Even after the last blog post and after my plane landed in the United States, it is still hard to believe that I have left Spain. The fact that I am still in disbelief that I have left my host country relates to my biggest surprise over the course of the experience. For you see, the biggest surprise I encountered did not immediately sink in until I had arrived in the United States. I did not at all expect how easy I would fit in the Spanish culture, even coming from a Latin American background. Now that I have returned to the U.S., this experience makes me excited about my next opportunity to be back in Spain.
In terms of my personal goals, I am glad that I have achieved most of them. I think that my quick adjustment to Spanish culture is due to the fact that I have been able to immerse myself in the local Valencia culture. However, my host-mother’s great cooking skills prevented me from learning how to cook European cuisine much to the disappointment of my real-mother. Furthermore, I am glad that I have been able to use the framework that I have learned in the past ICE semester in the two COMM classes I took. Moreover, my Spanish vocabulary has greatly expanded and I hope that I am able to utilize it in a professional setting this summer in my internship. In addition, I believe that my constant traveling to Europe has made me more independent as I have had to confront a various range of challenges.
Lastly, I no longer see the U.S. as the ideal country for me to live in, and would want to in the near future move and live in Spain. I have now seen how integral the Spanish language is to my personal identity and I would ideally want to place myself in an environment where I can practice it on a daily basis. It could be the case that I am still readjusting to life in the U.S. and am missing Spain, but I think that even after this summer and after the next school year, I will be longing for the time when I can return to Spain. In terms of my personal career trajectory, I am now actively seeking opportunities to work in and live in Spain rather than only seeking opportunities in San Francisco and New York City.