Exchange journey by Iga
When I was in high school I decided to go for an exchange for one year to Spain. I chose Granada as a destination. The exchange organization’s manager has to check the host families first before placing a student there, of course. But I wasn’t so sure that it was done by anybody, so after two weeks I had to change the host family. Why? It was a really small flat, with one bathroom and eight other people living there, including other students and the family members. Ok, I would be able to live with that, but the other problem was that there was a “time table” hanged in the kitchen not allowing us to eat anything out of those exact hours. Wasn’t that supposed to be a host “family”? I felt more like in a hostel for students.
Anyways, I contacted the manager of the exchange, and they placed me in another house. This one was a house of the regional manager of the exchange in Granada. The married couple with two kids seemed like a perfect place to be. Unfortunately – it wasn’t. They all seemed like caring people with good Andalusia vibes. Then, after few weeks I started noticing some alarming situations around the house. The host mum was drinking a lot, until she wasn’t able to sit at the sofa. Yeah, I’m not exaggerating. The other thing was when we were all sleeping, and She started to bang at the door at the middle of the night waking everyone up. She didn’t remember anything in the morning of course. There were more situations like this, but It would be a serious book material.
So again – I had to contact the exchange the manager, and it turned out that there are no more families available in Granada, so they decided to move me to Madrid. Basically I had to pack my bags within 15 minutes and run away from this family and get a next bus going to the capital. It was all pure insanity. Imagine my parents when I was over the phone with them the whole time. They were seriously preoccupied. I was completely terrified. After the 6 hours trip I got to Madrid, where I stayed in the manager’s apartment until She found me a new host family.
After two weeks I finally had a chance to meet two, freshly married couple, with whom I spent the next 7 months of my exchange. I had to change the school too – obviously. It all felt like I started my trip from the very beginning. So the truth is – this entire experience for a teenage girl was very difficult and sometimes I had these thoughts that I shouldn’t have gone there. But after all, it was worth it. I’ve spent some really unforgettable moments with all these people I met there in Madrid. I wouldn’t change it for the world.