I made not one but TWO friends at school on Thursday! A big accomplishment, considering how I’ve found that to be more challenging than I had expected.

I awkwardly sat alone in my first class and tried not to draw attention to myself (though I’m so obviously American, with my big backpack and Nalgene water bottle). Everyone in the journalism school here has been in the same classes since they started college, so the friend groups are already well established. I’ve also learned that this region of the country, the Basque region, tends to be more closed and private than what I’m used to.

But after class, a Spanish girl approached me and introduced herself! She also introduced me to her friends. It made my day.

The other new friend was a guy from the Philippines named Nachi. I automatically liked this guy because he was so kind as to respond to my desperate post on the UNAV International Students Facebook group begging for a Nikon D60 camera charger. (I’ve been forced to conclude that I left mine at home.)

Nachi and I talked for a few minutes and I learned that he is super into photography and does triathlons. We exchanged numbers because he’s new, too.

Friends, yay!

Thursday night was a blast. I went to dinner in Casco Viejo (the oldest part of the city) with my friend Massi, who took me to what was undoubtedly the only vegan burger in this entire province. Later we met up with other friends at bars and ended the night at a club — where I actually had fun. I was able to sleep in late the next day since I don’t have any Friday classes.

What blows my mind, though, is that other international students make this a lifestyle. The stereotype about study abroad is so true: There are people here who have these late nights out more often than not. Call me lame, but I simply don’t have the stamina.