I’m taking an intensive Spanish course of 20 lessons a week, plus the cultural social immersion programme. I also opted to stay with a Spanish host family, which has been a challenge but a great way to integrate myself into the culture. A usual day goes something like this:
9:15 to 13:00 Spanish class
I have my Spanish classes in the morning, though we also had the option to take them later. The four hours are intense, but we’re all so motivated because we know we’ll need the Spanish later in the day. Learning a language in a group has let me get to know some interesting people – probably because they’re open to a different culture.
14:00 – 16:00 Siesta
I go back home and join my Spanish host family for lunch. After a big meal, we sit chatting at the table. This is called a sobremesa. This is my chance to put my new Spanish to the test. They really encourage me and give me a safe environment to make mistakes.
When we leave the table, I normally go and lie down with a book, join them watching TV or Skype a friend from home.
As part of the course, we get cultural events arranged for us. It’s a great way to socialise with the other students, practice Spanish and learn more about the city. One of these activities was eating churros. This sweet snack is made from fried dough, sprinkled with sugar. You eat it with a hot chocolate, or even dipped in melted chocolate.
After, I normally explore the city with the other students. We walk through the Alcazar, go shopping in Alfalfa, look for some street performers, or just sit by the water in the Maria Luisa Park.
I usually eat dinner quite late, sometimes with friends and sometimes with the host family. We normally eat something light, such as sandwiches or soup. In a mix of English and Spanish, we talk about our days and share a few laughs.
If it’s in the week, I might go out to a bar like Bar Alfalfa. If I’m in the mood, I might make some new Spanish friends. Otherwise, by this time our Spanish gets reduced to ordering drinks. And maybe joining in with a few songs, especially if we go for some flamenco at Casa Anselma. And at weekends, I let the Spanish show me how to party.