Brad Mueller, Spain
My time abroad was incredible largely because of my incredible host family experience. My Spanish parents, Roberto and María Angeles, don't have children of their own, but host international students year round in their flat. This meant that I was able to meet new friends from around the world and get to know them around the dining table everyday. My host parents were some of the most intentional individuals I have ever met - the amount of attention that they put into us to share their language and culture exceeded my expectations.
In large part because I was able to experience Spanish culture first hand with my host parents, I have noticed a significant shift in how I approach what I value. Primarily, I have intentionally become more in tune during conversations, especially those over meals. My eating habits and table mannerisms had never really been challenged before I went to Spain, but once I compared how I conducted myself during meals with how my host parents, I noticed how I could be a better participant in the conversation. Secondly, I have an increased desire to partake in practical experiences, rather than solely theoretical, in order to better understand those around me. Naturally, spending more time abroad would be an ideal way to engage in practical experiences!
Brad Mueller / Salamanca, Spain through Academic Programs International (API), Summer 2015
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