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Letters from Abroad Malaga is a Must

Photo Courtesy of Peter Brooks ’18

Photo Courtesy of Peter Brooks ’18

Peter Brooks ‘18, Abroad Columnist

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No one knows what to expect or what will happen when traveling abroad. You can think about traveling around Europe with your friends, going to class each day in an entirely different country, and how you’re growing each day by just being here. It hasn’t even sunk in for me that I’m in Spain; one month later and it still feels like I’m on a vacation. The moment I realized that this was real and that I’m here for 5 months was when I sat on my new bed for the semester after flying for close to 10 hours, walking around the city center, and having dinner with all the host families. I sat on my bed and realized that this wasn’t like the application from Global Ed or me thinking to myself I’m going abroad anymore, this was real, I was actually in Spain. After that first night, I haven’t looked back on my decision to spend the semester abroad once.

I’ve never done something like this before so that was part of the initial shock for me. I’m living with a 60-year-old host mother and her 93-year-old mother. They don’t speak any English, and I have no idea where I am. It’s difficult, there’s no denying it. Thinking, speaking, and learning every single day is mentally and physically exhausting but already you can notice the changes and how all this practice is preparing you to excel at speaking and boost your confidence level. Undoubtedly the 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. class is like pulling teeth sometimes but you keep reminding yourself that this is to help you in the long run.

One of the main reasons I came to Málaga was to improve my Spanish and step outside my comfort zone in ways that I haven’t before. Whether it’s having small conversations with taxi drivers or talking to our professors at our institute, you learn to enjoy speaking and giving yourself little challenges. By far one of the most enjoyable times I’ve had speaking is at Vox, our favorite bar on the beach. Since arriving it’s been a consistent activity to go after dinner and watch soccer but we have become very close with the bartenders and he loves talking to us. It gives you a great deal of satisfaction when you’re understanding and maintaining a conversation in a foreign language and learning at the same time.

Even though I’ve only been here for a month I can already say that coming here was the best decision I’ve ever made. Everyone who goes abroad or who is abroad says the cheesy and typical things like it changed my life and you have to do it, its unlike anything you’ve done before. I thought it was just a symptom of people missing being outside of campus and exploring but everyone who said that was correct. I’ve had the time of my life here so far and it’s amazing that this journey has just begun.

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Letters from Abroad Malaga is a Must