When we talk about studying in Barcelona, we can’t just talk about the exciting stuff. We must talk about the challenging matters you have to face too.
One of the most common ones is culture shock -and yes, it’s a real thing. It’s a phenomenon that happens when you encounter a new environment that is far from what you’re used to.
There are many ways you can experience culture shock in Barcelona. And most of these happen the more you interact with the locals.
Look through this list so you can prepare for your future encounters in Barcelona:
Eating Times and Dining Out
People eat late in Barcelona. Sometimes they take breakfast from 8:00 AM to 11:00 AM. Sometimes, they don’t eat breakfast at all.
The first meal of the day is usually light because they have a heavy meal at lunch. But because there’s siesta time, lunch usually starts between 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM.
This is why you’ll notice that some restaurants aren’t open at noon. Speaking of restaurants, if you dine out, you won’t have to worry about leaving a tip.
Also, the water isn’t free in these places so keep that in mind. Plus, if you have a friend with you, it’s very common to split the check so always bring money with you.
Dinner’s also quite late as you can expect it from 9:00 PM to 11:00 PM. So don’t be surprised at all if you see restaurants closing in the afternoon and re-opening at 8:00 PM.
Kisses on the Cheek is Normal
Intimacy may not be something you’re quite accustomed to, but you have to adjust in Barcelona. When you meet someone, it’s common to kiss both cheeks, starting with the left.
This also applies to people you just met. Rather than shaking their hand, you give them a two-cheek kiss to greet them.
You can also give this kiss when you’re saying goodbye to a person. In fact, you can even do this while you’re on the metro and it’s a completely normal thing to do.
Being Late Can Still Be Early
In other cultures, it’s considered late if you’re a couple of minutes behind your appointment. Plus, it’s also disrespectful to the other person waiting for you.
Here in Barcelona, people are more relaxed when it comes to time. They may even be confused if you arrive earlier than your agreed schedule.
The same thing goes when it comes to eating out as you won’t feel the pressure to eat fast. You’re more encouraged to take as much time as you can to finish your meal.
But of course, this isn’t a habit you should practice when talking about school! Your professor won’t be happy if you’re late to class!
Experiencing culture shock is a common thing for international students. To learn more about these matters, read our articles on ways to overcome culture shock here at MSM Unify.