Skip to main content

Laura's Firsthand Experience with Spanish Immersion at the Local Market


Before my trip to Spain, I decided to take a trip to a local Spanish produce market near my house. I had been in before, so I knew the owner was a very friendly guy and spoke in Spanish with many of his customers. In the past, I have never been confident enough to say more than "gracias" in Spanish, but since being given the opportunity to go to Spain, I realized that it would be pretty important to be comfortable in the language I will be immersed in for a month before I get on the plane, so I decided to step out of my comfort zone a little bit and practice some Spanish outside of the classroom.
Going to the store, I was a little nervous out that I would embarrass myself and say something wrong, but after introducing myself and engaging in some small talk about who was winning the soccer game playing on the small TV hanging in the corner, all in Spanish, the owner's smile that I was making an effort to speak in his language gave me all the confidence I needed.
Creating this time to practice my Spanish outside of just the formulated discussions in the classroom was very helpful in my preparation for this trip. A big part of building up my confidence in order to go to the store and speak solely in Spanish was simply telling myself that it was OK to make mistakes. Almost all of the preparation materials that I have read said that being open to a few (or a lot) of miscommunications or rough workarounds is incredibly important, and I am working on making it my priority to live by this advice.
When I was checking out the fruit I bought, I asked the owner if I could get a picture with him. Although my Spanish wasn't perfect, and I couldn't understand everything he responded with, I left feeling proud that I knew he was asking whether I wanted the picture together or just of him. The biggest thing I took away from my excursion was definitely not to be afraid to take a chance on your abilities, trust your instincts, and just go for it, because the only way to really learn is to fail a few times on the way. I can't wait to go back after my trip to Spain and see how much my Spanish has improved!

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

How to Write a Letter to Your Host Family

The letter to your host family is one of the most important pieces of your program abroad application; it’s the host family’s first impression of you. Exchange programs take many factors into account when matching you with a host family, but ultimately it’s up to the host family to decide whether to host you or not.
Here are a few helpful tips to writing a great letter to your future host family:
Use a positive tone. “The main reason a student’s dossier is passed over by families is unintentional negativity,” explains Rebecca Gundle, Program Coordinator for ANDEO International Homestays. A student might be trying to explain her preferences, but when she devotes equal attention to describing her dislikes, she comes across as negative or picky. A family wants to know that the student they host will be adaptable and willing to try new things. Keep your tone upbeat and positive.
Go deeper than the application form.Try to avoid simply reiterating what is on the form. This is a chance to talk…

Tackling the Dust Bunnies (and other surprising benefits of hosting an exchange student)

By Elizabeth Markleson, host momYou could say I'm a relaxed housekeeper. Our kitchen table is covered with piles of papers "to be dealt with later", our sink is often full of dishes, and you can be sure there is a whole family of dust bunnies living under the furniture. When my kids were little and they would see me go into my cleaning mode, they would always ask, "Who is coming to visit?" Not much changes over the years! When it comes to housework, a guest is a great motivator.

The days were ticking down before our Spanish student arrived and my to-do list was getting longer and longer. “Don’t stress too much about it,” my sister said. “Isn’t your student just supposed to blend into your family as it is? This is an exchange student, not a visiting dignitary, after all.”

True, but I am a strong believer in the power of first impressions. When my daughter went to Spain a few years ago, her host family added some really nice touches to make her feel welcome...like …
Summer 2020 Spanish Language Programs - Info Meeting November 20th! Come learn about the different Spanish-language programs for Summer 2020! These immersion-based trips are your chance to stay with a host family, practice Spanish with native speakers, and learn about the local culture.



At the informational meeting we'll share more details about the different program options and the application process, hear from former participants for a student's perspective, and end with a Q&A session.
Can't wait until the then to learn more? Check out Spanish Programs on our website or Email info@andeo.org!
See you there!