Finishing My High School Year in Spain: A Once in a Lifetime Adventure

Friends together at a high school in Spain.

Deciding to study abroad in Spain was one of the best decisions I have ever made in my life. Prior to arriving in Madrid on September 13th, 2016, I really had no idea what to expect and what I was getting myself into. I had thoughts and ideas, but there was no way to know what it would be like until I was actually living the experience. The fact that I have lived this experience, and I am getting ready to head home is unbelievable. Where did the time go?

In some ways I am ready to be home, but I can’t even describe how much I will miss Spain and everything this experience has offered me. I have a life here filled with friends and a family that I feel like I’ve known forever. This is going to be the hardest goodbye of my life, but I know I will come back.

To reflect back on these past nine months, here are a few of my favorite memories, special moments, and amazing people I have met along the way:

Meet My Host Family

My host family members are the kindest and most caring people! I feel so thankful to have been welcomed into this amazing family. We have had so many great moments it’s hard to choose a favorite, but I think one of my favorite ones is the day we went to a very Asheville-like town. That’s us in the picture standing in front of a waterfall surrounded by mountains. For me, it doesn’t get homier than that!

Meet My Second Family

My host sister and our two best friends have become a little family. We all made a promise that next summer we are going to meet up. They have already started saving to come visit me in the States! I feel like I have known these people forever, it’s crazy to think I met them just nine months ago. I have met so many amazing people this year! I don’t know how I am going to say goodbye.

Meet My Class

In my opinion, my class is the best class in the entirety of Extremadura! Cuarto A! In Spain, we have all of our classes with the same people each day, so we all know each other pretty well which makes school fun. I sure will miss these people and all of the laughs we’ve shared.

Meet My Community: Villanueva de la Serena

Here in Villanueva de la Serena, the sky is always perfect. The sunset, the sunrise, even the clouds always seem to look extra special. It’s like a piece of artwork everyday up there in the sky. Even after a giant thunderstorm, the sky was perfect – rainbow and all!

An Eye-Opening Experience

It was such an eye opening experience to have so many different cultures (and languages) collide back in November when a group of German students came to my town. Even though we were all from different places around the world, we still talked about the same things and had a lot of the same interests. This just goes to show we are all on this earth together. Although we all have our differences, there are a lot of similarities.

Host Family Memories

My host family has a beach house right on the border of Portugal. Paradise, right? I got so lucky! I sure will miss those family vacations and all of the new places we have explored together. Good thing we are headed out to the beach this weekend, one last time before I go back home!

Having a host sister may be one of the BEST things this whole exchange student experience has to offer. Over these past nine months we have shared so many laughs, made countless memories, and actually have become sisters! We share clothes, we argue, we wrestle, it’s tough love. She’s coming to the States this summer to visit my family which is so exciting! It will also make my departure from Spain a little easier because I know I’ll have a piece of Spain coming.

No hay mejor amiga que una hermana y no hay mejor hermana que tu.

Time Flies When You’re Having Fun

When I arrived in September the thought of leaving was so far from my mind. I had an entire nine months ahead of me, and I can’t believe those nine months are already almost over. I guess they really do mean it when they say time flies when you’re having fun.

A Once in a Lifetime Adventure

This past year has been the hardest, yet best of my life. When I pause and think back about my time here, and all that I have learned and experienced and done, I feel nothing but gratitude. I have been welcomed into the world’s best host family, and I have made friends that are now like family. I have been offered incredible experiences, and I have achieved personal goals I never thought I could accomplish.

My biggest piece of advice I have for anyone thinking about studying abroad is you have to remember this is a once in a lifetime experience, and you should give it your all and truly enjoy every moment because your home will always be there, but your time abroad won’t.


Do you want to have your own once-in-a-lifetime adventure in Spain?

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