Life can take you in many directions and no-one knows what tomorrow may bring – tell me about it. 10 years ago, when I was 15, I decided to go to Dublin to study English. My parents hesitated a bit since I was very young and it would the first time I would take a plane and be on my own completely; nevertheless, I was very determined to do it; I was not scared but very excited about it. My mother contacted an intermediary agency that dealt with language schools and host families, and thanks to the agents everything was arranged for me to go there for 6 weeks.
I went there alone - I believe this is the best way to enjoy the adventure to the maximum. I was a shy girl who did not go out or talk to many people; however, that experience in Ireland completely changed my life. It opened my mind and made of me a new person who wanted to discover the whole world. I met other students from different countries (especially Italy and France) that I still have contact with. I went to class 4 hours in the morning and had some evenings free; four times a week the language school organized guided tours and activities for all the students so as to get to know each other and get familiar with the city.
One of the best parts of my experience in Dublin was my host family
– I do recommend staying at a local’s when going abroad since it is the best technique to practice the language and to get used to the culture. I remember the first time I saw my host mother as if it was last night. I was picked-up at the airport by the language school personnel and they took me to my new house. It was at night, around 11pm (very late for the Irish culture); however, my family was waiting for me. I knocked the door and a sweet lady opened it. As we Spanish people do, when we meet someone for the first time, we usually give two kisses on the cheeks; this is what I tried to do but suddenly she extended her arm to shake hands (as Irish do). Here I learnt about the differences in cultures. I was shocked at first, but then she was so nice with me that I calmed down. Those 6 weeks with her, her husband and two kids felt like home to me. Nonetheless, I learned the lesson: wherever you go, do as you see :)
By Diana Martinez Herrero