The Sun is Shining in Salamanca

Summer is quickly approaching and the sun has finally come out in Salamanca. After months of cold weather, the sudden feel of hot rays on my skin have come as a huge shock. The change in weather can only mean one thing though: my time in Spain is about to end.

A young girl dances in the Plaza Mayor while others around her soak up the sun.

It is crazy to think that just a short three and a half months ago I arrived to the place I now call home. It seems just like yesterday I was anxiously waiting to board my flight with no idea what to expect. Now, I sit writing my final blog post in my cozy room with the clock that goes tik tok, tik tok. 

I am grateful for the people I have met along the way and my incredible time abroad. I encourage you to try something new regardless of how scary it might seem at first. You might be surprised at what you get out of it.

I would have never known how much I loved flamenco dancing and music if I did not go to a show in Granada, Spain!

There are so many things I have learned about myself, others, and the world since I’ve been here. For example, I never thought of myself as a picky eater before coming to Spain, but now I know there are somethings I just cannot stomach.

I have tried everything from morcilla (traditional blood sausage) to the plate of lengua (tongue) pictured above.

While I think about my time in Spain, I remember the moments that come together to complete this experience. Just like your experiences, there were times of laughter and times of frustration. Whether it’s vacationing around Europe with my friends or painting nails and YouTubing music videos with my host sister, every part shapes my journey.

My host sister Irene showed me her favorite color combinations and singers one Saturday night.
Some of the girls in our program gather to take a picture during our last excursion to Lisboa, Portugal.

Adjusting to a different culture and trying to speak a new language could be difficult at times, but helped me appreciate it even more. I realized that in order to enjoy the good times, you have to experience the not so good times.

Sometimes our trips did not always go as planned and we had to sleep in the airport. All in all, they always ended well.

Even though I know I have much more to learn, I have become comfortable with the idea that no matter how awesome or challenging today is, tomorrow is another day. Like clockwork, the sun and moon will take turns appearing in the sky.

The sun is setting on a view of Salamanca overlooking the Roman bridge near the Tormes River.

So, make the most of your time doing whatever it is you find yourself doing. Whether you are spending time with your best friends or trying to solve a hard math problem, enjoy every minute for what it’s worth! Take this opportunity to learn something about yourself or others, because – hey – before you know it, a new season will arrive and the cycle will continue. How will you spend your summer? Will you be trying something new?

Whatever you do, make sure you stay strong, smart, and bold!

Victoria Gonzalez
Classmates Connecting Cultures
Salamanca, Spain
Spring 2012

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