11 sept 2014

5 reasons why 'Culture Shock' won’t be a problem in Madrid, Spain

The beautiful Plaza Mayor:
 one of many reasons
to fall in love with Madrid.
Culture shock is a term used to describe the feeling people feel, sometimes similar to homesickness, when spending an extended period of time abroad, and find it hard to adapt to the cultural differences.  However, don’t panic, because you don’t need to worry about culture shock in Madrid! Discover why with our thoughts on culture shock below!

Here are 5 stereotypes most people have about life in Spain, and why you don´t need to worry!




1. Spaniards don’t have dinner till 10pm, I’m going to starve!


Ready for dinner at 5 on the dot?  Sorry, you’ll have to wait! Yes, the Spanish do eat late. Hunger definitely won’t be an issue in Spain though; in fact, the Spanish never really stop eating! Expect two breakfasts (a small one first thing in the morning followed by a snack about 11am), a large lunch between 2 and 3, an afternoon snack (merienda) around 6, and then dinner or tapas between 9 and 10! Most people who come to Spain find the food is so amazing that they never want to go back to their home country...

2. What about my marmite/tea/sausages/local bakery, I can’t live without them!

Tea might be famous
in the UK, but you can
still find it in Spain!
Tea-aholic? The Spanish might drink more coffee than tea, but this doesn’t mean you won’t be able to find tea in Spain! All cafés will serve tea, and there’s an ample tea aisle in all supermarkets. You’re unlikely to miss marmite as much as you think, because who honestly needs marmite when you have churros con chocolate   (fresh doughnuts with thick hot chocolate to dip them in)? You can always bring a small tub of marmite in your suitcase if you want, nobody is going to stop you!

Worried Spanish patisserie won’t match what you’re used to in France? Don’t panic! Spain has its very own incredible patisserie specialities that you have to try, like the delicious palmeras… You’ll never feel far from home with the number of bakeries in Spain!

3. I’ll never be able to stay up so late!

Kapital: Madrid's
most popular nightclub-
don't miss it!
If you’re coming from a part of Europe where the clubs close at 2am, and are tucked up in bed with your kindle and hot chocolate by 11pm during the week, the idea of clubbing till 7 in the morning at the weekends, and going to bed after midnight in the week, might seem a concern! Energy levels won’t be a problem though, with a late afternoon siesta and a bit more of a lie-in in the mornings, you’ll adapt to the Spanish culture in no time! Life is so much more relaxed in Spain, so most people find they have a lot more energy, rather than less.

4.  All the shops close in the afternoon, how inconvenient!


Late night shopping!
Make the most of
 the warm
evenings in Madrid 
In some parts of Spain, in the small villages, yes, maybe the shops are all closed from 2-5, so they everyone can enjoy a siesta. Madrid is known as the city that never sleeps for a reason though! Madrid is buzzing at nighttime, but the shops don’t close in the day either. A few might close for 1 or 2 hours during the afternoon, but you’ll be eating lunch at that time, so it won´t be a cause of culture shock! The other great news is, late night shopping is always possible in Spain, as most shops are open till about 10pm at night. Fill your day with Spanish classes and tourist attractions, and spend the evening shopping: life couldn´t be better.


5. Madrid is a capital city: it’ll be really expensive and I won’t be able to afford to do anything...


Madrid's Metro is
cheap and easy
to use.
Madrid is incredibly cheap! For example, the metro is about half the price of the London underground, and significantly cheaper than the Paris Metro: 10 journeys in Madrid cost just 12.20€; and food is also much cheaper, you can get a small glass of beer or wine with tapas (small portion of food) for 2 or 3 euros in most parts of Madrid.  Madrid has a variety of chains, and individual Spanish bars and restaurants, so you´ll be spoilt for choice. Madrid has the best of both worlds: the excitement and buzz of a capital city, but at a low price!

Finally, although some people may experience culture shock very occasionally, the reality is it’s hard to feel homesick in Madrid when it’s pouring with rain back home and you’re living in the land of sunshine, amazing food and some of the world’s friendliest and most welcoming people! You’re more likely to experience reverse culture shock when you go home!

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