Summer 2009 has been beyond a life changing experience for me. It is a pleasure for me to have received the opportunity to travel to an amazing country thanks to the Experiment in International Living. I am fortunate that I got to experience the rich culture that Spain had to offer. There are many ways that I can describe the changes that I went through mentally and emotionally throughout my five week journey in Spain.
From the day we arrived to Madrid, Spain, I knew that my summer was set to be the best summer yet. It was literally breath-taking to stand back and realize that I was finally there, that what I had been anticipating was finally a dream come true. From taking a walk across the city of Madrid, shopping around in Toledo, having unforgettable dinners in Guadix, spending time with the Spanish students in Granada, enjoying a homemade dinner with my host family, saying goodbye to my host mom and my host sister with tears running down my face, tanning at the beach in Villanova, shopping for souvenirs with my group members in Barcelona, snapping photos of every single building I walked by, I can honestly tell you that with my amazing EIL group members and leader, I had the time of my life. My group leader, Elizabeth Espada, really became more than just our leader, she became our big sister. She helped me learn so much about myself and she gave me advice on how to apply for college, scholarships, etc. She always looked out for us and made sure we were making the best out of our journey in Spain. That’s more than I could ever ask for in a leader! After getting to know my group members and my leader, I must thank everyone at the Experiment who put our group together because those people really changed my life. No matter if one lived in New York, another in Florida, or even Hawaii, we all had something in common, we were ready to have a great, memorable experience in Spain! I am extremely grateful that I met my group members because they have turned into a group of friends that I share an unforgettable memory with and I know that we will someday reunite and head back to Spain again! Thanks to these fourteen people, I will always remember the amazing time we had in Spain. I am very thankful that I got the opportunity to make friends such as the kids living in Granada and my host family, because I know I will keep in contact with them and I will someday visit again.
I am very thankful for the Experiment team and all of the supporters of the scholarship program from the bottom of my heart. It has been such a blessing to have traveled and made so many memories and friends in Spain! There aren’t enough words to explain how grateful I am to have been part of the Experiment in International Living Program last summer. I will be sure to encourage other students to travel next summer because honestly, it is a life-changing experience.
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