Sorry for not writing sooner! I arrived in Salamanca three days ago, and finding internet is a little difficult! I will attempt to update as much as possible.
Salamanca is incredible! I can't believe I get to live here, even if it's only for a month. Life in Spain is so much more relaxed, the focus on time is much less than in the United States. I fit right in:) Salamanca is about the size of Duluth, but it is much easier to navigate on foot. We have all been walking everywhere! It feels like hours every day, but I think it is the Spanish way! Everywhere you go you see couples and families walking through the streets.
All twenty one of the students from UMD met our host families when we got off the bus from Madrid. I met my host mom, she is sixty one and has been having students stay in her home year round for over 10 years. She's amazing! I feel like I have a Spanish grandma. She cooks and cleans and stops me when I try to help:) She is so gracious to me as I am learning Spanish and always helps me figure out words I don't know.
We all started our classes today. There are over hundreds maybe even thousands of students in Salamanca this summer from all over the world studying Spanish. My grammar class this morning had mostly students from the U.S. as well as Brazil, England, and Thailand! It's so interesting to be in such a diverse community where Spanish is the common language between everyone! I love it!
We are in Salamanca for the next four weeks, but on the weekends we will be traveling to several cities throughout Spain. This weekend we travel to Leon and Zamora for the day. The next weekend we spend the day in Saturday. Then the following weekend we will spend three days in Andalucía which is in the southern part of Spain. Here we will see much of the art that was influenced by the Muselmanes (Arabs) that controlled Spain for almost 700 years. I have heard it is beautiful! But also extremely hot!
I will update again soon!