Before heading the Palma, Mallorca for the year, Holy Cross sends its students studying in all parts of Spain(including Palma, León, and Coruña) to Pamplona, a historic city in the North of the country for a month of orientation and adjustment to the culture and language. Here, we live in hotel suites and take classes at the University of Navarra nearby, as well as go on excursions in Pamplona and other surrounding cities. Pamplona is famous for two reasons. First of all, the festival de San Fermines takes place here every July, which is a nine day long fiesta where the running of the bulls occurs. Unfortunately, we came too late to see this festival. The second reason for Pamplona’s fame is because Ernest Hemingway, an acclaimed author, wrote The Sun Also Rises, in which he mentions San Fermines, at Cafe Iruña in the heart of the city. My friends and I have eaten at Cafe Iruña multiple times since we arrived; we love it.
I love that all of the Holy Cross students are together throughout this orientation process. I find that it’s easier to adjust to a different culture with friends by your side. When the grocery store cashier tells you the plastic bags aren’t free and cost 60 euro cents, it’s nice to have someone by your side who can relate to your confusion and laugh at the difference in small things taken granted in America. Bonding in a foreign country forms fast friendships, and I have become great friends with some Holy Cross students here in Pamplona. When the time comes I will be sad to part with the few that are headed to different sites when this month ends. I have attached a picture of my friends and I on a trip to San Sebastián, a beach city on the northern coast of Spain.