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Turning 20 in Spain

by college

Last Updated on January 9, 2014 by

If you haven’t checked out Catherine’s blog, it’s a must read for students considering going abroad. She shared her story about celebrating her birthday abroad, and it’s a great testament to why homestays are so meaningful.


I’ve had a lot of downtime this holiday to reflect on my time abroad.  As I was perusing through my old photos, I was reminded of this wonderful story.

Two summers ago, I was ecstatic to be traveling to Spain for six weeks.  I was also excited to celebrate my birthday in a different country.  What I did consider was that I would find myself more homesick than I’d imagined. I had been away for about two weeks when my birthday came around.  All I could think about was my family at home.

To my surprise, when I came home from my classes that day, my host mother had prepared my favorite meal, her famous paella, and a homemade birthday cake!  She gave me a huge embrace and an aggressive kiss on each cheek, and invited some of my friends to join in the birthday meal.  This gesture meant the world to me and I was no longer homesick.  I was able to feel the sense of love and family that I was missing from my home in the U.S.  My friends even surprised me and took me out to dinner and my favorite bar.  I could not have asked for a better 20th birthday!



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