By Shoma Ghosh
I know I have been in Spain for about three and a half weeks, but I don’t think I ever really found myself feeling fully immersed in the culture until we got to Santiago. Madrid was very much like a city in the United States; at times I even felt like I was in Times Square. And on the Camino there were very few Spanish pilgrims. But by staying with Spanish families, I think we have the unique opportunity to learn about the culture through a full on first hand experience.
My Spanish family is adorable. We are being hosted by an old couple who insists on feeding us too much and talking to us about everything. I feel my Spanish getting better through these conversations. At one point last night I found myself even thinking in Spanish.
Aside from the language itself, I have learned so much more about politics, business, sports and the overall Spanish lifestyle just by staying in an apartment for four days.
I do feel like this experience will impact me later in the future as well. In class we have studied the concept of a global village, and we have learned that with proliferation of technology, international communication is becoming much easier. But this poses a challenge to many people in the work force, as some have a lot of trouble understanding and adjusting to other cultures. I think this opportunity has helped me gain a better understanding of not only the Spanish culture, but about cultural differences in general. I think I have begun to really understand the phrase “When in Rome..”
I am grateful to have had this chance to learn more and am excited to put what I have learned into practice.