The Dickinsonian

Letters from Abroad: Making the Most of Málaga

Caitlin Filiato ’19, Abroad Columnist

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Being in Málaga has been an amazing and rewarding but also a stressful adventure that I will never regret. Starting from the first day, after a red-eye flight, we immediately hit the ground running with finding our homes and meeting our new host families.

The idea of being in this new, strange place for such a long time, for me a year, was really daunting and overwhelming and I never thought I would adjust, but here I am halfway through my first semester and loving every moment. Not to say that there aren’t hard days, but living in Málaga has taught me to appreciate what I have at home and to really open up my mind to new experiences and allow myself to immerse into the culture.  Málaga is a great place; not only can you experience the Spanish culture fully, but it is also a tourist destination where you can take advantage of all the amazing things the Costa del Sol has to offer.

Living within the Spanish culture was a shock, and I am still learning to live as the Malagueños do. As someone from New England, I am used to things being done quickly, efficiently and with urgency, but that is just not the case here. Malagueños live in the land of mañana, meaning it’ll get done tomorrow (which it rarely ever does). While this can be really trying at times, it has also helped teach me to let go and allow things to run their course. This relaxed vibe makes Málaga such a great place to live. There are so many bars and beaches to hang out at, as well as many cultural spots, such as the Picasso Museum that really makes it a city enjoyable for anyone.

One of my favorite Málaga experiences has been volunteering at an association that helps Moroccan immigrants. There I have been teaching English classes. Not only has this been rewarding in the sense that I am helping people, but also, I have seen my Spanish capabilities grow tremendously throughout this time which was the reason I decided to study abroad in the first place.

Although I love living in Málaga, if I’m being completely honest, my favorite part of my study abroad experience so far has been the ability to travel so easily throughout Europe. I urge anyone studying abroad or considering studying abroad to really take this opportunity and get the most out of it. When will you ever again have the time and the ability to travel so easily around to different countries? Studying abroad is hard, but it’s so important to take advantage of every moment, the good and the bad, to really grow and get the most out of your time.

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Letters from Abroad: Making the Most of Málaga