My Favorite SYA Spain Memory Is...

Josie B. is currently a junior at SYA Spain and a blogger for the Campus Reporter program. She comes to SYA from Lakeside School in Washington.

Josie's soccer team

Happy last blog post! I cannot believe I arrived here nine months ago, a nervous little sixteen-year-old struggling to remember how to order a coffee in Spanish. People kept saying that the year would fly by, but I never totally believed them. Well, now that there is only a week left of SYA, I can report back that they were all, in fact, correct... I have no idea where the time went. In honor of the year’s closing, I am using this last post to share some of my classmates’ and my favorite SYA Spain memories:  

Miranda- “My favorite SYA Spain memory is probably when I played water volleyball during Pilares. It was early on, and all my new friends and I were playing in a big inflatable ring that was set up in the middle of the Plaza del Pilar. I got to connect with the other students, and it was really interesting because we were a bunch of American kids in the center of this beautiful Spanish plaza during the most important religious week for Zaragoza. There were tons of Spanish kids playing and watching, and I just remember being super happy and hopeful for the year. It was wonderful. ”

Deanna- “My favorite SYA Spain memory was just after I moved in with my second host family, and my new host sister took me out to see one of the biggest parks in Zaragoza. I got to explore a new part of the city with her, and she made me feel so safe and comfortable even though I was away from home. It was a lovely experience that I will never forget.”

Bayard- “My favorite SYA Spain memory was when I was working on a Sociology project, and I was actually able to interview immigrants from all over the city. I got to hear their stories and learn about their experiences coming to Zaragoza from their native countries. It was cool to hear a perspective that wasn’t a white European’s, and it was even more interesting to see the city through a different lens for a much deeper understanding of Zaragoza.”  

Navi- “My favorite SYA Spain memory would be the first week of school when two of my friends and I found a little patch of grass to lie down on and listen to Ed Sheeran under the stars. We talked about how excited we were for the year and how excited we were to be friends. It was the first week, so we didn’t know each other well, but we just hung out and learned about each other. It was awesome because it showed me that I would really love the people that I would come to know.”  

Bering- “My favorite SYA Spain memory was over winter break. My friends and I prepared a little picnic and brought it to the beach. The sun was out and it was beautiful, so we just hung out there on the beach all day, talking and relaxing. It really made me grateful for SYA and the opportunity to experience so much and so many beautiful things in a foreign country.”  

Chandler- “My favorite SYA Spain memory is from the day I went on a car ride with my host dad through the Aragón countryside. We visited a castle and ate together afterwards at a restaurant where we had delicious ​arroz con leche. It was simply a great day, and it made me realize how much my new family cares about me and how much I care about them.”  

I can’t choose an absolute favorite SYA Spain memory, but one of my happiest moments here in Zaragoza was right after winter break. I stepped out of my cab onto​ Calle Francisco Vitoria, overwhelmed by a strong hit of the smelly Zaragoza air. I was a little bit down because I’d spent my break in Seattle with all the friends and family that I had missed so much and then I had to say goodbye again. It was January and five months left felt like such a long time; I was worried for the rest of the year. On top of my jet lag and bad mood, I was extremely anxious about going back to soccer practice. All the girls had continued practicing together while I was gone, and I had a small fear that they would not be happy to see me. However, when I walked up to ​vestuario 8 and pushed open the door, I saw how wrong I had been. All of my teammates came running towards me, giving me hugs and kisses and asking about my trip. As I sat down to start putting on my cleats, I knew there was no place in the world where I would have rather been. I am angry at January Josie for being anything less than grateful for the five months I’d had left. Now that I only have a week until Zaragoza and I part, I would do anything for five more months of my host family, my soccer team, my Zaragoza friends and teachers. 

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