Falcons abroad

post written by Rebekah Sandefer, French teacher and coordinator for the School Year Abroad program.

Several students are in France, Spain and China for a five week language immersion experience. Let's hear what they have to say!

Heather writes from Spain: 
SYA Summer Spain has been a great experience so far.  My biggest fear, not being able to communicate with my host family I found to be far from true.  My host family is very understanding used to hosting students who are not fluent in the language.  SYA does a great job with placing kids with a family they think would best suit them.  I have a host sister my age who invites me to do things with her and her friends all the time.  My host sister invites me to go out to eat with her and her friends.  We also go shopping together. They are all very welcoming and intrigued by an American student studying in their country.  So far my favorite meal in Spain has been seafood paella.  In Spain families typically eat dinner at 9 to 11 pm which is very different than the United States and took some getting used to. So far I am really enjoying my experience with SYA Summer in Zaragoza, Spain.

Jenny writes from China: 
I think I have started to adjust in China. My family is more comfortable around me as am I. Everyday they ask me questions about my day and tell me that my Chinese has improved a lot more than when I first came to China. This program is definitely giving me results in improving my Chinese. I also really like school. The teachers are super
friendly and try to make you feel very comfortable by having individual discussions with you or offering help anytime if you need it. SYA is definitely keeping me busy with the numerous trips, homework and tests. Before I went to the program, I regretted signing up because I was scared what to expect.  But now I‘m really glad I came as I see
myself improving, sight see numerous places and also make great friends whom i'll keep in close contact after this program. 

Leah writes from France: 
Being in France has certainly been an adventure! It was a little hard to adjust to living in a foreign country with people whom I had never met before but I feel as if I've settled in well. My family makes it easy! They are very easy to get along with. The thing that I like most about my host family is that they remind me of my own family. However, sometimes being around all of them at once makes me miss my real family. The hardest thing for me has probably been adjusting to only speaking French at home. It's a challenge to be able to understand everything my host family says but I can feel myself improving everyday! It's been a great experience for helping me improve my French, and I'm enjoying learning more about the culture!

Stay tuned for another update near the end of their experience.