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!


Popular posts from this blog

Tips for Teens Traveling Independently

Many of our programs allow you to choose your own program dates, flights, and length. Some advantages to this are that families have control over booking flights and are able to use frequent flyer miles. One challenge, however, is that students must travel independently to their program destinations. Some teens are understandably nervous about flying alone.  Here are some tips to help teens and parents feel more at ease about traveling internationally without a chaperone or flight leader. Before booking your ticket Check with us before booking your ticket to see if anyone else from your area will be attending your program at the same time. We can put you in contact with one another. Booking your ticket Whenever possible, choose a direct flight. Fewer fights mean fewer opportunities for flights to be delayed or for other problems to arise. If a direct fight is not possible, choose a flight that stops or makes connections in the United States. Whenever possible, stick with t

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 c

From Guest to Family- All in 48 Hours

by Judith,  Immersion in France , 2016 The first 48 hours of your time abroad will probably be the most exciting of your entire stay. There is so much to discover, so much to explore, so much you don’t know about…These first two days are filled with emotions: you may be a little anxious and worry that your second language is not good enough. You may be struggling to fit in and overwhelmed by everything new you discover. As my own day of departure for France drew near, I wondered what my upcoming trip would be like. I wanted to know what it is like to meet a complete stranger. I wanted to know what it would be like to speak French all day long. Most of all, I wanted to know what my host family would be like.I hope to be able to help you answer these questions and ease a bit of your anxiety. What is it like to meet a complete stranger? First of all, you probably won’t be meeting a complete stranger. You’ll be meeting someone you know is interested in getting to know you and you