Perhaps the hardest obstacle that every person faces in his or her daily life is how to survive it. It is the single, most stressful, thing that a human being has bestowed upon them Whether you are rich or poor, healthy or sick, young or old, you will realize the that the great beyond isn’t far away; it’s right in front of you, and you will have to deal with it every day. I know a lot of people who have given up, packed their things up and headed straight home. Sad as it may be, it’s part of life, you choose who or what you become. And 99% of the time, we give up on everything and everyone that we have ever loved or desired to do or be with. A harsh reality isn’t it? Take me for example.

I am currently studying abroad, in Spain, and most of you might ask why didn’t I study in my home country. Well, first of all, I have relatives here, and many friends as well. Second, ever since I was a child, I always dreamt of spending some of my most precious time in another universe, well, for now, another country. Lastly, Spain gives me what other places or my home country cannot, and that’s a sense of belongingness.

But, of course, studying in a foreign country can be a pain in the bottom part of your body at first, but sooner or later, you will get the hang of it, and you don’t need to be anxious or scared because you just need to know the basics of how to survive studying in this beautiful country. If I can do it, surely you can too. Just follow these tips, and you will be fine.

Learn the Basic Language
The very first obstacle you need to pass is the language barrier. This is very important because not all Spanish people speak English. And when it comes to studying and going to classes, it is very handy to know more than a few words. You can do this before or just after arriving here; it isn’t that hard. You can look for a guide online and start practicing your “gracias” and “por favor” right away.

Prioritize Spending
Cut down on what you want and focus on what you need. Studying in Spain can also be expensive, without factoring in the tuition fees. Some students who I have talked to cut down on their miscellaneous expenses (parties, shopping and eating out at fancy restaurants) to save a few bucks. So I suggest that you make a list of what you need and try not to spend every penny of your allowance with something that you can survive without. There’s nothing wrong with going out and paying a little once in a while, be smart enough with your money.

Get a Student Buddy
Having a student buddy is a great help for a newbie to be with especially if your partner is a local or has been living in Spain for a long time. He or she will know the in and outs, what’s hot and not, and the best possible options or alternatives that this lovely country can give you. Plus, you will gain more friends this way, so I suggest you give it a shot.

Local Transport
Another way of surviving Spain is by knowing the local transportation route. It will save you money and time plus you will get to see the whole city first hand. Spending your extra money for a taxi ride is not bad, but you can save a lot of money by taking good old city transport around a city.

Know the Culture
Lastly, the key to surviving in Spain is by immersing yourself with their culture and norms. This is very important because locals have a different point of view in life, especially traditions and behaviors that for us back home will be viewed as invasive and peculiar. So, whenever you go to a local place or meet up with some friends, it’s not a bad idea to observe some of their practices, and it’s not a shame to ask the reason behind it as well.

Sarah Grace Del Rosario
Sarah Grace Del RosarioContributor
Sarah Grace Del Rosario is a travel and education blogger from Smile Tutor Singapore. Aside from teaching students, she shares her passion for traveling and exploring the world.