Time Flies When You’re Having Fun

I’ve been in Europe for three and a half weeks now. What? I can’t believe I’ve been over here for three weeks already, I remembered flying into the airport on the first day and not knowing anyone and a minimal amount of Spanish, but now I’ve met so many people and my Spanish is improving. It’s insane how fast time goes when you’re constantly busy exploring, touring different countries, meeting new people, and staying on top of school work. I’ll explain a little bit what has happened since the last time I blogged with was about 2 weeks ago, and let me tell you a lot has happened in such a small time span.

I left off with the fact that I was going to be travelling to Amsterdam in the Netherlands and Brussels in Belgium. Both of these places were awesome! We saw so many unique things in both cities, and one of the coolest experiences was the fact that when we were in the Netherlands, they were playing Spain in the World Cup and they beat them 5 – 1, so the city was going nuts to say the least. In the Netherlands I went on 2 different tours. On the first walking tour I learned so much about the city, including seeing the smallest house in the city which is 1.8 meters long and I saw the house that Anne Frank lived in during the war which was a surreal experience. The other tour was a canal tour in which we took a boat through the city and learned even more about the history of Amsterdam. After we spent 2 days in Amsterdam, our group traveled to Brussels in Belgium via bus and that trip was interesting because we didn’t really have a plan about what we wanted to do, but we had a great time exploring the Grand Place as well as watching two World Cup soccer games in which the atmosphere was awesome because there were so many people from different countries and nationalities in one place all watching the same thing.

The following day our group traveled back to Barcelona and got back into the normal routine with school and going to the beach and exploring more of the city. Last week a lot of students had midterms and this upcoming week I have both of my midterms in my two classes but it shouldn’t be too difficult because my professors do an excellent job of preparing their students for the material on the tests. Other than school, this past weekend we traveled to Costa Brava, Spain and got to experience sardines that are rated as the best sardines in the world according to different sources. We also got to travel via boat to another small city named Cadaques which is located on the coastline. This was really cool because we stopped in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea and got to swim which was different because the water is so salty there that you can basically float without even trying.

Once we got finished with Costa Brava we came back to Barcelona and have been here for 2 days. The only downfall about this entire trip was last night when Portugal scored in the last 20 seconds of the World Cup to force a draw between them and the United States. We were at a place with so many people from the United States and Portugal watching the game so it was a unique experience watching the game with people from both countries cheering for opposite teams. Other than the U.S. draw, I have loved every second of this study abroad experience and I highly recommend that every student take the opportunity to study abroad in another country because you get the chance to meet so many different people and learn not only about other cultures but also your own. I have realized a lot about the United States just from being in Spain for 3 weeks and it has been an eye opening experience for me to say the least.

As I said earlier, I have two midterms this week so I need to start preparing for them so I do well in those classes. Just a quick update so you know what’s happening with me over here over the next few weeks. This upcoming weekend I am traveling to Morocco, Africa and then the following weekend on the 4th of July I’m planning a trip to hopefully Rome, Italy. Tonight and tomorrow is a holiday here in Barcelona where there are bands and concerts and different cultural experiences over the entire city so everyone here is going to see what this is all about tonight. Time for me to get off here because¬†we’re about to go see more of the city!

Hasta luego,

Matt Schafer

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