Five weeks in Querétaro, Mexico passed like a blink of an eye for Grazina. Read more about her study abroad experience here.
It´s a strange feeling. This morning for the first time in the last five weeks I don’t need to go to school, and I don’t need to worry about presentations or essays. Five weeks of my study abroad program passed in a blink of an eye. It´s a huge relief from the enormous amount of work but at the same time it’s a sad realization that everything is over. Was it worth it? Absolutely. I have learned, realized, and discovered things I had never knew before.
First, before my trip I had heard that Mexican people are open and generous but never thought that their generosity and hospitality might reach such a high level. For example, when I was living with my host family, my host mother treated me like a queen: she always asked me what I want to eat and during every meal she offered me a couple possible choices. She included me in various family activities, like the celebration of her son´s birthday, attending yoga classes with her, and going shopping to the ¨mercado¨ and the shopping mall. We also went to the Jazz festival of Querétaro together. But the most impressive moment was when my host mother offered to make ¨el pan de los muertos¨ for my presentation about ¨El día de los muertos¨. Everyone in the class, including the teacher, was shocked. ¨Where did you get el pan de los muertos at this time of the year?¨ my teacher asked me and I proudly answered: ¨My mom made it for me¨.
Another great side about my study abroad program is that I’ve learned different aspects about Mexican culture. For example, I’ve visited numerous museums, churches, ancient pyramids and learned about their history. But the most thrilling experience is associated with the experience of the traditional Mexican food. Now Chile Kile, Chile Relleno, Quesadillas, Sope and many others are not meaningless names; now every single one brings the memory of the unique taste and look of the specific dish. Even ¨los chapulines¨ (grasshoppers) didn’t look scary and disgusting, and at the end of the program I dared to try them.
However, the most wonderful part of the program was the Spanish classes themselves. During the five weeks of study I have learned a lot of Spanish, thanks for the amazing professors. The most interesting fact is that they were teaching Mexican-specific Spanish, and I learned not only about subjunctive words, but also what ¨fresas¨, ¨nacos¨, ¨vendedores ambulantes¨ and what many other terms of Mexican society mean. To clarify a sentence or idea, I learned to say ¨mande¨ instead of ¨qué¨ (what).
In conclusion, I am happy I chose the program and in the future I am looking forward to discovering other Spanish-speaking countries.