Saying goodbye to the place I’ve called home for the past 4 months…Salamanca, Fall 2011

As final exams came to an end, Salamanca decided to throw us a good-bye party! Ok, I may be exaggerating a bit but it certainly felt that Nochevieja Universitaria was just for us. During this day, thousands of students from different parts of Spain such as Sevilla and Madrid came to Salamanca to celebrate the last Thursday of classes before winter break. Even though this event is held about two weeks before New Year’s Eve, it is a great way for students to celebrate the end and the start of the year together as they all come from different cities of Spain and wouldn’t be able to celebrate it together on the actual date. Students entered the Plaza at about ten pm all decked out in their hats (they were basically Santa Claus hats) and were all ready for the show. There was a great DJ name Javi Reina and an amazing violinist who played along with him. The concert was awesome and we couldn’t be happier, despite the cold temperature. After the show, the countdown to midnight began. Once we were ten seconds away from midnight, we ate a gummy grape each second and were told to make ten wishes for those ten grapes. Standing in the middle of the Plaza with a crown of students surrounding me, I felt that all my wishes had come true. I was in Salamanca, Spain and just had the best four months of my life. What else could I ask for? After this night, there was just one more exam keeping me away from New York. Therefore, I spent the weekend studying in the library but also saying goodbye to more friends.  Since my exam was so late, I was one of the few people from IES still left in Salamanca. Therefore, it was really weird being the only one in the IES center. Luckily, all of my Spanish friends were still in Salamanca and we spent a lot of time with them. A group of them are from Andalucía and I met them went I went on a hike in the Sierra de Francia and La Alberca with a group from the science school of USAL. Saying goodbye to them was definitely not easy as we have gotten really close this semester. Some tips: For any of you who are thinking about studying abroad, try to meet locals. Try not to stick with just Americans and make an effort to meet students from your host country and from other countries. If you put in the effort, it is a very rewarding experience. So I’m standing here and looking at my empty room and packed suitcases and still cannot believe this day has come. In two days I will be back home in New York. Studying abroad in Salamanca is one of the best decisions I have made. I have grown in so many ways and know that I will return to Spain in the near future!
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