Week 5

Week 5 got here so fast! Some people I know are ready to go home, but I definitely feel like it is not time to leave. The time has gone so quickly, and I am really enjoying my time here and learning a lot. I do wish I could stay a little bit longer. I really like how this experience allows us to learn in the classroom as well as in the real world. I have really noticed that each person is in charge of how much they learn here. If you want to get out and talk to people and learn about the culture, then you will. But if you’re timid about it, you will not learn as much. I believe that I really have learned a lot here. I have been more emotional lately because I am realizing that the streets I have been walking down every day and the sights I have been seeing daily and the things I have experienced here are things that I will probably not see again for a long time, Also, I have grown very close with the people who are on this trip with me, so not it is hard to imagine not seeing them every day and spending so much time together. I am also very sad to leave my host mother, because she has been so wonderful. She always calls me endearing names and tells me every day that she loves having me in her home. I really will miss her.

Week 4

I can’t believe that it is already week 4 out of 5! Time has really been flying. I have noticed that Querétaro definitely feels like my home and I have grown very comfortable here. I love hanging out in the Centro with my friends, I am used to riding the bus and riding in taxis, and I have gotten used to the routine that I have here. I have also gotten used to speaking Spanish. At home, it would make me nervous to speak Spanish to a native speaker outside of school, but now I am totally comfortable doing it. I hope that I can continue to be comfortable with this once I return home. School is getting a lot more stressful now. I have a lot of assignments to do, and sometimes I wish there was less schoolwork so that there was more time to just go out and experience Mexico. I get out whenever I have an opportunity. I really enjoy the outdoor market atmosphere in the Centro. It is a very cultural thing, and I really like being a part of it.

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Week 3

This weekend, we took a trip to Mexico City. We went to a lot of museums and learned a lot about the history and culture in Mexico. We also saw a lot of art, and I thought it was interesting to see what the art told us about Mexican culture. It was also interesting to see the differences between Mexico City and Querétaro. Querétaro is a lot more clean and safe. We were told to stay on this one street at night in Mexico City to make sure that we stayed safe. In Querétaro, we usually feel safe walking around the city at night as long as we are together. I really enjoyed the Mexico City trip.

Another awesome thing we did was climb the pyramids in the ancient city of Teotihuacan. It was so much harder than it looked like it would be! I’m glad I pushed myself to go to the top because it was really beautiful and now I can say that I climbed an ancient pyramid.10408092_10202464983772188_2364543803706922552_n It was so cool to be in the ancient city and think about the fact that people actually lived here centuries ago!

Something that I have noticed since beginning my Study Abroad experience is that I have not really felt homesick at all. I am grateful that I feel this way, because I know there are some other people who have felt really stressed and have been missing home. I love my family, but I am having such a great experience here in Mexico and I really have no desire to go home right now.

Week 2

I have really been enjoying my Conversation class. We get a lot of time to speak in authentic situations. We do debates where each side has to present arguments, and it really gives us an opportunity to speak about our thoughts and opinions. It is great to have teachers who speak Spanish and do not speak English, because it forces us to figure things out in Spanish because there is no option of saying some things in English. It feels great to be taking classes in Mexico and being successful in those classes. It feels like a big accomplishment and I have really enjoyed it so far.

Something really exciting that we did recently was climb La Peña de Bernal, the second highest monolith in Latin America! It was a lot of work, but I am so glad that I did it. The view from the top is the most beautiful thing I have ever seen, and I was proud to have the opportunity to do something that I probablywould not have done in America.  IMG_1252

Week 1

I am so glad to be here in Querétaro! It felt like it took three days to get here, but I enjoyed the plane and bus rides. I am so glad that Carmen was there to help us go to all the right places and do the right things in order to get here! I really enjoyed the first three days staying in the hotel and exploring the city as a group. It was so much fun and it was nice to have some time getting to know the city before having to start classes. I was so happy to meet my host mother. She is so sweet! She lives by herself and loves having students live with her. She is very happy and joyful and has a lot of friends. I think I will be very happy living here with her.

This is a picture of where I live! IMG_0890

Pre-departure

I am very excited to begin my trip abroad to Querétaro, Mexico! One thing I am nervous about is getting sick and missing the opportunities to do some of the exciting things on the trip. I hope it does not happen! The people that I am traveling with seem really cool and I think we’re going to have a great time and get to know each other a lot better. I really do not know what Mexico is going to be like. I hope I have a lot of opportunities to speak Spanish to the local people. I plan to talk to them as much as I can, and I am going to work very hard not to let my timidness get in the way of this goal.

Back in Oregon

I can’t believe i’m back in Oregon. Everything has gone back to normal. I’m still off of work but i’m back home to my parents, my boyfriend and my new kitten. This trip was amazing. I wouldn’t change anything about it. I loved all of the people who came with me and the people who were a part of making it happen.

I loved my host family and I have been in contact with them. They told me I have to come back and I think I will have to one day.

Now that I have been back everyone is speaking only English and it throws me off. I drive my car a lot more here. Nothing is close around here and if it is it too rainy. At least no floods.

Being back in Oregon is bitter sweet.

I want to thank everyone who was a part of this amazing life changing experience.

-Anahisse Gonzalez

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Now that I am home I have a much better sense of myself than I did before I left for Spain. In Spain I took on challenges that I would not have faced here. I was able to communicate outside my native language with both my Spain family, professors and other people throughout the city. Before I left I did not like to talk in Spanish outside my classroom or to natives because I did not have the confidence to do so. That has changed since I returned. I also feel more confident about my ability to get around unfamiliar places because that was so common my first week of being abroad. Being home makes me appreciate everything about the culture in Spain from their friendliness to their remarkable love for life. I hope to return to Spain in a few years, even though my Spain family is asking me to visit sooner! Keeping in contact with them makes me feel so much better about the relationships I built over that month. I am also still in contact with one of my now best friends that I made while in Spain. Maggie and I continue to talk daily and love to reminisce about the good days in Spain. I am so grateful that I got the opportunity to go and study abroad and come back an even better person than I was before I left.

Vacation in Iowa. I spent as much time on a plane in a different state or country than I did at home!

Vacation in Iowa. I spent as much time on a plane or in a different state or country than I did at home!

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When I came back home, it was as if I had never left. Which was a strange feeling. I had changed and no one else had, it felt like. The time change was the worst: I was so tired and felt so sluggish for a good week. I had to go to work the very next day after getting home and that was so strange!

I hope I get to go back to London and explore everything I didn’t get to this time around.

4th week

I climbed the Eiffel Tower this last weekend. I felt so free. I have wanted to do that my whole life and I finally got the chance to do so! The view was breathtaking.

Paris was pretty, too. And the food! Oh my goodness the food was delicious, probably the best food I have ever had.

I want to go back and bring my mom with me. She would love it