During my first year at UC, I learned about cultural competency in my Montreal study abroad class from Associate Dean Marianne Lewis. It's a concept in which not only do we recognize differences but we learn to adapt. It's kind of like a "When in Rome, do as the Romans do" philosophy. That was easy to do when I was in Montreal for 5 days. That was easy when I was in Europe for 10 days last year. However, 2 weeks being in and I'm realizing how hard it is to adjust. I recognize and respect the cultural differences but it is hard to adjust to them and put them in your every day life as I will be doing for the next 14 weeks. I'm not used to taking the metro to school or waking up 2 hours before class so I can get ready and be at the metro station an hour before class. I am not used to eating dinner at 10 or 11 every single night. I am definitely not used to stores being closed at 2:00 in the afternoon because it's a city wide "break time." However I'm slowly starting to get used to it. I have to go to bed earlier. I have to snack throughout the day so I'm not starving at 7 or 8. I learn to go to the store between 12-2. There's all these little things that I have to adjust and integrate into my life and it's hard but I'm never one to back down from challenges. I accept them, I embrace them. That's why I'm looking forward to these next few weeks!