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Life from a Spanish Perspective

My experience in Spain was an amazing one. I learned about another culture that I really loved, as well as a lot about my own life here. Having never had a long visit (more than a week) to another country and not having another culture as part of my family life in America, my life and culture in America was the standard I had for how life was. By being able to visit another country for such a long period of time, I was able to see a whole new way of life and mindset that other people have, which really helped me understand the way of life in America better as well. Going to Spain, I didn’t really have any cultural shock despite it being so different from my American life. I really loved it there. Because of this, I was surprised to have a bit of reverse culture shock when returning to America. By experiencing another culture, I also was able to better understand parts of American life that had been normal before. In this way, Spain really opened my eyes up to a new way of life and how…
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My Summer Adventure in France!

Ever since I was young, I have loved the French language and culture. When I visited France the first time when I was around 7 years old, I knew from the moment that we landed that I wanted to return and experience French life for myself, and this splendid program provided me exactly with that opportunity.
Through the application and preparation period, the ANDEO staff were incredibly helpful and communicative. The guidance and materials they provided were useful and succinct. In the months leading up to my trip, I was super excited. Admittedly, I had not prepared as much as I should have. Looking back, I would’ve been better prepared if I had listened to more French audio. Of course, this caused quite a bit of apprehension the day of my departure. I was also nervous to enter a French speaking household and meet my host family. After hours of flying, we arrived in France! When I finally met my host family, I found I had completely forgotten most of my French language skills in that mom…

My Trip to France

Before my trip I had taken three years of French. My knowledge of the language was well but definitely not perfect, so I was very nervous to meet my host family. However when we did finally meet, I had nothing to worry about. When mistakes were made we would simply laugh about it and move on. I remember one time when I was shopping with my host mom and I accidentally said I knew her mother. She was obviously very confused and a little concerned. But we laughed about it then and later on at the dinner table. I’m the youngest in my very small family and my host family had three children; Camille, Clement and Celestin. This was so exciting for me, because I always wanted to have little siblings. I adjusted quickly and every night all four of us would go in the backyard and play soccer. I have to say it was one of the highlights of my trip. 


My host family was also family friends with one of my fellow student’s family. So on the weekends we often got to see each other. On the first Saturda…

An Amazing Mexican Experience

My Mexico homestay experience was something I cannot describe in words. “Amazing” does not say enough about how wonderful it was, “Eye-opening” does not describe how privileged I felt, and “Thank You” is not the words to say how grateful I feel for my wonderful host family. First, let me describe to you my situation on my trip. I was with a Host family that consisted of a mother, father, 12 year old son and a 15 year old daughter. The daughter, Mariana, was so fun and really supportive with helping me feel comfortable and understand the language. The son, Diego, was hilarious and loved to ask me a million questions about my life back in the US. The parents were really nice and loved to ask me questions about my family and they always made sure I felt safe and took great care of me if my stomach hurt. 


During my trip, my host family took me to a lot of different cities to see so many different things. This was not something I was expecting at all. I thought they would just go on with th…

Reflections on a Spanish Homestay

My time in Spain was like none other. Every day was a brilliant collage of new and exciting experiences. 

My host family was very accommodating and had no problems being generous with their time. Both of them had occupations in the medical field, which are very stressful jobs, but they still managed to make time for us to get to know each other. The mother, Pilar, was a nurse and an aesthetic surgeon all at once! She was highly expressive and lovable. I loved laughing with her and trying to teach her how to pronounce English words. I even went to Zumba with her twice and tried Body Combat for the first time! She was great company and always had a warm, gummy smile and a crinkled nose that could light up the whole world. I visited her resident hospital at one point because her son, Manel, had what seemed like an infected finger and Pilar wanted to nip it in the bud. I was not surprised to find that all of her coworkers were infatuated with her positive energy and contagious kindness. It…

Grace's time in France

This summer I went to France for three weeks and stayed with two host families. I enjoyed this experience thoroughly. It was nice that, along with seeing some of the tourist attractions, to see how people in another country lived and their traditions. This experience was highly enjoyable and I would recommend it to anyone who wants to make great new friends, learn a language better, and generally have a good time.
After I arrived in Saint-lô, in Normandy in a bus with the others from Portland, I met my host mom and sister. It was late and we drove straight to their home. Along the way we got to know each other better. I was pleasantly surprised at how good my host sister’s English was, as my French is not that great; I have only taken a bit more than things we did was going to their grandparents’ house for dinner. Their cousins a year of French instruction. I am really grateful for that. In the days following with the first family I did many fun things. One of interesting were staying t…

Reflection on a Summer Immersion Program in Spain

The first few days I remember were the most exciting yet nerve wracking. Departure day was the most exciting day of all because although saying goodbye to our families for nearly a month was not easy, starting an adventure for which you have been planning and preparing for so long is so exciting. Traveling for two days on your own seems scary to think about but you’re really not just on your own, but with a wonderful group of people who are feeling the same things as you are. The first two travel days there were numerous thoughts going through my head and having a good group of people to talk to about it was extremely comforting. The travel days were amazing, filled with nothing but anticipation and thrilling curiosity.


When we arrived in Spain the airport was flooded with what seemed like a million smiling faces waiting to greet us. My family took me in immediately, making me feel like a true member as if it were my own home as well. I had incredibly generous host parents, (Maribel an…