Homesickness and Culture Shock.

Posted on September 9th, 2011 by

Some people are meant to be world travelers. They can just go anywhere, stay, eat the food and live like a local. A friend that I just met in my group, after a day in Sevilla, decided that he is going to live here permanently, and he was serious. Another friend of mine changed her plan to stay here for a whole year instead of a semester. Some others just love the city right at the first moment. I am not one of those. As much as I love Sevilla, its beauty and the flamenco shows, its combination of ancient and modern, its people, I somehow still feel like I do not belong here and I wish I could be back in the States, and that is a shame.

The first few days of orientation made me feel like I was starting freshman year one more time. I had arrived in Spain before my program start so I did not need to get over jet lag and adjust with the time difference like everyone else did. I had so much free time that I did not know what to do and I did not have any friends yet. I could have just got out and talked to other students but I was afraid that they did not want to talk to me. The program put us in different orientation groups based on the location of our homestays so we know and will have friends to go to school with once it starts. We talk in a group when doing orientation’s activities but after that, we are back on our own. I tried to talk to my parents and friends at home but the Internet at the orientation hotel where I was at was constantly disconnected. I cried thinking I was left alone in this world and that I did not belong.

During one session of orientation, the coordinator was telling us about how we should behave in a Spanish family. Some of the manners were that you cannot put your feet on the salon and that it is strange for a Spanish family to have friends over. It is not a rule but a custom and I respect that, but I felt more pressured and I just wanted to leave.

Snap out of it! That is what I always told myself. It did not work for me all the time, but sometimes it did. I will have to go out and make friends, and it is not that hard because there are people out there who are just like me, lost, homesick, and confused. I thought my orientation roommate was really strong and outgoing because she had a buddy right on the first day, until I found her crying herself to sleep one night. Crying sometimes makes me feel better, but it is not a solution. The first few days are always hard but it will be over and that makes it a lifetime experience; one day I will look back and feel proud of myself. Classes start on Monday and I am longing for them!

View from the bridge I have to cross everyday to go to class.


Me and my new friend on our way back to the homestays.


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