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She's going to Spain. I need ya'll to tell me this will be ok.


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#1 Attolia

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Posted 08 January 2018 - 08:19 PM

She applied for a Duke program in Spain for the summer.  The program is super hard to get into (especially for freshman) so I really didn't give it much thought.  Well, she got in.  I am super excited for her, but also panicked.  She has to fly by herself there and she has never flown internationally. She's so incredibly bright, yet so clueless sometimes....think, unaware.  I just worry.  Her scholarship is paying all $12,000 for the program so this is an amazing opportunity and I know that I need to happily accept it.  She will stay with a family and the program is 6 weeks.  It sounds like she will walk to campus herself for classes (it says homes are within walking distance).


Edited by Attolia, 08 January 2018 - 08:25 PM.

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#2 freesia

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Posted 08 January 2018 - 08:35 PM

She will have a wonderful time.  It will be so great!

 

When I was just a year older than her I spent a year in Ireland and traveled around Europe for a month of it.  It was the best time ever!  I spent a week in Spain and the people are so helpful and friendly.  The trains are super easy to use--all public transportation is easy in Europe.  The program is used to taking kids her age  who have never traveled.

 

I know so many people who did time in Europe during college and all did great.

 

(Full mama disclosure: my son might spend the second semester of his freshman year in England and my stomach knots a bit--so you are totally normal.  In fact my mom (who survived her college year in Paris) met my dad in Vietnam during the war. I grew up hearing how ridiculous it was that her mom was worried she was living in Vietnam during the early days of the "conflict."  When I went to teach in Cameroon for 2 years in my twenties she was really stressed out and anxious.  She said it was "different."  I said "Yeah, there's no war."  She said, "I was older than you when I was in Vietnam."  I replied, "Actually you were younger!"  Moms are like that!)


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#3 Kassia

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Posted 08 January 2018 - 09:01 PM

What a wonderful opportunity for her and congratulations to her for getting in!  She'll be okay, but I definitely understand your concern (I have one like yours and there are times when I'm a nervous wreck for him).  

 

Hope she loves it!


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#4 madteaparty

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Posted 08 January 2018 - 09:13 PM

I know about 5 kids that go to Europe or Japan and back every summer. By themselves.with a connection for the Japan one. Let’s just say they may or may not be in middle school ;)
Congrats to your DD on the selective program!
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#5 creekland

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Posted 08 January 2018 - 10:11 PM

Congrats to your dd!!!  Esp for getting into it freshman year!

 

She will be fine.  Just look over the info the program gives her for a packing list, etc.

 

I expect my middle son will be in Spain this summer too - doing research.  It's not set in stone yet, but he told us over Christmas he's really leaning that way.  His other favored option is Nigeria.

 

I like watching my kids fly on their own (from the nest), but a big part of me wishes I could be experiencing all they get to do with them just to share the fun.  I repress the part of me that tells me to worry (sort of).  I'll admit to tracking my guys via an app to ease my mind at times.  They know about the app.  One of them told me about it and added it to my phone.  ;)


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#6 GoodGrief

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Posted 09 January 2018 - 01:05 AM

It should be fine! Make sure she knows exactly what to do as far as insurance if there is a health issue.


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#7 MerryAtHope

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Posted 09 January 2018 - 01:41 AM

What a wonderful opportunity for her! I'd probably worry too, but I hope she has a wonderful time! (LOL about the mom who thought she was "older" than her daughter when she went away, but really she was younger--I did some crazy travel stuff in my youth too, and it's hard to imagine now! It's probably like that every generation....)


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#8 Serenade

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Posted 09 January 2018 - 09:33 AM

Well, I will say, as one who traveled throughout Europe quite a bit in her younger days, that the people in Spain are about the most friendly people in Europe.  Things could have changed in all of these years, but somehow I doubt it.    Spain is definitely a good place to start with international travel.


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#9 J-rap

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Posted 09 January 2018 - 09:44 AM

That sounds wonderful!!  Congrats!

 

I can tell you, without a doubt, she'll be fine.  :)

 

 


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#10 Quill

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Posted 09 January 2018 - 10:18 AM

She will most likely manage just fine. My DD had also never flown alone, much less internationally, and she was flying into a huge airport and having to find her way through the airport and customes, and then on to a train to go south for four hours. She was more worried about this aspect than anything else, I think. I have been *AMAZED* at her ability to cope with the uncertainties and manage so far. If this program doesnot assist her in feeling confident and like a “real adult,” nothing will.

If I get a chance, I’ll provide a link to her blog and you can read her thoughts about her trip so far.

And, I am totally envious about that scholarship! DD’s scholarship was tiny.


Https://quatremoisenmontpellier.wordpress.com

Edited by Quill, 09 January 2018 - 03:29 PM.

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#11 Garga

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Posted 09 January 2018 - 10:35 AM

I think she’ll be fine, though I’d be pretty nervous about it as a mama. I’d have lots of talks about how to navigate airports (gates, baggage claim), unless the family meets her at the airport.

Just to help reassure you a little bit: we had a student from Spain visit us last summer. He liked to tell us about how friendly and outgoing Spanish people are. It seemed to be a point of pride for him in his culture. So, I agree with the others who say the people in Spain are very friendly.

However, also let her know that Americans tend to smile more than Europeans. It was a little disconcerting when our Spanish student would keep a blank face on and only burst into a smile from time to time. In America, we’re all smiley-smiley at each other and it’s not the norm elsewhere. Let her know not to let that throw her off. She may talk with a person or be looking for someone with an American smile and not see it, but it doesn’t mean they’re not friendly. They just don’t smile as much as we do.
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#12 Susie in CA

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Posted 09 January 2018 - 01:43 PM

She will have a fantastic time and learn so much! Yes, she will be ok. :-)


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#13 Mabelen

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Posted 09 January 2018 - 03:35 PM

How wonderful! Where in Spain will she be staying? I am sure she will be fine, though I completely understand from a mom's perspective. I am from Spain, and when we visit my family in Madrid, before we venture out, I am always giving my kids a rundown of what to do in different scenarios if we get separated in the city.
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#14 shawthorne44

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Posted 09 January 2018 - 05:02 PM

I'm not a fan of Spain.  People would be upset with me if I said what I thought of Spain.   But, even I would let my DD, if she were a Freshman, go in that situation.   

 

I am a huge fan of the Culture Shock books.  

 

https://www.amazon.c...ure shock spain

 

Send her with a phone loaded with a SIM Card that works in Spain, and she'll be fine.  

 

 


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#15 shawthorne44

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Posted 09 January 2018 - 06:05 PM

This might help

https://letgrow.org/...ents-pay-extra/

I thought of this post when I read it.


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#16 Attolia

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Posted 09 January 2018 - 09:17 PM

How wonderful! Where in Spain will she be staying? I am sure she will be fine, though I completely understand from a mom's perspective. I am from Spain, and when we visit my family in Madrid, before we venture out, I am always giving my kids a rundown of what to do in different scenarios if we get separated in the city.

 

 

Alicante


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#17 Quill

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Posted 09 January 2018 - 09:27 PM

I'm not a fan of Spain. People would be upset with me if I said what I thought of Spain. But, even I would let my DD, if she were a Freshman, go in that situation.

I am a huge fan of the Culture Shock books.

https://www.amazon.c...ure shock spain

Send her with a phone loaded with a SIM Card that works in Spain, and she'll be fine.


My DD bought a new SIM card after she landed in France. Her host mom assisted her. :)
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#18 shawthorne44

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Posted 10 January 2018 - 10:04 AM

If it were I going to Spain, I'd wait until I got there, and then I buy a SIM card at a gas station.  If it were my daughter, who was not brave, I'd buy a SIM card off ebay.  That way if she panicked getting out of the airport, she could call.  

 


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#19 Serenade

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Posted 10 January 2018 - 10:07 AM

She will most likely manage just fine. My DD had also never flown alone, much less internationally, and she was flying into a huge airport and having to find her way through the airport and customes, and then on to a train to go south for four hours. She was more worried about this aspect than anything else, I think. I have been *AMAZED* at her ability to cope with the uncertainties and manage so far. If this program doesnot assist her in feeling confident and like a “real adult,” nothing will.

If I get a chance, I’ll provide a link to her blog and you can read her thoughts about her trip so far.

And, I am totally envious about that scholarship! DD’s scholarship was tiny.


Https://quatremoisenmontpellier.wordpress.com

 

I really enjoyed reading her blog.  How fun!  I hope she has a great semester.  It sounds like she is off to a good start.


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#20 Mabelen

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Posted 10 January 2018 - 05:29 PM

Alicante


Nice. I spent some summers nearby as a kid. She will have the beach as well as the summer cultural scene and night life to enjoy with others in her program!
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#21 Mabelen

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Posted 10 January 2018 - 05:31 PM

I'm not a fan of Spain. People would be upset with me if I said what I thought of Spain. But, even I would let my DD, if she were a Freshman, go in that situation.

I am a huge fan of the Culture Shock books.

https://www.amazon.c...ure shock spain

Send her with a phone loaded with a SIM Card that works in Spain, and she'll be fine.


Yes to the Culture Chock books and a SIM card.

I am wondering what exactly is unique that you so strongly dislike about Spain.
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#22 bibiche

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Posted 10 January 2018 - 08:04 PM

I am wondering what exactly is unique that you so strongly dislike about Spain.

 

 As am I. Must be pretty impressive to merit glibly dismissing an entire country!  :laugh:


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#23 shawthorne44

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Posted 11 January 2018 - 12:53 AM

Yes to the Culture Chock books and a SIM card.

I am wondering what exactly is unique that you so strongly dislike about Spain.

 

 

To be fair, I did say that I'd send my daughter in that situation, and I didn't want to say what I thought of it.  To start, I'd like to point out that I'm not a prissy traveler.   I've been to many countries/places and I've liked them all except Spain.  I've ridden on a bus in Belize with more farm animals riding inside than people.  I've urinated in the designated hole in the floor on a moving train, and was proud I managed to not get my shoes dirty, including flushing.  On another train, the toilet had flushing instructions in four languages, none of them English.  I only mention it because that was a very "You're not in Kansas anymore" moment.  I've eaten food from a street vendor when he wouldn't take my money because I was his first foreigner/white person to buy. My absolute favorite mode of transportation is subways, and I try to behave as local, non-tourist  as I can.  

 

My trip to Spain was in 1990.   So that was a long time ago, but also recent enough that should have been things like payphones on major streets.  About half of what annoyed me, wouldn't have been annoying except Spain is supposed to be a first world country.   I hadn't been that thrilled with the idea of going to Spain.  My parents told me to not go there.   When mom was pregnant with me they were briefly trapped in Madrid because of the annual Transportation Strike which was really people taking extra vacation time.  They were able to get out eventually on military transport, but it took some finagling because they'd shipped dad's uniform home.   But, I was travelling with a friend from Sweden and two of her friends.  They wanted the beach in Barcelona.  So, I went along.  The beach was topless, so I didn't have my usual security things on me.  On the walk to the beach I noticed air-temperature, uncovered dead fish being sold right next to fruit and the flies having a party.  The beach was filthy.   On the walk leaving the beach to the Hostel, my key to the train locker was stolen.   You are thinking 'Stuff gets stolen anywhere'.  And, that is true, I get that.   But, in any other first world country you can quickly find a phone to call the police to say, "Hey watch Locker 217 a thief is on his way."   The police station was in the same building and not far from the air/train lockers.  But, not in Barcelona.   There were payphones, many of them, All vandalized.   I was told this was done by the employees of the company that had the phone monopoly.   They had these storefronts setup where ordinary people had to go to make a call, and paid exorbitant prices to do so.  We also couldn't get a store to even let us pay to use their phone to call the police.  They seemed scared like they would get in trouble.   This was 1990 in Western Europe.   I also later learned that the boulevard was touted to tourists, and everyone knew that thefts were rampant.  So, the thief got everything.  My travelling companions paid for my hostel stay that night.   Remember those old movies where they had kids selling paper on street corners yelling, "Paper!   Get Your Paper Here!   Read all about it!"     Imagine the same thing only substitute "Heroin!    Get Your Heroin Here!"  It was 24/7.  I could not make this up.  So, now I'm trapped in the country while I get my documents back in order.  Part of which was the Euro-rail which involved getting in a help-window line and waiting.   About half the time the person would say, "NO!" before you even said anything.   It wasn't done just to me, seemed to me about 50% chance.   Only thing you could do would be to get in another line and wait again.  The people seemed to be the normal mix of nice/not nice.   But, they seemed ... glum.   I can't describe it more than that.  Sometimes I had to go to an office in the outer area of the city.   The street signs had been put on the buildings many many many years ago.   When the buildings were redone, they didn't put the street label back up.   So, at any given intersection, you were likely to have only one street labeled.  So, you'd have to go to another corner and hope that it wasn't the same street labeled, and then another corner to know both where you were on the map and which direction you were standing.  I'd ask people for directions, in Spanish.   80% of the time, they'd lie.   I remember thinking "I've heard that New Yorkers will tell you what to do with it.   But, at least they don't lie".    Years later I visited NYC, and they were nice.  But, at least the people in Barcelona were pretty consistent about it, so I'd do the opposite of what they said, and I'd get to where I was going.  In about 6 days I had all the paperwork taken care of, and I left the country.   At the border you have to change trains because they don't have the same tracks.   I am using the payphone to call my parents to them I left the country.   Payphones make international calls especially hard because they might add a 9 or an extra 1  or  '01' to the 1's and 0's you needed at the beginning anyway.   A train station worker was trying to tell me how it would work and I tried that, and it didn't work.  I knew the likely possibilities so I was trying those.   Just as the phone was connecting, the train worker clicked the phone to hang it up, since I dared to try something else.   My mother heard it ring once, and then disconnect.   She told my Dad, "(Daughter) has left Spain."   She'd had no way of knowing.  

 

About 5 years later, my boss gets married and for their honeymoon an Uncle loans him a nice Condo that he owns in a very posh area on the coast of Spain.  It wasn't neat Barcelona.  He shows me photos of them eating at a nice restaurant near the condo.  Dark wood wine storage is behind them at their table, a nice painting seen on the side of the photo.  I asked what those white things were in the top of the photo.  He flushed.  The restaurant stored raw meat hanging from the ceiling in the dining room.   Hanging down from the meat was white twine which ended in Dixie cups to catch the blood.  


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#24 deerforest

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Posted 11 January 2018 - 02:14 AM

Spain was under fascist dictator from 1939-1975. It was absolutely still recovering in 1990. I studied abroad there from 1989-1990 and the lives of all my Spanish friends and their families had undergone radical changes in their lifetimes. Spain definitely had different gauge tracks and I too spent long hours at the borders and searching for Telefonicas, but they definitely had not yet had the time or resources to modernize their infrastructure following the years of dictatorship.

We returned in 1994 for our honeymoon and just 5 years showed incredible improvements. We still keep in touch with some of my friends from back then, and I’d love for DD to study there.

That’s not to say that they don’t have issues (past and present)—the way Madrid is handling the Catalan separatist vote leaves a lot to be desire, but Spain and her unique set of challenges is so dear to me.
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#25 shawthorne44

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Posted 11 January 2018 - 09:26 AM

Everyone has their own opinions on things.   For example, I know of many people who hated Naples, which I can't understand.   I remember even watching a travel show by, I forget her name, a tiny cute blonde woman.   She did a show on Naples and I swear her lip was curled the entire time.  

 

On the same trip as Spain I visited Prague.   This would have been just after the Russians left, which I think technically put it in the Second World category.   It was totally amazing, probably tied for the highlight of the 7-week trip.  in fact, I basically skipped England because I didn't want to leave Prague.  

 

 

 

 



#26 madteaparty

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Posted 11 January 2018 - 12:27 PM

just[/u] after the Russians left, which I think technically put it in the Second World category.

Not even close.
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#27 shawthorne44

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Posted 11 January 2018 - 03:00 PM

Not even close.

 

Second World is/was China and the Soviet Union with its misc. countries.  Although Prague had been a part of the industrialized west, so an argument could be made for first world status.  In '90 it certainly seemed to have its act more together than Spain.   Even though its restrictive government had left months either, whereas Spain's had left years earlier.  


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#28 swimmermom3

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Posted 11 January 2018 - 07:43 PM

My 19 yo son has been to Spain twice.  He flew on his own (first international flight) during the summer of 2015 to spend a month with our Spanish exchange student. The guys then flew back together so that Diego could spend a month with us.  Ds was back there Christmas 2016 for two weeks. He loves Spain except for the heat. I was very worried about that first visit, but several boardies here gave great advice about international travel, insurance, etc.  While I wouldn't blink an eye regarding travel to Spain, I am a bit anxious about ds spending five months in Chile for his semester abroad. 

 

Congratulations to your daughter! I am sure she will have wonderful time.


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#29 lmrich

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Posted 11 January 2018 - 08:41 PM

how amazing!  I have one major regret in my life (so far) and that is not doing foreign study. I was signed up for a Middle East study but then the Gulf War happened so it was cancelled. I wish I had signed up for another.  Your dd will be fine. NO she will be awesome!!


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#30 Attolia

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Posted 16 January 2018 - 03:28 PM

Thanks for all of the encouragement.  This is why she wanted to go to school close to home (she's about 3 hours away).  She wanted to spend the summers doing cool stuff and she knew that if she went to Rice and didn't see us during the school year she would want to come home instead.  

She is now in the application process to go straight to Germany right after.  She's like, "my scholarship pays for it and it seems super interesting, why wouldn't I?"  I guess I just need to breathe and accept it, haha.


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#31 *LC

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Posted 16 January 2018 - 11:32 PM

While I wouldn't blink an eye regarding travel to Spain, I am a bit anxious about ds spending five months in Chile for his semester abroad.


I have an aquaintance who is about to send her second daughter to Chile to study for five months; the older one was there in the last few years on the same program and loved it.

Hope your son has a great time.
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#32 *LC

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Posted 16 January 2018 - 11:41 PM

OP

My oldest didn't need a different SIM card while studying/interning abroad. T-Mobile includes international texting; and she also used Whatsapp to call people there.

She used Skype's 2.99 subscription service for unlimited calls to mobile/landlines in the US. I think we heard from her more while she was abroad than while she was in school, because she would call while walking back to her apartment which was 20-30 minutes away from class. I think she may have also missed speaking English.
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#33 Attolia

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Posted 17 January 2018 - 07:05 AM

OP

My oldest didn't need a different SIM card while studying/interning abroad. T-Mobile includes international texting; and she also used Whatsapp to call people there.

She used Skype's 2.99 subscription service for unlimited calls to mobile/landlines in the US. I think we heard from her more while she was abroad than while she was in school, because she would call while walking back to her apartment which was 20-30 minutes away from class. I think she may have also missed speaking English.

 

 

Thanks for the info on this.  I was really confused about the sim card thing.  We need to research it more.  The Skype thing takes data right?  So that would cost?  



#34 Attolia

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Posted 18 January 2018 - 04:08 PM

Well she got into the program in Berlin too.  My mama nerves just need to give up  :lol:    This will be like $35,000 in travel programs, all covered by her scholarship program.  Crazy, right?  She will have a blast and learn so many new things.  I guess all I can do is pray.   :mellow:


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#35 shawthorne44

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Posted 18 January 2018 - 04:14 PM

Wow, and they don't overlap, so she can go to both?   She must be an academic rock star.  

 

That gives me a chance to trot out my German joke, that I think I got from the Culture Shock book.  

 

You know what the problem is with German Food?

In a few days, you are hungry again.  

 

 


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#36 GGardner

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Posted 18 January 2018 - 04:51 PM

 

 

About 5 years later, my boss gets married and for their honeymoon an Uncle loans him a nice Condo that he owns in a very posh area on the coast of Spain.  It wasn't neat Barcelona.  He shows me photos of them eating at a nice restaurant near the condo.  Dark wood wine storage is behind them at their table, a nice painting seen on the side of the photo.  I asked what those white things were in the top of the photo.  He flushed.  The restaurant stored raw meat hanging from the ceiling in the dining room.   Hanging down from the meat was white twine which ended in Dixie cups to catch the blood.  

 

 

Oh good lord.  That's not raw meat, that's Jamon Serrano dry curing: https://en.wikipedia...i/Jamón_serrano

 

This is a delicacy you'll see all over Spain.  The cups are to catch the fat as the meat cures.


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#37 PeppermintPattie

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Posted 18 January 2018 - 06:21 PM

Well she got into the program in Berlin too.  My mama nerves just need to give up  :lol:    This will be like $35,000 in travel programs, all covered by her scholarship program.  Crazy, right?  She will have a blast and learn so many new things.  I guess all I can do is pray.   :mellow:

 

Flights to Germany in the fall are pretty inexpensive. Maybe you can go visit her!


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#38 Attolia

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Posted 18 January 2018 - 06:25 PM

Wow, and they don't overlap, so she can go to both?   She must be an academic rock star.  

 

That gives me a chance to trot out my German joke, that I think I got from the Culture Shock book.  

 

You know what the problem is with German Food?

In a few days, you are hungry again.  

 

 

They do not overlap.  She will be in Spain for 6 weeks and then fly to Germany for a 6 week program there.  She will have 3 days between programs.  We have friends who live in Germany and she is going to plan her flight to stop there on the way to Berlin.


Edited by Attolia, 18 January 2018 - 06:26 PM.

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#39 Attolia

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Posted 18 January 2018 - 06:27 PM

Flights to Germany in the fall are pretty inexpensive. Maybe you can go visit her!

 

 

It will be summer though and I think it is higher.  I wish it was fall, I would be so tempted!



#40 madteaparty

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Posted Yesterday, 01:10 AM

You know what the problem is with German Food?
In a few days, you are hungry again.

See, I loveGerman food. Well German deserts. I can find approx 300 french bakeries in NYC but nary a slice of Baissertorte. 😭 I know you all want my problems...
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#41 shawthorne44

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Posted Yesterday, 08:33 AM

See, I loveGerman food. Well German deserts. I can find approx 300 french bakeries in NYC but nary a slice of Baissertorte. 😭 I know you all want my problems...

 

I love it too.  Like I told my teenage cousin, the pickier eater, when he said he didn't like German food and that is why he hadn't gone to the restaurant with us, "What is to not like?   It is meat and potatoes."   At my next visit, he went with us and loved it.  

 

Growing up, the special restaurant was a German restaurant.  It was saved for special occasions because it was a bit of a drive.  During Vietnam and their early marriage, dad was stationed in Germany, and in fact I was 'made' there.  So, the food had a special place in my parent's heart.  The food is a bit heavy, though.   


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#42 Attolia

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Posted Yesterday, 08:58 AM

Wow, and they don't overlap, so she can go to both?   She must be an academic rock star.  

 

That gives me a chance to trot out my German joke, that I think I got from the Culture Shock book.  

 

You know what the problem is with German Food?

In a few days, you are hungry again.  

 

 

She's gluten free because of an autoimmune condition.  I am hopeful that she can just get enough to eat in Spain and Germany.  Traveling could be super hard gluten free.



#43 shawthorne44

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Posted Yesterday, 09:31 AM

She's gluten free because of an autoimmune condition.  I am hopeful that she can just get enough to eat in Spain and Germany.  Traveling could be super hard gluten free.

 

Oh, that will be rough.   Will she be with a family in Germany too?  

I remember when I friend had to go Gluten-Free about 20 years back when this was the first I heard of it.  She talked about all the hidden glutens, like in Chili for example.  When I read your post I thought of many of my favorite German dishes.   I can't think of one that would be certain to not have gluten.  Well, sausages, most likely.  That will take research ahead of time.  But, at least with a family there will be ingredient lists to read.  


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#44 Attolia

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Posted Yesterday, 12:20 PM

Oh, that will be rough.   Will she be with a family in Germany too?  

I remember when I friend had to go Gluten-Free about 20 years back when this was the first I heard of it.  She talked about all the hidden glutens, like in Chili for example.  When I read your post I thought of many of my favorite German dishes.   I can't think of one that would be certain to not have gluten.  Well, sausages, most likely.  That will take research ahead of time.  But, at least with a family there will be ingredient lists to read.  

 

 

She will be in an apartment in Berlin.  With other students and cooking for herself so it might actually be easier?  She'll know what is in everything.



#45 Mabelen

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Posted Yesterday, 10:07 PM

About half of what annoyed me, wouldn't have been annoying except Spain is supposed to be a first world country. I hadn't been that thrilled with the idea of going to Spain. My parents told me to not go there. When mom was pregnant with me they were briefly trapped in Madrid because of the annual Transportation Strike which was really people taking extra vacation time. They were able to get out eventually on military transport, but it took some finagling because they'd shipped dad's uniform home.


I am not quoting the entire thing, it's too lengthy. It looks to me that your frame of mind may have been already predisposed. An annual transportation strike, while inconvenient, is not unique to Spain. French strikes, for example, are notorious. I guess they also must like extending their vacations!
Anyway, I am sorry that some people were not as helpful as they could have. I am not dismissing any of your experiences. However none of them seem that particularly unique to me.
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#46 Mabelen

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Posted Yesterday, 10:32 PM


That’s not to say that they don’t have issues (past and present)—the way Madrid is handling the Catalan separatist vote leaves a lot to be desire, but Spain and her unique set of challenges is so dear to me.

Honestly, I think the Catalan issue is not well understood outside the European Union. The use of excessive force by the National Police to prevent the unconstitutional vote should never had happened, of course, just on principle alone. Additionally, it was a critical error, and one that the separatists exploited to the fullest. It's not, however, Madrid versus Catalonia, period.
The separatist government spent a lot of money to fund organizations that have been instrumental in disseminating propaganda overseas. The latest regional election shows an extremely divided society. Due to rural votes having a much larger weight than urban ones, the separatist parties won a slim majority of seats (lost two seats from previous elections). However, a slim majority of voters cast their ballots for constitutional parties.
Not an easy situation. In my opinion, the regional government was always moved by purely ideological and political motives. It was highly irresponsible of them to plunge their region, and the whole country, into a lose lose situation for everyone.
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#47 Arch At Home

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Posted Today, 06:57 AM

She's gluten free because of an autoimmune condition. I am hopeful that she can just get enough to eat in Spain and Germany. Traveling could be super hard gluten free.


Please keep us posted on how the food goes. DC are also gluten-free and handling a gf diet abroad has always been a topic of conversation when study abroad comes up.
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#48 Attolia

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Posted Today, 07:29 AM

Please keep us posted on how the food goes. DC are also gluten-free and handling a gf diet abroad has always been a topic of conversation when study abroad comes up.

 

 

I can update, but I need to warn you that my dd will just not eat or eat very little.  She doesn't seem to think that she actually requires much food.  If your kid is a big eater or food is super important to them, their experience may be different.  DS, for example, wouldn't be ok with doing without or just grabbing a banana here and there like dd would.  He would consider that starving. She considers is perfectly ok.



#49 joyofsix

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Posted Today, 08:04 AM

My 19 yo is going to Thailand and Malaysia this May so I DO understand your fears but kids learn by doing. I'm encouraging that asking questions is smart and stay in public. If your dd has a host family hopefully they can clue her in to local safety concerns. Ultimately they are probably safer than in some American cities.

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#50 Arch At Home

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Posted Today, 08:54 AM

I can update, but I need to warn you that my dd will just not eat or eat very little. She doesn't seem to think that she actually requires much food. If your kid is a big eater or food is super important to them, their experience may be different. DS, for example, wouldn't be ok with doing without or just grabbing a banana here and there like dd would. He would consider that starving. She considers is perfectly ok.


Mine can’t make it with just not eating; they don’t eat a lot but just a banana would not do. However, anything you have to share would be interesting and helpful.
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