My name is Claire Sorensen, and I am majoring in Economics at the University of Utah. I’m nearing the end of my fifth week here in Oviedo, Spain, and every minute so far has been great. I’ve learned a lot, and, not surprisingly, my learning hasn’t been limited to just the Spanish language. From the time spent with my host family, the other American students, and the locals here in Oviedo, I’ve discovered many new aspects of humanity that had hitherto been unknown to me.
My first week here I spent a lot of time with my host family. At first my host mom was concerned that I knew absolutely no Spanish, judging from the blank stare I gave her when she first tried to tell me something, but soon after she was reassuring the neighbors that I spoke Spanish very well—I just couldn’t understand them. Well, I understood that bit, and laughed, because for the most part it’s true. I think I understand a lot more than I did when I first got here, but the accent definitely takes getting used to. It’s not like the stuff we speak in our classes at the U.
One of the main activities I’ve enjoyed with my host family has been shopping at the centro comercial. It’s not exactly the most cultural experience, seeing as all the music is American and half the signs are in English, but it’s good bonding time with my host mom and her daughter. One time I went out with just my host mom and spent the afternoon with her. Together we enjoyed a corbata, which she told me was an authentic Asturian treat even though it came in a box and a wrapper like something from Hostess. If there’s one thing that’s helped the most for me to pick up on more of the language, it’s been making the effort to converse with my host family.