Milica, a participant in the “Meet Spain” cultural exchange program, is writing us from around the royal city of Madrid. Below are her impressions:
“Years ago, I had a great desire to visit Spain because I have always been intrigued by Spanish culture, way of life and, of course, the beautiful Spanish language that I wanted to improve. However, there was never an opportunity for that until I saw an ad for a cultural exchange program on Facebook. I did not hesitate a minute and I applied immediately, within a few days I had an interview and started collecting documentation. After a couple of weeks, my profile was complete and all I had to do was wait for the agency to connect me with my family. While I was waiting to find a suitable family. I wanted to travel without any expectations and assumptions, I wanted everything to be spontaneous, to just be surprised by life.
For a month now, I have been living in a small village called Villanueva de Perales, located about 40 kilometers from Madrid, so during the week I lead a quiet life in nature, and only an hour away separates me from the busiest part, which is great. When it comes to family, it is not enough to say that I am very satisfied! Eva and Pablo are wonderful, hardworking, open, relaxed people with whom everything can be agreed and there is no unpleasant topic or something that cannot be talked about. They are always ready to help and advise. The boys, Mauro and Bruno, are 14 and 8 years old, respectively, and represent two different worlds, one somewhat withdrawn and the other completely extroverted. It is a real challenge to find the wire for each one. They are really good and educated children, always ready for jokes and games. Of course, it can often be exhausting and sometimes it is not easy with two boys who would like to play, watch TV or do anything other than homework and learning. There will be persuasions and spite, they have their bugs like all other people, but in the end they realize that some things still have to be done. The days during the working week fly by, I honestly lie too tired very often, but with a smile.
On weekends I am free to travel or rest. Madrid has so much to offer and show that I think two months would not be enough to meet him as much as I would like. It rightly bears the epithet of a royal city. What fascinates me, besides the historical and cultural buildings, is the fact how green it is! I did not expect that from a city of its size, but it has a huge number of beautiful parks and you can see how much they try to plant greenery wherever a suitable place is indicated. On the other hand, the nightlife is also at an enviable level because it has a lot to offer for a wide range of tastes and interests. Also, close to Madrid are Toledo and Segovia which are beautiful and I would recommend everyone to visit them. So far, I went on a trip to Portugal because I was lucky to combine May 1st with a weekend, so I managed to grab 5 days for this unforgettable trip. Porto and Lisbon enchanted me each in their own way. I would like to mention that I signed up for the trip on my own and I think that is the best thing you can do for yourself because you are “forced” to communicate with others. I have met so many wonderful people of different nationalities and characters and I feel richer every day because of that.
I will soon visit Seville, which is also my greatest wish. Judging by the stories of those who have already been there, I have high expectations from that trip. Absolutely everyone says she is magical.
In the end, I would just say that I recommend this program to absolutely everyone because you can learn a lot of things, both about the country you are in, the culture and its inhabitants, and about yourself. If you decide to take this step, I would advise you the following: just let yourself go! Give yourself the opportunity to grow as a person day by day and have an unforgettable experience. ”