In some ways, living in Spain isn’t all that different from living in the United States. Shopping, going out to eat (tapas, anyone?), visiting museums and going to bars are all some of the most popular things to do here, just like in the U.S. The culture here is what I would call a ‘going-out’ culture. I consider myself to be highly extroverted, but my need for sleep and my studious nature make me seem like a hermit compared to native Spaniards. It’s not unusual for teens in Spain to leave their houses at 2 a.m. and come back from a discoteca (a club) at 7 or 8 in the morning.
If I ever did that at home, I guarantee you my mother would have a heart attack. However, here it’s simply the thing to do … almost expected, even. That’s not to say that you have to go out clubbing all the time. There are plenty of other opportunities for a good time. However, if that is something you enjoy, you’ll certainly find plenty of it here in Spain.
The next main thing to do is shop. We’re lucky to come during the best shopping season of the year: Rebajas! For those who don’t know, rebajas are SUPER MEGA AWESOME sales in almost every store in Spain. If you’re going to buy anything in Spain, the months of January and February are the months to do it.
Besides shopping, cafes and bars, there’s also a significant presence of high culture for those of you who appreciate history and art. There are countless museums, some of which are free to the general public. Oviedo is also known for the Campoamor Theater, a beautiful old theater that my host family said has marvelous shows (or, I think they said it. Honestly I’m still trying to understand everything they say in Spanish).
No matter what type of person you are, there’s something for everyone here in Oviedo. I’m just hoping that 1) I can do as much of it as possible and 2) I’m not devastatingly broke by the time I go home.