I’ve officially been in Malta for a full 48 hours. I think it’s time to give my first update.
My flight went so smooth, which is great! There was barely any turbulence, I didn’t have too much trouble switching flights, the weather was clear and there weren’t any bagging issues…. And I’m so glad about it! My layover stops were in Chicago and Amsterdam. My longest flight was an overnight flight which I think has helped me adjust to the time difference tremendously. I intended to sleep the entire overnight flight but just couldn’t get comfortable. I’m a little bit tired, but it seems like I’m doing much better than everyone else. I had the options of chicken or pasta on my plane meal. I chose pasta because ow can you ever get pasta wrong, right? Servings were small, of course, but it wasn’t too bad. The only minor mishap I had was in my Amsterdam layover… I didn’t know I was supposed to pick up my passport at the gate where I get on the plane. So i ended up wandering a little bit until I finally figured it out. It was fine though because we got there early and I had enough time.
I can say that I made a mistake in assuming my phone wouln’t die so fast and in thinking that the airports would have chargers. I couldn’t find chargers ANYWHERE and my tablet wouldn’t connect to wifi, so I had to wait for HOURS after my plane landed until charging my phone and telling my mom I made it.
After I finally made it in Malta (Yippeeeee!!!) I followed the instruction my mommy gave me, which was to immediately get a cart for my luggage. I spent my first euro ever on a luggage cart. As I made my way out to the lobby, there was a little man holding up a sign with my name on it. Wowowow. It’s real! After standing with the man for a bit and waiting for other people to join us, I discovered that there were quite a few other international students on my flight who live at the residence with me! One girl’s name was Olivia, and I think she’s pretty cool.
After we loaded my luggage into the raggedy little taxi car, we sped (and I mean SPED) our way to the residence. I could NEVERRR drive in Malta. They drive crazy (to me) and there are barely any stop signs or street lights to keep traffic in order. There were multiple occassions where I thought we were going to wreck, but luckily I made it there safely!
I haven’t really eaten much in these 48 hours. I had half of a pizza the day I arrived in Malta, and the second day I just ate the remainder of it. I guess I’ve just been so focused on everything else that I haven’t realized how hungry I am. That’s a huge deal for me because food is my passion haha.
The University Residence that I’m staying at is basically like an off-campus dorm/apartment sort of thing. Like 99% of people that live there are international students so we’re all in the same boat. That really helped me meet friends and connect with people. Everyone is just so much more friendly because we’re all just trying to adjust and get to know people and enjoy our study abroad experience. There are surprisingly so many people from the States here and I always know when someone is American cause they have my accent, haha. I’ve met folks from Michigan, Florida, Ohio, Texas, Virginia, Georgia, Texas and so many other places!!! What you REALLY won’t believe is that one of the girls from the States got dropped off here by her parents. Her brother, who was with them, is moving to Kansas City in one month. The world is sooooo small!!!!
There are a ton of Americans but there are literally people from all over the world. I love getting to know people’s cultures and customs! I already see how different each person is, even in little things. I’ve mainly been hanging out with Americans (probably just because I’ve been staying in my comfort zone) but I really plan to reach out to other types of people! I went to the nation’s capitol, Valletta, with some of the people at the residence and had gelato for the first time. The picture below is of me, an American and a girl from Bulgaria.
I’m adjusting pretty well…much better than I expected! Especially when compared to some of the other people. I haven’t experienced jet lag like most people, and I also haven’t felt overwhelmed or anything. I also haven’t experienced culture shock. Everyone keeps talking about how they are going through culture shock and how it’s hard for them and I’m just like…….why? Haha, I’m just ready to explore. I think it’s because of prayer…PRAYER REALLY WORKS!!! I also think it’s because I already conjured up every worst-case scenario that can happen to me so little things like getting lost don’t bother me (because I’ve already thought long and hard about me getting lost).
Being in Malta feels so surreal to me. It’s crazy because I’ve just been picturing this and Googling this for a whole year and now I’m finally here. There’s so many things that I have learned already! There are so many minor, subtle differences between Europe and the States. There’s so much to discuss, but I’ll update in my next post.