Hola! For my housing while abroad, I had decided to try out the residence lifestyle here in Spain, and boy, was I in for quite the shock. Not in a bad way, though, of course. I am going to just jump on a ledge and assume that most of you are familiar with the typical American residence setup/lifestyle. You know, buildings on campus set up specifically as dorms with co-ed halls, neighbors on each side, laundry room for all to share, as well as a possible kitchen and recreational area, am I right? Well, it might be like that back in the states, but here in Spain it’s a different ballgame, so to speak.
To start, the residence hall, or “la resi” as most of us college kids call it, it set up like most apartment complexes are. And not only are college students housed here, but so are actual families! At least the families and the students are placed on separate floors throughout the building, but we still have to keep our noise level down to respectable and reasonable levels
For my CEA housing, I chose to have a single room instead of opting for a roommate, so I have a small room to myself at the end of one of the hallways, while another girl takes up the room next to mine. Overall, the rooms are all scattered and there are usually bathrooms placed between the rooms. That may sound like a great thing- less neighbors, I mean- but there is a downside: the walls here seem to be paper thin, so whether or not someone’s room is near mine, I can hear a conversation from down the hall, and that may not be so fantastic at 1 o’clock in the morning, which is the usual time that most Spaniards come back from their late night dinners and tapas excursions.
On the bright side- or somewhat bright side, since I have yet to become accustomed to it- there are people here who take care of keeping the residence tidy and clean. And by that I mean that a few times a week a lovely lady named Carmen comes in to clean my room for me. Yes, you read that correctly. It is something that I haven’t experienced since my younger years when my mother would do that for me, and I was shocked when I came back from class one day to find my sheets changed, my trash taken out, and everything tidied up! Not only that, but once a week, we are to leave our laundry out and they wash, dry, and fold it for us seeing as we aren’t allowed usage of the laundry room. Crazy, I know. Running off along that tangent, we aren’t allowed usage of the kitchen either. Sure, there is a small fridge and a microwave on our hall, but all meals are provided for us (except on Sundays).
All in all, I am pretty pleased with my housing. I like having my cozy room to myself, and there are plenty of Spaniards, as well as fellow Americans, on my floor to keep company with. Though, even after two months, I don’t think I will ever get used to having someone clean my room and do my laundry for me, but hey, I can’t really complain about that, now can I?
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