When you meet someone for the very first time (which happens more than you might think when you surround yourself with people from other countries, participate in things like Couchsurfing and language exchanges, etc.) the first questions are always similar: "What’s your name?" "How old are you?" "Where are you from?" "What do you do?" "How long have you been here?"
So, if we pretend that we are meeting each other for the very first time (over coffee or for tapas, however you like), the polite thing would be to answer your questions about me.
My name is Claudia and I am a twenty-something year-old…
That is where it gets complicated for me. I am American and, in all honesty, I am proud to be an American (like all things, most of the time). However, I tend to refer to myself as a global citizen. Why? I left the U.S. when I was eighteen and have only been back a total of three times, mostly because I don’t have the need/desire to return more often. Since leaving the U.S., I have lived in Spain, Brazil, and Portugal. And I have dual citizenship, which makes it okay for me to live long-term in the European Union (although I have never actually lived in the country of my second nationality). Saying I am a global citizen either turns people off–literally, I have had guys get upset with me when I say this and walk away–or people think it is really cool. However, as long as you’re respectful towards the way I classify myself, I am okay with it.
I am a student and, in true American fashion, I work. I got my undergraduate degree in Sociology from the University of Granada (Erasmus aka study-abroad year in Lisbon), and finished my master's in teaching last spring. For work, I have done everything from teaching English classes to working in the International Relations office of my school to doing an internship in a local company. It is not totally normal for first-time students to work and study, so people tend to think this is a bit odd. However, most of the time it brings balance to my life and I learn as much (or more) from work as from school.
Depending on how you count the years, I have been in Granada for somewhere between five and eight non-consecutive years. I have studied at a Spanish school here, taken the equivalent of the ACT, completed a degree, worked, etc. My Spanish is so good because I have lived for years studying and working in Spanish, but trust me, there are days when I feel like I am not capable of expressing myself or my friends/classmates/bosses don’t understand what I am saying.
If we were really having a coffee, I would have heard more about your life too, and then we would move on to more interesting things ("What sports do you play?" "What kind of books do you read?" "Do you like to travel?" "Where are the best places to eat tapas?), so feel free to leave a comment or send a message telling me a little bit about YOU, and feel free to ask any questions that you don’t find answered elsewhere on the blog.