My New Life and Family in Spain

chase and his host family in spain

My time studying abroad in Spain is going by so fast!  Before I left home I had the best intentions of writing weekly.  However, I have been so busy and having so much fun, I have gotten a little behind….okay, maybe more than a little!  So let’s try and catch up.

I boarded our train in Madrid and headed for Badajoz with my brother Bryce and my new friend Morgan, another American exchange student.  Badajoz is in Extremadura, very close to Portugal.  It is where I would spend the next few months with my new host family. The train ride took about five hours, after the time loss from the flight, I was able to catch up on some sleep.  Our families where waiting for us once we arrived, they were very welcoming and made us feel at home immediately.

We all went together to dinner with our families and had a great meal, getting to know each other while we ate.  Then we headed our separate ways to our new homes and the beginning of my new life for the next few months.  My “familia” consists of my parents, Tato the oldest brother, followed by my sisters Christina and Candela.  Candela is my age.  I also learned Bryce only lives a few minutes away with his family so we can visit with each other whenever we want.

My host family is awesome and they have made me feel like part of their family.  They are extremely caring and accommodating.  Candela and I attend school together and Tato and Cristina have gone out of their way to make me feel welcome.  They have taken me out on the weekends to meet their friends and it has been a great time.

When I arrived at school I was surprised at how nice and friendly all the students were.  At first, I was bombarded by questions about America, where I lived, why I was in Spain, etc., but now things have settled into more of a routine.  The students really have been great, going out of their way to include me in everything, even soccer games.  After seeing me play I am surprised I still get picked!  Let’s just say everyone is really good at soccer here.

Out of everything, school has been the most challenging because of the language barrier.  In the beginning, I understood very little of what was being said, everyone speaks so fast.  It is funny that when you don’t understand something people smile at you and repeat it slower and a little louder.  It doesn’t usually help, but at least I smile back.  As the weeks pass by, I am beginning to understand more and now I can communicate a little and learn things. Biology is definitely my favorite class and has been the one I have understood the most.

In the evenings, I have been attending track practice and I also volunteer tutoring kids in English. Weekends are spent hanging out with my new friends.   It seems I am so busy and the time here is just flying by!


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