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Notes from Abroad: Yaritza in Granada, Spain
Notes from Abroad is a new feature on the Off-Campus Programs website, in which we highlight small snippets of a student’s experience. This week’s feature is from Yaritza Cambron ’15, a biology major currently studying abroad at Lake Forest College in Granada, Spain.
My name is Yaritza Cambron and I am currently studying abroad in Granada, Spain this fall semester. I am a senior at Lake Forest College who is pursuing a Biology major and Psychology and Spanish double minor. So far my experience abroad has been truly amazing, and for that I am grateful to everyone that has made this possible: the Ingrid H. and George L. Speros Scholarship for Study Abroad, Lake Forest College for my scholarships to make my studies possible, the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program for my Gilman Scholarship, and last but not least my parents for all their support in everything I set my mind to.
This opportunity to experience such a different culture has been incredible and eye opening. I had never traveled far from my home in Chicago, and now I am in another country, meeting new people, learning a different language, participating in a new culture. At first it was a bit of a challenge to get used to doing things in a different way, although I had heard about how things are and learned about the culture, I was still taken a back. I had never had to adjust the way I did things until I came to Spain, but this has helped me become a more adaptable person which is a great skill that I will bring back with me from this semester.
Many things here in Spain I am not used to dealing with in the United States, such as shortage of water and how people have to conserve it as much as possible, or how everyone here walks to wherever they need to go rather than take a care of public transportation, also how the people here are very vocal about how they feel and don’t really think about how you might feel. However, this type of living is not bad, it’s just different and I have actually started to really enjoy this type of lifestyle. In the U.S. everything is usually too far to always walk to but here, school is maybe 15-20 minutes away, the bank maybe 5-10 minutes away and everything else you need is really close. This is a much healthier lifestyle than having to sit in a car and drive everywhere.
The one thing that has taken me a bit longer to get used to is how people say whatever is on their mind and aren’t shy about it, I am the complete opposite and am very shy, but hopefully with a bit more time I can adapt to this part of the culture as well. I wouldn’t trade this experience for anything, I am truly grateful to be here.