Reflections on Homestay in Malaga – Spain Technology

The day started early, my host family woke up at 9:00 this early wake up time prompted my host mother to tell me that tomorrow we would sleep in. We then ate breakfast and drove to the school. At the school we waited for our bus. Many of us took this time to apply sunscreen; our sunburns from previous days have to led to comparisons with seafood. Once we got to the park we found a spot to put our bags and towels and off we were to the slides. There were five main slides at the park and a few smaller pools. As we made our way to the front of the line of the first slide, I was surprised at how intergrated the park was into the town. Houses came right up to the park and people could see into the park from their windows. After we had ridden most of the rides, and the lines were too long for the ones we hadn’t, we decided it was time for lunch. After we had eaten our lunches some people played cards, some swam, and some took naps or listened to music. – Liam K

The second half of our voyage to Spain began with our homestays in Málaga, the sixth largest city in Spain. Upon arrival in the train terminal, we were greeted by our host families and our group of 16 parted ways for the first time in two weeks. The very first thing I did with my host family was an experience I’ll never forget. Before  I had even stepped foot into my new home, the four of us went to a Spanish carnicería (butcher) and I watched as they sliced the thin Iberian ham off the pig’s leg. The first experience with my host family was being a part of a classic Spanish dish, and something that will stick with me for years to come. Since then, I’ve had the time of my life being fully immersed in Spanish culture. Meal times hours later than what I’m used to, food I’ve never tried before, and coming home at 1 in the morning are all daily instances of cultural differences that I’ve never encountered in the United States. In addition, my Spanish is improving dramatically. -Alex

Two weeks in Spain have gone by and it was time to meet our home stay families at Malaga. When we arrived to Malaga there was a group of families waving at us with excitement. I was feeling really nervous and all I can think of was which family was I going to stay with. My name was said out loud and a man come up to me to show that he was the one. His name is Nacho, my 22 year old host brother. We greet each other and even though I know how to speak Spanish, I couldn’t due to how nervous I was. Both of us head to the apartment to meet my host mother Mayte and host father Juan Pedro. Both of them greeted me well and had dinner waiting for me. All of us got to know each other and the it was time to continue with the rest of the week. To finalize, throughout these last few days I have meet new people and even though I was a stranger to my family, they’re a caring and loving family. – Larry

One of the first activities we did was when we spent a day at a Spanish elementary and high school in order to learn about one another, as well as the Spanish education system. It’s was an interesting and enlightening experience since I learned a lot of things about my host sister I did not know. We spend a considerable amount of time at the beach since it’s very close and eat by restaurants on the boardwalk. On the Main Street of Malaga, there are plenty of restaurants from Zara to Burger Kings, where everyone can eat and go shopping. All and all, the first week of my homestay has been a life changing experience and I’ve learned so much about myself, as well as the world around me. – Aaliyah

In the second half of Malaga, I did and saw many new things. We paddled a boat on the beach of Malaga, and learned about the history of other ships. My host family and I went out to a seafood restaurant on the beach, which also had fires that cooked fish such as anchovies. There was a restaurant that had waiters simply walk around the tables holding dishes and people could choose from what they were serving. The group climbed to an old historic site called the Alcazaba, which was occupied by an influenced from Muslim culture in the past, along with old Roman ruins. -Liam G

During my stay in Malaga, I fell in love with Spain. The country had already made it’s impact on me since Madrid, but completely immersing myself in the culture made me realize that I would never experience something like this. The people that I was surrounded with were unapologetically themselves and they made me feel very welcomed. Although there were some ups and downs, I believe that Malaga will be the most memorable part of my trip. I’ve made connections that I never thought I would make, and I hope to actively keep them alive. -Emly

During my time in Spain, the homestay has been one of my highlights. Going to boarding school, living with strangers has been the norm for me the past couple of years. Despite this, however, I was very nervous when meeting my host family and a first awkward interaction was inevitable. Yet, I found myself at home within the first couple of days. I no longer began to worry about things such as the language barrier. My host family became a literal second family. Like a literal family, they were there during my lows such as when I had a cold and they did not hesitate to take care of me. My host family was also eager to help me immerse myself into Spanish culture. Whether it be through food such as paella or taking me to visit places such as the Museum of Malaga. The museum was one of my favorite places to visit as I enjoyed learing about Malaga’s history and looking at the beautiful paintings. – Jamie

As we get closer to the end of our homestay experience in Málaga, we go on a few final sightseeing excursions. After a long walk and pit stop for lunch, we go on to the Cathedral of Málaga, where we learn a lot of the history and importance of the cathedral through the art, sculptures, architecture, and other smaller components. One of the coolest facts I learned was that the cathedral was never actually finished, and is going to remain that way in order to be left in that element. After this, we finally go to the art school in which famous artist, Pablo Picasso, attended and viewed the home in which he was born.  The most impactful part for me, however, was conversation. Whenever, we would take long walks to get from one sight to the next, we would always be talking. Whether the topic was culture, politics, music, movies and tv shows, or even life stories, I would love listening and even talking about my own perspectives and experiences. One of the things that amazes me to this day is the fact that someone could live oceans away from you, but have experienced something you’ve experienced or felt a way you’ve felt. Similarly, someone could live right next to you and have a completely different experience and perspective than you. Meeting so many Spanish kids and families has given me more insight into this idea, and continually encourages me to travel more and engage in other cultures and stories. – Ugochi