Adjusting to Life in Spain
Becoming Acquainted with a Host Family
As the bus rounded the corner, the nervousness began to take over. What does she look like? How is their home? Will they like me? Thousands of questions raced through my head- and then I heard it: “Quentin Murray.” Expecting an intimidating local, I was pleasantly surprised to find the most loving and welcoming looking Señora I could have ever imagined, and she immediately embraced me for a hug and gave me two kisses.
As we walked to the apartment, all the nervousness I felt simply vanished as I felt more at home with every step we took. She asked about my family and I asked about hers. By the time we reached the apartment, we were already the best of friends.
What’s the best way to really immerse your self in a new culture? It’s simple; it’s by living with a homestay. Every meal, conversation, and experience was as authentic as you could imagine. From listening to home stories and current Spanish events, I was simply captivated by how different lifestyles can really be. It was as if I was picked up from America and dropped right into the life of an average Spaniard.
Of course, adaptation on my part was more than expected. No air-conditioning, different meal patterns, and of course the siestas were all new to me and I really had to push my self to become a more adaptive, assimilative person. Without a homestay, I would never really get to experience the true meaning of Spanish culture and what it is like to dive into a new environment head first. – Albert Quentin Murray (Granada, Spain 2015)
First Impressions of Granada
Granada is a perfect mix between Madrid and Toledo. [The first two cities students in Granada visit upon their arrival into Spain.] If you walk to the plaza, there are really great stores with lots of sales going on. But if you walk even further, and into the alleys, you can find more cultural sites, and little “holes in the wall” type of markets. So you pretty much get the best of both worlds. You can enjoy the more commercial shopping life, or the more rustic, Spanish life. I like that balance a lot. It makes me feel like more of a local, which is definitely something that I hoped for when choosing between the different sites to go to in Spain. The city is absolutely gorgeous, and there are a lot of places to see and things to do. I’m glad I chose to travel to Granada. – Eden Shemuelian (Granada, Spain 2015)
Becoming Comfortable in Salamanca
We love Salamanca so far! When we got to this beautiful city we were scared and nervous for what was going to happen next. After the first week everything feels comfortable even though we are still getting used to it. The culture shock was hard to get over in the beginning, however we are slowly adapting to everyday life in Salamanca. This trip is really changing our lives and we are meeting many new people that will be our friends for life.We miss everyone at home and can`t wait to see you again! ¡Adiós a todos! – Lawrence Karl and Anthony Ionata (Salamanca, Spain 2015)
– The above post was contributed by several different students who studied abroad with ISA High School in various cities in Spain during the summer of 2015.