As I reflect back on the past few weeks, I am filled with gratitude for the opportunity to have not only traveled throughout Europe but to have immersed myself in the culture of Barcelona and formed relationships with the people who call this city home. This has been a rare and wonderful experience and I do not even know where to begin in recounting my lasting impressions of my time student teaching internationally.
First, my experience would not have been the same without the help of my host family. They were unbelievably sweet in not only welcoming me into their home and providing me with the opportunity to participate in their everyday life in Barcelona but to feed me and treat me like a member of the family. My host parents loved to suggest places for me to visit in the city and made me feel as though Barcelona was truly a second home.
Teaching at RMSI was such a positive experience I cannot put it into words. Although the education system was far different than that to which I have been accustomed in Kentucky and took a bit of getting used to, it was refreshing to work with students on a daily basis who truly had a desire to learn and embrace a second language in that process. I loved my students and the school atmosphere was so warm and welcoming.
Finally, the culture of Barcelona was absolutely enthralling. Every day as I walked through the city, sightseeing, shopping, and going about my everyday life, I was amazed by the beauty of the city that I got the opportunity to call home for three weeks. There were certainly aspects of the culture that required an adjustment such as overcoming the language barrier, trying new foods and deciding which ones I liked and did not like, and learning how to do everyday tasks that prove much harder in a different environment. However, after visiting a few other cities during my time abroad, I can honestly say the people and city of Barcelona are so beautiful and welcoming that I cannot wait to return someday.
I could go on and on but the bottom line is, I am thankful beyond words for every aspect of this experience and all that it has taught me. It is an experience I will remember forever.