By Joshua Rhee '16
My host father’s name is Manuel. He is an excellent cook and an avid sports fan. A long-time supporter of the Spanish giants, Real Madrid, Manuel has attended every single home game at the Estadio de Santiago Bernabéu for 13 years. Together, we went to a Liverpool vs. Real Madrid Legends match at the stadium, and I have had the greatest privilege to watch world-famous footballers (now retired) like Zinedine Zidane play live. I think I should be okay to have been a Real Madrid fan just for that one day.
The rest of my host family consists of Patricia (Manuel’s sister) and Angela (Manuel and Patricia’s mother). Patricia has a job in finance and shares her brother’s love of fútbol and Real Madrid. Angela is kind, gentle, and sometimes very funny.
The CIEE program has so much planned for its students, and the fast-paced agenda allows us to do so many things. Already in one week, we have toured El Palacio Real, visited several museums like those of Valencian painter Sorolla, bicycled through Parque Madrid Río, kayaked el Río Duratón, and more. Of course, students are here to learn, and the academic classes with Spanish professors give us the opportunity not only to learn grammar, but also participate in interactive discussions.
I am already almost two weeks into the program, and I am excited and ready for the following weeks. I am nothing but grateful for this experience made affordable through the generous scholarship money that was granted to York School.