As I sit here in my room in Seville, Spain I keep asking myself where the time went. I have less than a week left here, and it is so bittersweet. I remember the day I was leaving from home in Massachusetts for Spain, I was a whirlwind of emotions. I was excited, scared, nervous, and not really sure what to expect. When my plane landed in Madrid I couldn’t believe I was starting my study abroad experience, now I can’t believe it is already time to head back home.
I have had the time of my life this fall. Over the past two months I have been to eight different countries ranging from Italy to the completely exotic country of Morocco. As hard as it was coming here in the first place, it is going to be even harder to leave.
In the months of October and November I traveled almost every weekend. I visited some unforgettable places, and had some memorable experiences – both good and bad. Facing adversity – from language barriers, to having friends fall victim to pickpockets and food poisoning actually were important moments for me. I learned to deal better with adversity.
Things are bound to go wrong at some point. As awful as some of these things were I’m actually thankful that they happened. When something would go wrong I didn’t have the option to be able to pick up the phone and call someone I knew for help or advice. I was in a foreign country and we had to learn how to fix things on our own. Yes, some things were more serious than others but you still learn how to manage a situation and more importantly keep calm so you can think straight and problem solve.
In my time in Seville, I have come to make great friends from all around the world. That is probably one of the greatest rewards about my study abroad experience other than being able to travel. I made some great friends here that I know I will have for life. I also have a new appreciation for family.
I elected to live in a “homestay” with a Spanish family for the semester, and I am so glad I made this decision. My family has been absolutely amazing and I have come to love them like they are my family. My homestay dad Jaime has taught me so much about the culture of Spain and has showed and explained the Spanish culture to me in so many ways. My homestay mom Elo is absolutely amazing, I don’t know what I would’ve done without her in this experience. She really was like my mom away from home. She helped me to develop my Spanish speaking and listening abilities, and I can’t thank her enough for that.
I also have had the best little sister named Lucia. I have learned so much Spanish from talking to her and hanging out with her. In my real family back home in the states I don’t have sister but after spending the last three months with her I can say that I’m definitely going to miss having her around. Especially when she would just come to sit and talk with me in my room as I was doing homework. I am so thankful that I had such an amazing family to stay with.
If you ever have the chance to study abroad or just go abroad even just for a short period of time you have to take that opportunity. It has been truly amazing and probably the best decision of my life to do this. Exploring other countries, cultures, and meeting new people has truly been eye opening for me and definitely makes me reevaluate what I want out of my life. All I know is that one-day I will make my way back to Europe.
There is so much of the world I want to see, and I can’t wait to keep traveling.