Name: Adrianna Morgan
Major: Interdisciplinary Object Design + Spanish
Grad Year: Approx Fall 2016
Hometown: Baltimore, MD
Destination Abroad: Spain
Term Abroad: Summer 2014
Program Abroad: 6 week TU Faculty Lead Study Abroad Program
Q: FOOD, your favorite subject & ours. Best dish? Worst dish? New recipe you picked up?
Best Dish: Tortilla de patatas (but it made no sense to me when they would serve it on bread, that’s carbs on carbs haha), Anything with cheese (there was one tapa I had that had tomato jelly and brie on a piece of bread, I could have eaten a million of those), Croquettes
We were also really into trying every sort of different flavor of ice cream there
Worst Dish: The majority of our host mamas would prepare a jamón serrano sanwhich for us for lunch and I personally didn’t like. It had an unfavorable after taste to me. Also they really like mayonnaise, I do not like mayonnaise like that haha.
New recipe: There were three things my host mama made that I always got excited about…
Natillas (I tried my hand at making it when i got back home), Watermelon sorbet, A rice dish of her own that included white rice, zucchini, apples, raisins, onion and red curry
Q: PLACES , talk about your favorite spot in your home away from home. Where? Why?
In Madrid: I love Latin dancing so I had two favorite dance spots, El Son in Sol and Azucar in Atocha.
In Alicante: THE BEACH!!
Q: TOP SECRET, did a local point you to a market, pub, or park you didn’t know about? Pass it on.
Mercado de San Miguel in Madrid- great market to try tapas and desserts, we went at night
The Azotea en el Círculo de Bellas Artes – beautiful roof top bar and restaurant, but you don’t necessarily need to buy form the restaurant or the bar (the items can get a little pricey) but to go up and chill and take pictures was only 3 euros. I never went during the day but it was super beautiful at night.
Q: NOPE, are there things you don’t miss from your destination? What? Why?
I was sure my answer to this question would be nope, but I did manage to think of some things. I do not miss paying for a plastic bag at the grocery stores. I do not miss how expensive things were overall in Spain in comparison to America. I do not miss the club promoters in Sol adamantly harassing you to come into their clubs and bars. I do not miss the sneaky pickpockets.
Q: YEP, you’re actually homesick for something from abroad. What? Why?
For the majority of the trip I was not home sick at all. But there was a moment where I was really missing three things. I missed spicy foods, it was kinda hard to come by in Spain. Being that I am an only child, I missed being able to play my music super loud and dance around the house by myself. I also missed my parents Trinidadian food. I was really craving some stew chicken, chana and aloo (curry chick peas and potato), and roti (type of bread like a tortilla)! Luckily that was the exact meal I got when I arrived home.
Q: SPEAKING OF, what new vocabulary have you added to your repertoire after study abroad
You are in luck! Because I kept a list of my favorite terms and colloquialisms that people used a lot in Spain:
“No pasa nada”- equivalent to “Ah its nothing” “Don’t worry about it” “Its okay”
“Vale.”- “Okay” the way to close a conversation or a sentence
“Si si si si si”- what they say when they’re like “Oh, of course, yes yes yes, say no more”
“¡Ay madre mia!”- equivalent to “Ay dios mio!” “Oh my god!”
“¡Buff!”- “Woah” “Wow” “Uff” reaction of astonishment/disbelief. (Ex.”You stayed out till 6am? Buff! That’s crazy, you must be tired.”)
“¿En serio?”- equivalent to “For real??”
“…un montón” – “…a bunch/a lot” used with like everything. (Ex. “Cuesta un montón”- “It costs a lot”, “Pica un montón”- “Its really spicy” “Te quiero un montón”- “I love you a lot” etc.)
Q: SHOCKING , you could hardly believe your eyes when you saw … What? Why?
All of the ceilings in the cathedrals and palaces (crazy, ornate, and extravagant)
The amount and degree of public display of affection that is acceptable
Prostitutes presenting themselves in public in areas where children were present with a police station like a block away.
Q: WEEKENDS , full of travel. Where did you go? How did you choose? Was it difficult to plan?
I chose to not go anywhere but, there where two groups that did. I chose to stay in Madrid and explore parts I had not yet gone to. We had all waited a bit too long to plan our intended trip to Barcelona so things became pricey. We also all had different budget restraints.
Q: TOUGHEST DAY , everyone has one. What challenged you while you were abroad? Why?
This was really the most annoying part of my trip. One of our teachers for two weeks in Madrid was just really difficult. She would teach us very unenthusiastically because she claimed that we were sitting there looking bored. We (a class of 4 students) were just sitting there quietly, listening, taking notes, and being engaged. We were a calm group. She wanted us to look more animated, but that just wasn’t us. We made attempts to be the type of student that she wanted but nothing was good enough.
One day she said that we looked like we didn’t want to learn the material. Then she even ended class 5 mins early because apparently we didn’t look like we were focused on the content of the class. Both of which were false assumptions. We were just waiting for her to start/ introduce the next activity or topic!!
I think that she should have modified her teaching ways to the type of group she had. She should have been the one to get the peppy going then, being inspired by her peppy-ness, we would have reciprocated.
Q: PARTING WORDS. What would you say to students worried / concerned / afraid of studying abroad?
There is no need to be worried, concerned, or afraid of studying abroad. My roommate was a wreck the first week and I would tell her this is the trip of a lifetime really, you cant let these emotions take control of you and ruin your time. Though, I would not recommend launching yourself into a new country across the ocean if you haven’t at least had some extended amount of time away from your family or parents. Do a trial run of going somewhere in the U.S. first to see how you deal with it. Remember to have an open mind, things WILL be different, you need to tolerate and deal with the ones you don’t like out of respect but also speak up when things bother you. It is important to speak up and express your concerns. Also know that there will be miscommunications if there is a language or even just stark cultural difference. These occurrences are to be expected; they always straighten themselves out. Remember that your group is there for you and you will need to be there for your group. A family like bond will be formed. Also the host families and the school is there to make sure you are comfortable. We also live in an age where we can Skype and text abroad. If you are one to miss your family a lot, DO NOT forget about these resources. Also the buddy system is strongly encouraged so you wont be alone in any situation.