Switching Roles

I can’t believe that it has been about seven months since I arrived in Valladolid, Spain for my international internship as an English instruction intern. It is truly amazing how fast time flies! As I look back on my experience, I see awesome memories of teaching, learning, and immersing myself in Spanish culture. I wish I could go back right now! The first thing I would do would be to go out for tapas, by the way…

But I have had just as much fun this summer, doing something a little different. For the past month, I have had such a great time sharing my culture as I switched roles and became a host sister for Beatriz Marcos, a student from Valladolid. Beatriz was with us from July 1st to July 31st with United Cultures, S.L. Beatriz is a fun, kind, and intelligent girl, and I am blessed to have had the opportunity to get to know her. As you may recall from a past blog, I was able to meet up with Bea in Valladolid once I found out that I was going to be hosting her this summer.

Luci, her family, and Beatriz at the Independence Day Parade in Mayville!

Here is my family and Beatriz at the Independence Day Parade in Mayville!

My family and I really enjoyed our time with Bea. She was here for Independence Day, which was very exciting because she experienced our most patriotic day of the year. We went to the parade in Mayville, had a family picnic and bonfire (where she made her first ever s’more!), and then saw fireworks! We also had the opportunity to go to Niagara Falls, Buffalo, and Hershey Park. For some local flare, we went to Johnny’s Lunch for hot dogs, shopped at Wegmans, went to a concert at Chautauqua Institution, went boating, saw a round of Chautauqua Voices in Bemus Point, went to an Amish diner, and much more! One of our favorite experiences was her coming to work with me almost every day. I work as a park program recreation leader, and Bea helped out with the children, who all loved her! They enjoyed asking her how to say things in Spanish and helping her to participate in new, fun experiences like going on a slip ‘n slide.

Beatriz, my sisters Anna and Gina, and me at Niagara Falls!

Beatriz, my sisters Anna and Gina, and me at Niagara Falls!

At the Jennifer Nettles Concert at Chautauqua Institution!

We had fun at the Jennifer Nettles Concert at Chautauqua Institution!

Hosting a student from Spain was not only a blast, but an honor to introduce someone to my culture. I appreciated my host family in Spain so much and all of the experiences that they gave me. This was a great way to pay it forward. I would strongly recommend hosting an international student. You form lifelong friendships, learn more about the world, and share your way of life with someone yearning to learn and have new experiences. This has been a summer to remember, thanks to Beatriz!

If you or anyone you know would be interested in hosting a student over the summer, please contact Heather Espeso at unitedculturessl@gmail.com. For more hosting information, you can visit the United Cultures website: www.unitedcultures.es.

And for more information on how you can get an English instruction internship, contact Felix Muzza at FelixMuzza@mail.sunyjcc.edu or visit our International Internships page.

About the author

Luci Sena

Hi! My name is Luciana Sena, but you can call me Luci. I am currently a freshman here at JCC with an individual studies major because, to be honest, I have no idea what I want to do with my life. But I’m OK with that because it gives me the chance to explore! For the spring 2014 semester my surroundings will dramatically change as I embark on an amazing adventure teaching English in Valladolid, Spain! What an incredible opportunity I have been given; I am beyond excited to partake in this experience as well as to share it with all of you!