Hasta Luego Valladolid and My Family

Building new identity

During this internship, I barely felt that I’m from Japan. Due to my work, I always tell people that I go to a college in the United States. No one was talking to me in Japanese (there are usually some people who try to talk me in Japanese wherever I go). Furthermore, I was not going back to Japan after this internship. I’m currently working at a YMCA camp on Chautauqua Lake. As a result, I feel at home in the United States more now.

Amazing host family

My family provided me a ride to a bus station and stayed with me until the bus arrived. On my first day, I did not know Spanish at all. After one month immersion, my Spanish slightly got better and I could have fun talking about soccer with my brothers. They have put enormous effort to communicate with me in Spanish.

Visiting my friend in Soria

Thanks to one of my friends in Spain, I was able to experience another community. Soria is a city with the atmosphere of old Europe, a big castle, and fiestas. When my friend took me for dinner, we went to a restaurant by a river. Soria really has something that people imagine when they think of Spain. I did not see any travelers there. Soria is such a well-kept secret place.

Being an English teacher from Japan

I bet it must be very strange for students to meet an English teacher from a non-English country. After four weeks of classes, I hope they learned something from me. When I was very little, I was scared to meet people from other countries. However, thanks to my mother, I get to meet lots of people from Africa, South America, Europe, and all over the world. Now I really like to meet people and travel overseas. It is one of things that I really appreciate and want to share with others. I hope I eased students’ feelings toward meeting new people.

Overall, it was one of the best homestay programs ever. I really liked the people, food, and views. I will definitely come back to see my host family again, and I hope more students will apply for this opportunity.

About the author

My name is So Murata, and I'm from Tokyo, Japan. I'm majoring in mathematics at JCC on the Jamestown Campus. I am also a student athlete on the Jayhawks wrestling team. My hobbies are working out, cooking, reading, and learning foreign languages.