As I prepare to leave Spain, I feel that I must share one of the best aspects of studying abroad in Toledo, Spain. I have been very touched by the friendliness of the staff at my school, my host family, and local people that I have met while in Toledo. What I really admire about my host family is that they really listen to what I say. Even though I do not always discuss the most interesting things with them, I can tell they are genuinely interested in what I am saying. Also, they remember EVERY detail of what I say. Honestly, they can probably recite the names of all of my family members including cousins and grandparents. Also, they are very in tune with events occurring in America and always ask my opinion about my own country and Spain. I have found that once you make a friend in Spain, you’ll have a friend for a lifetime. My host family says that I can return and stay with them whenever I please and that I can bring friends as well. They tell me that any friend of mine is a friend of theirs. When they found out my aunt was coming to visit me in Toledo, they wanted to make a trip to the store to pick up flowers and fruit to welcome her to Toledo. I have also found that Spaniards will generally go out of their way at all times to help you out. When I told my host family that I wanted to walk the pilgrimage in Spain, they made sure to introduce me to friends that had done it in the past. Also, my host dad let me use all of his personal hiking equipment to make sure I was adequately equipped to pursue the pilgrimage. As wonderful as it is to share 3 months with such caring people here in Spain, this fact makes it even more difficult to leave!
Alyssa Wolan is studying abroad in Toledo, Spain, with the University of Minnesota.