My past two weeks in Salamanca have been truly life changing. Last weekend, I visited La Pena de Francia, a little pueblo (village), with breathtaking views. I have developed an amazing group of friends who I absolutely love. Unfortunately, the majority of them are leaving tomorrow, so we are all going out to dinner tonight to wish them farewell.
My Spanish speaking skills have greatly improved, and I find myself speaking with ease in conversations with the locals and in class. I have learned innumerable things in the past in the past couple weeks here, that have helped me have the best language camp experience possible.
1. Don’t shy away from conversation in class
Speak as much as possible in class, and participate in class discussions. It is often easier to sit in the back of class, zoning out, but personally, I find class conversations one of the most helpful parts of my time here. It is extremely helpful to practice your Spanish in a safe, judgement-free, environment and get personalized feedback.
2. Try to make a variety of friends
The language camp is a very international school. Almost all of the friends I have made here are from different countries, (ex. Ireland, Bulgaria, France, Italy, Singapore). I have learned about so many different cultures, while also embracing Spanish culture. It is an amazing feeling to know you have friends all over the world, and you have someone to show you around their countries. It also forces you to practice more Spanish, as many of your friends may not speak English.
3. Get out and see the sights
While a 3 hour siesta (nap) is occasionally necessary, try to get out of the house and explore as much as possible! Salamanca is full of things to see and do.
4. Be prepared to fall in love with Salamanca
Salamanca is a truly incredible city, the people are incredible, the architecture is unparalleled, and is simply an amazing place. I am completely in love with the city, and wish I could stay forever. The thought of leaving seems like an impossible task. You may never want to leave!
Allie Larman is 15 years old and lives in Berkeley, California. Her goal during his language program in Salamanca, Spain is “to learn and try Spanish dance styles such as Flamenco while I am in Salamanca. I practice American dance at home, and I hope to broaden my dance horizons.” Follow Allie’s adventures in Spain on her weekly blog post updates.