Today marks the eleventh day I have been on this beautiful island, and the more time that passes, the more I do not want to return home. However, that is not possible..so I will enjoy my time here while it lasts (which will be very easy.) For those who do not know, I am studying in Mayagüez, Puerto Rico for the Fall semester of 2015.
When I first arrived to Puerto Rico, I was experiencing a bit of culture shock. I found this rather surprising because I had lived in Costa Rica for six months in the year before. I think this occurred because Puerto Rico is a latin island but at the same time there is a lot of American influence here. For example, there are signs in Spanish and then on the same sign there is the English translation, or the fact there is Burger King and Church’s chicken located in many areas in the city I am currently living in. However at the same time there are so many differences. But like I kept chanting to myself on the plane to Puerto Rico, “I CAN NOT COMPARE!”
The people here are amazingly nice. They speak rather fast with a thick accent so it makes understanding them rather difficult at times. Sometimes when they realize I am not a Spanish speaker they will resort to english, which I love and hate, because all I want to do here is learn Spanish not practice my English. The last program I did was through USAC (which is amazing for people who leave the country the first time and don’t speak another language well.) This time I went through NSE and I am so glad because I am WAY more immersed in the community and language here. There are only 5 Americans here, which makes it necessary to speak Spanish to communicate with everybody in the exchange program. Also I am enrolled in classes that only speak Spanish. With being here for only eleven days I am already thinking way more in Spanish and find it hard to put my brain back into English. Which makes writing this even more entertaining because I want to say some words in English and Spanish…One would say I am currently perfecting my Spanglish haha.
It is a bit difficult because I currently do not have any internet at my apartment because internet companies down here want you to be involved for an entire year and not just a semester (which makes sense.) This makes doing any homework difficult and makes my motivation to complete it, very low. At the same time I like not having that much connection to the internet and keeping more to myself rather then always being on the phone.
I feel as if I have so much to say and explain, and I don’t know where to begin or end. I want to talk about how different everything is and how beautiful is but there are so many that I would be writing for many hours everyday..
But I will end my rant on this note,, Puerto Ricans are amazing people and they remind me why I love traveling because if you are open to meeting people and getting out of your comfort zone, one can meet so many great people and have countless adventures!
PS. I know I am not that great of a writer however I do hope I can convince/inspire somebody out there to travel/study abroad. It is the best decisions I have ever made and I know it is hard and scary (The first time I ever left the US was when I went abroad to Costa Rica and I am the only one of my family to do so.) but I promise it is an experience of a lifetime!