A lot can happen in such a short amount of time. But it requires leaps of faith into the unknown. In the two weeks that we have been here, there has been a drastic change amoung our students here in Palma. After speaking with many students, they all had a common goal before the program started: to learn as much Spanish and improve their speaking and comprehension skills. After sitting down and speaking with every student for our midpoint check in, it was a general consensous that not only us program leaders have noticed and improvement in their Spanish speaking skills, but the students themselves have noticed as well. Not only do our students have great teachers in the classroom here at the university to learn from, along with our program leaders, but they also have great families who are helping them transition into the culture and language.
Since Day 1 we have said that the best way to learn Spanish will be through their host families. By being part of a familiy, it allows the students to not only build a foundation to language aquisition, but it allows them to be part of a cultural experience that they cannot get in the classroom.
Here are some things that our students have said about their experience with their host families.
Celeste and her host mother.
"My host family is great! I stay with Mercedes and her dog, Bimba (pictured below). They are both very nice and caring. The food tastes amazing and I have learned a lot of words and sayings in Spanish while I have been with her!"
Vincent and his host family.
"My family has been very accommodating and has given me the opportunity of a lifeteime to learn about the side of the Spanish Culture that toursists can't perceive."
Lilly and Katie with their host family.
"I love my host family because they are very hospitable. I feel like a part of their family. Katie and I feel as if we are very important to the family."
Jo and her weekend adventures with her host family.
"A lot of my free time on the weekends is spent with my host family on my host dad's boat. His grandson came with us and he loved his first time on the sea. Jordi, my host father, gave us a tour of the sea and some important parts of the island. That night my host mother made us some Paella. The next day we went to the countryside of Malloca. My host family bought eggs from a friend who has a farm in the countryside. We had coffe and we talked about Mallorca and many other different things."
No study abroad experience can be as rich without having a host family to stay with. They can teach you the language, but most importatnly a different perspective on life. The students are learning quickly the Spanish way of life, but also their lifestyle and customs back home in the States. It is an invalauble lesson to be able to see the distinction between the two ways of life, and it will help the Chavaels grow when they take this expereince here in Mallorca back home and apply the new things they have learned here into their everyday life.
Hasta el próximo blog,