People Are Just People
Why did you choose Spain for your world study?
I went to participate in the exchange program with Amanecer School in Madrid. I chose this program because I lived in Mexico for a few years when I was younger, so I love speaking Spanish.
Any other experience with Spanish?
My family has hosted an exchange student from Spain three times: once when I was in eighth grade, and I hosted the same student twice this year and last year.
What did you learn about Spain?
Something that really struck me about my trip to Spain was the rich history that they have. One weekend, my host family took me to visit Ávila, which is the last walled city in the world with its wall completely intact. My host’s grandmother was actually from that city, and they gave me basically a history lesson on the city dating back hundreds of years. Because the USA is so young as a country, that’s something that you just wouldn't have the chance to experience here.
What did you learn about yourself?
What I got from the experience, and I know that it will sound kind of cliché, is that everywhere you go, people are just people. Even though their country has a much longer history than ours and their culture is different, they were still just regular people.
How does that experience still affect you?
I still keep in touch with my most recent exchange student Fernando and several of the other students from when I went. We text each other in a mixture of Spanish and English, so it is a good way to keep up my Spanish vocabulary. I’ve noticed that holding a conversation in Spanish in my Spanish class is much easier now that I've gone to Spain and been completely immersed in the language.