Adapting to Spanish Culture

By Brenden L.

July 29, 2021

Hola from Oviedo, Spain! I am currently about three weeks into my study abroad experience and I have to say that it has been one of the most enriching times of my life. Starting the trip, it was actually my first time ever flying in a plane. It was really exciting and I can honestly say that I like riding in airplanes, even though the flight was about seven hours long.

Arriving in Oviedo was probably the hardest part, because after a two hour flight, then a seven hour flight, then a six hour bus ride, I had to meet my host family and I was really nervous. It turned out that my host family was just a 73-year-old woman, and so far she has taken care of my needs and taught me a lot about Spanish culture and European living overall.

If there is some advice about money I can give, it is to be prepared to spend money. Europe is expensive, and that is besides the cost of the program and flight, which Mizzou helped me handle. The first weekend we were here, Spain played Switzerland in the Euro cup and won! Do not be alarmed if you see people yelling or passionately jumping out of their seats when watching soccer, it is a huge thing in Europe.

It has been a bit difficult to adapt to the language, even having a minor in Spanish. Spaniards speak very fast, and some (like my host) don’t take the time to sound every syllable out. This being said, I have become a lot more accustomed to listening and understanding the language, along with increasing my vocabulary and grammar through the University of Oviedo.

Overall I am really grateful that Mizzou could help me attend this program after receiving the Gilman Scholarship but not being able to use it due to COVID, and I wholeheartedly recommend studying abroad to any student with an interest to see what the world has to offer.

Me and my girlfriend in Covadonga
Brenden and his girlfriend posing in Covadonga.
El Retiro park in Madrid
Boats along the water of El Retiro Park in Madrid.
Monte Naranco, statue of Jesus on top of a mountain
Brenden standing in front of Monte Naranco, a statue of Jesus on top of a mountain.


Learn more about this blogger’s study abroad program: Spanish Language, Literature and Culture