Before packing up and starting your new adventure of going to Spain to study a new language, here are some useful tips that will help you in your day to day life, so seat back, grab pen and paper and I hope it´s not too late.
1) The Spanish clock as you can imagine, is quite different. In general, to your regular lifetime you can add 2 more hours andyou will find that all suits. For instance, lunch time here in Spain normaly begins 2:30 pm, and it´s also consider the biggest meal. As for dinner, don´t expect to have one before 9 ish pm. Further more, if you go to restaurants before 7:30-8 pm, don´t be surprise if you find them closed. Also be prepared for Spanish tapas, the idea is instead of having one big dish, try lots of different meals.
2) We are starting to have unlimited plans on cell phones such as the ones in the United States, and you can find them for 15€ to 20€ (25$ aprox). So if you want to bring your cell phone don´t forget to unlock before coming. Another option is to buy a pre-paid cheap phone with plan included which should not go over the first bill (phone included) 45$, and then monthly fee will be around 20$ to 30$.
3) To discover Spain and move through cities the 2 best options are: Bus and Train. The cheapest way to move is by bus so if you have a limited budget your best shot is the bus. Alsa is the main company here in Spain and you can get to anywhere in the copuntry. Renfe is the Spanish train company. Yo will find some high speed options, specially between major cities and also more confortable.
4) To get around Europe, there are several cheap flights airlines, in some cases you will not imagine how cheap (50$ roundtrip to Rome). The cheapest airline is Ryanair, and it has very good connections with major cities accross Europe. Keep in mind for using extra baggage or overweight because they charge big fees.
5) Tipping is not mandatory, so rememember if you don´t tip, you will not look rude. Normally, we leave tips when seated with a large group of people (more than 5), and the amount does not depend on check. Giving a couple of euros will always be fine enough.
6) Last important thing to have in mind is remember to bring an adaptor so you are able tu use all your electronic devices. Back in tne 90´s, this wasn´t that of a big deal, but in our days, carrying cell phones, ipads, ipods, laptops, shaving devices, etc You can find yourself in quite a big chaos when you can´t use any of them.