I Finally Got It! Suitcase, Food, Culture

Paella, a common dish in Spain.  (Amschel Rothschild/UConn School of Business)
Paella, a common dish in Spain. (Amschel Rothschild/UConn School of Business)

I’ll start with the more personal matter, losing my suitcase. I didn’t think arriving to another country where you don’t speak the language could get much worse than the nightmare it is trying to get around. Well, not having your clothes and other things you packed for your trip might make it a bit harder. Needless to say, the airline (the culprits of my additional obstacle) delivered my luggage to my homestay quickly.

Now let’s see, wow. Such a simple word to explain so much. Adapting to Spain’s culture has proven to be both intriguing and difficult. People have a much more relaxed mentality to life; whether it’s walking slowly on the street, going to the restaurant and spending multiple hours there, or going to work in the morning just to leave to have brunch with your coworkers, every day. Many of these things wouldn’t be tolerated in America, and I was quite surprised when arriving here.

Here are a few of my favorite and least favorite differences between America and Spain:

  • Not being allowed to drink in class (yes, that includes coffee).
  • Getting coffee after a meal.
  • Many Spaniards eat a very small breakfast at home, to then eat another breakfast later.
  • Having dinner at or past 9:00 p.m.
  • Going out at 11:00 p.m.
  • (Actual) business hours/schedule.
  • Almost all people take their vacation in August, thus some stores close down in August.
  • Going out to eat with coworkers in the morning.
  • Siesta (isn’t very prevalent in Barcelona).
  • El menú – this isn’t the menu, but the special of the day. Here you get to choose your first plate, second plate, usually served with bread, coffee, and a pastry.
  • Very fashionable, there is never a day off with Spaniards.

I am sure that I will encounter many more differences over my next three months in Barcelona.

Amschel Rothschild ’19
Finance Student, UConn School of Business
Amschel Rothschild is a junior studying Finance. This past summer he interned at Rabobank in New York City working on private equity raises and venture investing. A fun fact about Amschel is that he was born in Belgium, but has dual citizenship with France and the United States.