Thoughts on Salamanca Before Leaving California

Mollie Herlocker is a student at California Lutheran University and an ISA Featured Blogger. Mollie is currently studying abroad in Salamanca, Spain on an ISA Fall 1 program.

So, apparently I’m going to be in Spain really soon. When did that happen? I have been so busy this year that the time has just flown by. I spent the majority of the year living in Washington, DC and interning at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in the Museum Services Division. I’ve really only been home and in a position to get ready for Spain for a few weeks, and I’ve been really busy in the interim. Since I’ve been home I’ve been busy volunteering and making sure I get visits in with my family before I leave, including taking my younger sister to college. I’ve also had some hiccups in the process: the suitcase I had initially ordered turned out to be too small and then, just a few days ago, my car got rear-ended. But even with all off that going on, I’ve gotten all my paperwork done and I’ve converted my notes from high school Spanish into PDFs so that I can have them with me in Spain. I’ve also bought a practically new fall wardrobe because my mom and I discovered that I either had no fall clothes or didn’t fit the ones I had because I haven’t needed them going to school in Southern California!

My eyes went white with excitement for my adventure!

Because I’ve been so busy, I’ve had a hard time getting excited about this semester. I’ve barely had time to think about the things that are going to be awesome, because I’ve been preparing for worst case scenarios. As far as specific challenges that I’m expecting, I know that culturally I’m going to be challenged by the different eating schedule than I’m used to and just the fact that everything is going to be in Spanish. I’m also somewhat scared about the prospect of having to make new friends again this year, as that is something that has never been easy for me, and I’m scared about staying connected with my friends at home in the US because all the preparatory materials have implied that it’s going to be really tricky. Finally, I’m nervous about classes because I haven’t been in a classroom since mid-April and I feel like I may have forgotten how to be in a class in English, let alone Spanish.

But even with all my anxieties about this semester, I do have some goals that I’m looking forward to hopefully achieving. My primary goal is to be fluent in Spanish by the end of the semester. I also am hoping to learn how to cook at least one dish so that I can share with my family some of the things I enjoyed while in Spain. And I am especially hoping that I will be able to have fun!

5 thoughts

  1. Don’t be nervous. You will have the best semester of your life. Enjoy every single second of Salamanca. I miss it every day.

  2. Agreed with my lovely Lily! Also, as someone who is also from so cal, Salamanca is really cold!! (at least it was for me from jan to like may!). Just be prepared… as well as you can. That being said, you will have a great time. Enjoy!

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