It’s hard to believe my first two weeks abroad have already come to end. It seems like just yesterday 15 other eager CIEE participants and I were boarding our flight from New York to Madrid. After multiple different flights and bus rides we arrived in Sevilla for a three day orientation. All we wanted to do once we got to our cozy hostel in Sevilla was take a shower and go to sleep, but the CIEE staff took us out for our first glimpse of the beautiful city. We spent the next few days doing tours, eating at local restaurants, exploring the city with new CIEE friends, and taking classes to prepare us for our host families, school, and Spanish social norms. After saying goodbye to the participants headed to Madrid, we waited anxiously to meet our host family.
From the minute I met my host parents and siblings they made me feel like part of the family. The car ride from Sevilla to my house in Dos Hermanas was only 10 or 15 minutes but it felt like hours. So far, my family has been delightful. They always make sure I have everything I need to be happy, and the food is amazing. A lot of the time I don’t even know what I’m eating, but it’s always good. I’m also never short of company at home, whether it’s my parents, sisters, or the seemingly thousands of guests we have over. I swear we have a new family over everyday, each one welcoming and wanting to know more about me. Everybody is super patient with my (lack of) Spanish skills and glad to have the opportunity to practice their English skills with me.
Last Monday was the first day at my new school. For some reason, I wasn’t very nervous. School is relatively similar here compared to the U.S. but obviously there are some differences. It hasn’t been too difficult academic wise for me, I just get a little lost when my teachers talk super fast and for a long time. Everyday it gets a little easier though, and I find myself understanding and comprehending more and more. The kids in my grade have made my transition to their school super easy. They point me in the direction to my classes, make sure I know when to copy the notes, explain the teachers directions slowly, and include me in their conversations in their free time.
Overall, my first weeks in Spain have been amazing. With a welcoming host family and classmates I already feel like I belong here. These past 12 days have assured me that the next five months will be just as perfect as I dreamed them to be. I’m excited to see what the future holds and make memories in the beautiful Sevilla. Besos!