I have been in Coruña for about three weeks now, and I love it here! My host family is amazing, there is so much to do in the city, and university life has been very interesting.
I got an email saying that this week was “International Education Week” at Holy Cross, which was organized to help welcome international students and celebrate global diversity on campus.
It was so strange to be studying abroad halfway across the world and suddenly receive this notification from Holy Cross, where I definitely took easy communication for granted.
I didn’t realize how limited my Spanish vocabulary was until I tried making small talk with my classmates on the first day of school. I was trying hard to make good impressions, but I felt like all I was communicating was that I’m dull and dumb.
On Wednesday, I had to give a 20 minute presentation for my History of Radio, Television, and Multimedia class. I was especially self-conscious about my Spanish because I didn’t want my four group members to wish that “la americana” wasn’t in their group.
The presentation ended up being fine, and a few of my group members even complimented me for being so calm while presenting (I did not feel calm!!!!!).
I definitely underestimated how out of place I would feel as the only international student in most of my classes, but I’ve also been touched by the number of people who have come up to me and told me to let them know if I ever need help with anything.
It’s so funny how being pulled out of your “normal” and put into foreign contexts can help you better understand the experiences of people on your own campus. I never considered just how uncomfortable international students at Holy Cross may feel studying on a snowy hill west of Boston, and how brave they are for deciding to spend all four years (!!!) of college in a different country. I’m glad that Holy Cross dedicated a week to welcoming them onto campus, and I hope they’re beginning to settle into their new home and experiencing those little acts of kindness that can go a long way.
Pictures of Coruña to come!!!
Ciao for now!