After studying in Costa Rica last semester, I found myself yearning for Spanish. I blasted Spanish music in my car and tried to read Spanish newspapers, but I missed being immersed in the language. I missed the consistency, the stumbles, and the feeling of pride that grew with my conversation skills.
Luckily, I was offered a chance to relive the immersion experience when I moved back to campus and was offered a spot in the Spanish house. I gladly accepted and signed the contract, promising that I would only speak Spanish in the house, attend tertulias (conversation hours), and keep the house clean.
There are 10 of us in the house, and only three are not native speakers. There is a pleasant mix of Spanglish and slang, and I’m excited to pick up new vocabulary from my housemates. I’m also hoping to learn some new recipes and cook my favorite foods for everyone in the house. The other day, my roommate made Dominican juice, a mix of orange juice and milk, and I definitely want to make it for my own family the next time I go home.
I’ve attended two tertulias so far, and last night we discussed the theme of friendship. I was able to learn more about my housemates as we talked about our past friendships, and also learned some different terms for the word “friend” in Spanish. Additionally, we were all assigned an amigo invisible, or invisible friend, for whom we’ll secretly be making presents for the next who weeks. I’ve already decided what I want to give my assigned friend, and I’m excited for the night we get to reveal who we are!
Even though I’m far from Costa Rica, I still feel that I’m gaining an international experience and becoming more globally aware this year through living at the Spanish house. It’s already promising to be a great experience full of new vocabulary, friends, and experiences.