Matthew Boles is a student at the University of Florida and an ISA Featured Blogger. Matthew studied abroad in Sevilla on an ISA Custom Program through UF.
I am now back in the U.S., and I felt like there was a bigger “culture shock” coming back to the U.S. than I has when I went to Spain.
Even though I was only there for six weeks, it was different coming back home because Spain is so different. For example, I am now used to eating huge lunches and taking a well-deserved siesta after. But none of my friends or family members eat big lunches.
Also, it was really nice to be able to understand everyone. This first happened when I was in the airport in North Carolina, and I could actually understand everyone around me. However, when people asked me questions, I first thought about the answers in Spanish.
I knew that I learned in Spain, but it did not fully hit me until I walked into my Spanish class earlier this week. The summer B session started Monday, and I am taking “Spanish at the museums.” I could tell in that class that I learned a lot in Spain. My vocabulary is larger, I can construct better sentences and I do not have to think as much. I felt great.
One great example I can give is at my internship. I work for Catholic Charities, which is a nonprofit organization that helps people of any religion. A woman in the office is fluent, and she helps people who only speak Spanish. But when she is out of the office, I help translate.
I miss Spain already, and it has only been two weeks. It is great to be back in Gainesville, Fla, but I often daydream about Sevilla. I miss eating lunch by the river with friends and trying new food.
I want to return to Spain, and soon. I looked online, and internships are available. I do not know when or where, but I want to return to España.