Homestay Experience: Barcelona

January 04, 2018
Before arriving to study abroad in Barcelona, I didn’t have a clear idea of what I wanted out of my year abroad but I knew I wanted friends, I knew I wanted to meet locals, and I wanted to learn the language. I considered living in an apartment with friends thinking that it would be a more social option and I would have more space and privacy. After a lot of thought, however, I decided against the apartment and moved towards living in a homestay. I was incredibly nervous. The idea of committing to living with complete strangers for the entire year worried me. I had hopes of what the family would be like but also knew that, most likely, my experience would be different than anything I could imagine.
 People standing in line to vote

On my arrival day in Barcelona, I was greeted by my new family and led into the new apartment. I immediately felt like I was at home. I had just ended a 3 year relationship, had left my family (and cat, so sad); I was tired and sick. I had a lot of reasons to be nervous and uncomfortable but I wasn't. Once I was went into my new room, I knew the homestay was the right choice. There was a fat gray cat sleeping on my pillow and I couldn't have been happier.
 My host mom and I at a voting booth

Living in a homestay has given me opportunities I normally wouldn't have had. I get to speak Spanish daily and I have seen huge improvements in my language already. I got to go to the voting booths, have dinner with Spanish friends, eat great food, and form a tight relationship with my host mom and sister. I feel like I will forever have a family in Spain. I am really thankful I was taken in with such open arms. Choosing a homestay was the best choice I made in Spain.

Michaela McCloud is a CEA student. She is studying abroad in Barcelona in the Fall of 2017 and Spring 2018 and is currently a sophomore at Seattle University.

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