Although I have only been studying abroad in Spain for three months, I will never forget all of the fun memories and the people who shared them with me. I have learned a lot while experiencing the great culture of Spain. Now that my time here is coming to an end, I really wish I could’ve stayed longer. However, am also happy that I will soon see my family and friends in the United states again.
Spain is a marvelous place filled with great people, great places to see, and let’s not forget, great food! Everyone is nice, outgoing, very sociable, and especially giving. This has been one of the best experiences of my life. I had the opportunity to make new friends in a new country and learn a new language. Ironically, I am usually pretty shy around new people. I really wasn’t sure how hard it would to be to adjust, especially with a different language thrown in. After arriving in Spain and meeting people, I knew this was something I didn’t need to worry about. Everyone was so welcoming, from the start I felt accepted. Everyone wanted to make sure that I was doing well. I have never met so many people who all would act this way to a complete stranger.
During my last few days in Badajoz I was surprised at all of the gifts I received from my friends and family, it was really special. It is amazing how in three months we have grown so close. One of my friends on my basketball team gave me a Jersey of a Spanish player, and my team gave me a team poster signed by everyone. On my last practice they had a going away party for me. Then we had another party in English class and all the kids in my class signed a Spanish flag and gave it to me. The kindness and generosity of the people is really part of the Spanish culture. If you become friends it is not temporary, it is for life and they will do anything for you. My family I stayed with gave me a picture of all of us and wrote “you will always have a place in our hearts”. This really got me and was truly the best gift of all. I now see them as my second family and I know if I truly needed them I could count on them. I know they will welcome me with open arms when I visit again.
I have grown a lot through this experience in ways I didn’t expect. I realized that if you put your mind to something, you can do anything. I found it difficult to work through the frustration of trying to learn in a country where I barely spoke the language. In the first few days, not being able to understand anyone or anything, I wasn’t sure I could do it. I thought I may have bitten off more than I could chew. However, I learned that keeping a positive mindset and believing in yourself helps deal with adversity. Constantly trying and sticking with it, I was able to do something I never thought I was capable of. Without a doubt, this journey has been one of the best experiences of my life.
I would like to thank everyone I met during this amazing trip.
I thought I was just going to learn Spanish, instead you changed the way I see things.
In the Spanish culture, satisfaction doesn’t come from the amount of money you have or the amount of expensive things you own; it comes from giving happiness to the people around you. It is the most satisfying thing that anyone could ever hope for and its contagious. I would like to thank my parents in Spain and my new brother Javier for welcoming me into your family and everything you have done for me. I would also like to thank my parents for giving me this incredible opportunity. I hope to go back soon. VIVA ESPAÑA!