By Raine Torres
This summer I and thirty-five other American high school students spent four weeks living as locals in Palma de Mallorca, Spain with Ciee’s High School Study Abroad: Language and Culture Program. In these twenty-eight days I fell in love with Mallorca—from its stunning beaches, where one could spend hours in it’s beautiful waters, to its breathtaking castles and cathedrals, reminiscent of fairy tales and legends, and its plazas, where my friends and I would spend our free time just like local teens. While my classes were extremely helpful in furthering my Spanish skills, I found myself truly improving through little everyday moments: watching movies with my host family, ordering gelato and asking for different samples and flavors, or striking up a conversation with locals at the beach. This trip offered me a chance to learn the Spanish language and experience Spanish culture, but it did more than that. During my time in Palma my companions became my friends, my host family became my family, and my host city became my city. In Palma, I got to experience the ‘best summer ever’. I gained new language skills, a better global understanding, a new family, new friends, and memories of my unforgettable days in Palma de Mallorca.