When I got to JFK, I was greeted by staff members that were nothing but excited to get on the plane and go to Spain! I knew that I was in the right hands. I stayed with a Spanish family, which might have been one of the most cultural experiences of my life. Our Señora was hospitable, welcoming and made sure that we not only tried every type of Spanish food under the Andalusian sun but also made enough to feed all of Cadiz. Each morning, we would wake up and go to our morning Spanish class, where we learned how to speak proper grammatical Spanish as well as conversational and colloquial Spanish.
During the afternoon, we had time on our own to hit up the beach, (which was a two-minute walk from our house), eat lunch with our families and then maybe enjoy a coffee and croissant in a Spanish café with a group of friends. On the days that we didn’t have our electives (where I learned how to take and edit pictures,) we would spend our late afternoons doing a local activity with the group, like going to the top of the church tower to see a great panoramic view of Cadiz, or learning how to cook like a Spaniard in an authentic Spanish restaurant.
Whatever the activities were, we always had the option of signing up for a variety of options each morning, so that if one option does not interest you, the other one most likely will. At night after eating enough delicious Spanish food with our family, we had a decent amount of time on our own where we would go improve our Spanish listening skills by going to the movies, eating ice cream in a square with friends or going to a local tea house where you can sit in a lounge-like environment drinking an assortment of local and imported teas.
This summer with Abbey Road was like no other. I met friends that I still continue to talk to and visit, I experienced a different culture in the first person, I tasted delicious foods I had never even heard of and the best thing was that unfortunately, no one else can experience, I witnessed Spain winning the world cup on live screens and watched as every single Spaniard celebrated their victory for weeks after. I was even on local Spanish television, three times! This summer was an amazing experience that I will never forget and I have Abbey Road to thank for that!
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