I’m here! I made it! And it has been just over a week since I moved in with my host family. I am a participant in the CIEE- Liberal Arts program and here in Alicante, so my fellow program participants and I attended a three-day orientation before moving in with our families.
Orientation was just that. An orientation. We were introduced to Spanish culture, learned all we needed to know about living with a host family, traveling within Spain and Europe, and what our classes would be and look like. I’m thankful for those three days to acclimate myself to the time change and to meet friends in my program before moving in with my host family.
I live in a first floor apartment with a Spanish mom, sister and cousin, who lives with us as he attends the University of Alicante- where I will also take one class. We live in the city, a ten minute walk from my tram stop, the beach and only a 5 minute walk to the main shopping strip. I can’t complain! Life with my family, thus far, has been wonderful! The food has been absolutely wonderful! They are all so welcoming and take time to explain things to me when our language barrier gets in the way. And despite temperatures upwards of 85 degrees, humidity levels at 70%, and no air conditioning- I truly feel “at home.”
The beach in Alicante, and the Santa Barbara Castle that overlooks the sea.
I have now had classes for a whole week and I’m working on the second! I’m enrolled in a two-week, intensive language course before my regular class load that starts next week. I’d be lying if I said living and learning in a country of a foreign language was a breeze, but it’s also just the beginning of my adventure and I can already sense improvement in my Spanish.
On Tuesday my CIEE program took a hike up to the top of the castle. It was hot! But totally worth the views of the city and sea. We conveniently made it just in time for the sunset over the mountains.
As the days are flying past, I cannot help but be thankful for this opportunity to spend a semester in Spain. I am already in awe of all that I have seen and learned and I am thrilled to continue doing what I’ve been doing.