Want to know what it would be like to go to High School in Spain? Here is Nicole Pothitakis’s take on her experience, from siestas to spin classes! Read on to hear about her favorite moments and advice in this week’s Take 5 interview.
The biggest laughs I had with my host family were always in their living room. One time, I was trying to explain to them in Spanish that some words in English had the same meaning. While trying to do this I accidentally said a bad word in Spanish, in front of my whole host family!!! This was a big laugh for me and my host family. As I write this, I am smiling just thinking about it.
One big way to get involved in the Spanish culture, spend some time with friends, and relive some stress is by joining a gym. One of my favorite parts of the week was going to the gym. I would go to the gym every Thursday or Tuesday and do a spin class there. In the Spain class I learned some simple, but useful Spanish words. It was fun to see and meet new people at the spin class who I would never meet anywhere else. The Spin class leader was very helpful and always made sure that I was understanding and doing the right thing! The best way to get involved with your host family is to be open to try new things. Whenever my host family went somewhere, whether it be the grocery store or to the park, I would always go with them. By going with them, I strengthen my relationship with my host family and was more immersed in Spanish culture. And always ask questions! You never know what you might learn!
La Siesta is one of the things that I wish we would adopt here in the U.S. Everyday after school, in Spain, I would come home and eat lunch. After eating lunch, I would spend a short time with my host family and then take my siesta. For my host family, siesta time was between 3:30 to 5:30. What I would do to be able to take a siesta every day in the U.S.A.!
My favorite Spanish junk food is the Dipper candy. It is a long, thin taffy-like candy that is super sweet! These were so yummy and so cheap! I would buy at least 3 every Friday night. My other favorite junk food was Tejitas Queso!
My advice to others going abroad would be to not be afraid to step outside your comfort zone. Talk to others and make new friends! One thing that regretted was being on my phone a lot when I didn’t know what to do. Put your phone down, ask questions, and get involved in the conversation!! You won’t regret it!