One of the Best Things I Did Abroad
Hannah, Spring 2024, Barcelona
April 15, 2024

Me and my host family on our last dinner

One of my goals studying abroad was to immerse myself in the culture through building relationships with the local community. I wanted to have a personal connection with someone where we could share a mutual connection and understand each other’s culture. Additionally, I love meeting new people and eating, so I was excited to see that SAI partnered students and families together!

Each week, I visited my host family for dinner. While the parents prepared dinner, I played with their two sons. We played different games like Battleship, Guess Who, Memory, and more! I got to learn about their interests, hobbies, what it was like at school, and the sons even helped me learn some Catalan and Spanish. They were so much fun and I absolutely loved getting to hang out with them.

Me with the paella they made me for our first dinner

Then, we would all sit down for dinner. Our conversation topics would span from politics in Spain to popular movies that they loved to watch and everything in between. I learned so much about Barcelona through them and was able to become really close to them over the semester. I also got to learn about how the United States is portrayed, which was unique. My family was extremely welcoming, generous, and hospitable. Getting to learn more about them and sharing about myself was an amazing opportunity.

Paella they made the first night

Every week with them was special! I really wanted to learn how to cook traditional meals too, so there was even one week where I got to help prepare dinner with the family! I helped make my first tortilla, a traditional Spanish dish consisting of potatoes, eggs, and onions, and a Catalan dessert that I got to take home to my roommates. Every week I looked forward to my dinner with them and this was easily one of my favorite things I did during my semester abroad! This is definitely one of my go-to activities I say when people ask me what my favorite part of studying abroad was. It was truly such an amazing experience and I hope to see them again one day!

Written by: Hannah, Spring 2024 Barcelona student from University of South Carolina

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