’m reminded of all the little grammar rules that I’ve forgotten so my confidence in speaking is less than it was before. But I just need to practice… which I will have plenty of time to do this year so I’m not too worried.
This weekend the Wippers are taking one of 3 excursions that are included in our program fee. Saturday we’re going to Segovia and I’m very excited! Looking forward to telling everyone about it as well 🙂