October 20, 2013, by Guest blog
The Beauty, The Chaos and The Life Changing Experiences…
Post by Anandeep Sandhu
My first impressions and thoughts that crossed my mind as I arrived in Granada, Spain to start my year abroad was everything this incredible place had to offer. This came in the form of the rich Andalusian culture, flamenco music, deep rooted Islamic history leaving behind its remnants across the city…
However despite my excitement for this experience and all the potential opportunities, I still felt quite nervous as I knew it would take time for me to adjust to living abroad alone and adapt to the changes of this new lifestyle. Nevertheless I was sure that my time here would be truly valuable for the future. I felt eager to develop my Spanish language skills- not only as a clear aim of the year abroad but also because this would help me understand and explore the culture more closely. One of the things that struck me most as I arrived here was the Andalusian accent! Many people also speak very quickly which makes it difficult at times for non-native speakers to full understand what is being said. Although now I am slowly starting to get use to the shortened words and elimination of the ‘s’! I have been told by locals that once I understand Andalusian Spanish I won’t encounter problems understanding anyone in the rest of the Spanish speaking world!
I spent my first few days familiarising myself with the city- walking around under the scorching sun with a map intact like a typical tourist, visiting the attractions such as the famous Alhambra Palace, walking through the narrow streets of the Albayzín district and eating plenty of tapas! This definitely felt a long way away from my life back home in England and I found myself noting the sharp contrasts between the two. At the end of September I started University and I would say my first impressions of life as an Erasmus student was enjoyable but also very chaotic! Standing in the never ending colas, experiencing many blocks of two hour classes and attempting to understand the lectures did pose a bit of a challenge. However it was good to meet new people both native Spanish students and Erasmus students from various parts of Europe in the same situation. So I hope in the coming weeks I can continue to develop my experiences, explore and learn as much as I can from my time here in Granada.
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