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General Advice to Use Throughout Your Stay:

  • Make a habit of waking up early. This way you’ll make the most out of your days and never be late for class. 

  • Your Spanish will get so much better so quickly. Immerse yourself and don’t be afraid to talk to locals and use Spanish at shops/restaurants. People are really kind here and won’t judge you; rather they’ll appreciate you learning.

  • THE SERVICE TAKES FOREVER. The waiters take longer to ask you what you want to order, to bring you your food, and to bring you your check. Don’t come in expecting quick service like in the US. It’s been the most annoying part of being in the new culture, and we all must get used to it. The Spaniards like to sit and talk about the weather for hours. 3-hour meals are commonplace.

  • Be prepared to get out of your comfort zone, but be prepared to embrace that. Don’t limit yourself to one role or group- there are so many new opportunities that it can be scary at first, but every time I’ve done something new and scary I’ve ended up appreciating it in the end.

  • You’ll talk to so many people! I haven’t socialized this much in ages. Don’t worry about finding the right people- CGL Spain is a self-selecting group- you will find yourself surrounded by an open-minded, intelligent, and outgoing group.

  • Be ready to walk. Bring comfortable shoes, because during the first week, we will walk for hours at a time, whether around the Alhambra or any other sightseeing tour.

  • Limit the number of times you go out on weekdays- productive weekdays filled with energy and satisfaction in one’s work will lead to better and more flexible weekends. If you go out on weekdays often, you’ll find yourself drained by the time Thursday night hits, and perhaps even with a pile of unfinished work. I don't want to sound like a Dad though- do what you want, but don't overdo it. 

  • Make the most of your weekends: Use them to explore Europe, make new friends, and just have as many new experiences as possible. It’s crucial to plan well and ensure that you’re free on the weekends, as this will allow you to make the most out of them. 

  • Stay safe and especially if you’re a girl, be wary of strangers. People may try to lure you away from the group or offer alcohol or something of the sort- keep your wits about you and become a good judge of character. If you feel like something’s off, trust your gut. If you want to ensure that you’re safe, stay with people from your group or CGL. Try to avoid going off with strangers unless you’re absolutely sure it’s safe. 

  • Wear sunscreen, especially on a beach trip. The sun here is easy to underestimate. 

  • Go on excursions, make as many friends as possible, and cherish every moment. These will be some of the best memories of your life, so go out and make as many as possible.

  • Get the best life bracelet. This allows you to get into a lot of places for free or at discount prices and opens up the door to a lot of opportunities. It’s very easy to order online, and you just have to walk to their office in Spain to get the physical bracelet. Once you have it, finding nightlife in Spain becomes a lot easier and cheaper, and the same goes for excursions.

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