My name is Álvaro, I am 15 years old and I am very excited to go to the United States for a year. I am an open and close person. When I don’t know someone, I may seem serious and shy, but as soon as they give me a little confidence, I am very open, friendly and funny. I am also a polite boy and responsible boy with my studies and obligations.
I am from Spain, one of the most beautiful countries in Europe. We have a great diversity of landscapes, great mountains, rivers, islands, paradisical beaches, modern cities, beautiful villages … and a very rich and varied cuisine.
I live in one of the most important cities in eastern Spain, next to the Mediterranean Sea. We have a very good climate that allows us to do many outdoor activities throughout the year. It is a modern and beautiful city with many parks and green areas. My house is an attic with a very cool terrace and is in a neighborhood very close to the historical and commercial center of the city, which we can reach on foot immediately.
I live with my parents and my little sister. My mother is a lawyer and my father is a telecommunications engineer. They are very hardworking and like to play sports. Every morning they go for a run soon or to the gym before going to work. My sister is studying her last elementary course, 7th grade. She is a very funny, cheerful and affectionate girl. We like to watch TV series together as a family, eat out and take trips together from time to time. I love them a lot.
At home, my guinea pig also lives with us. A beautiful tricolor guinea pig who loves to eat peppers. I am responsible for feeding her and keeping her cage clean, although my mother also usually helps me with this.
I like sports in general. I learned to swim when I was only 1 year old and since then I go to the pool every week to swim. I have always done it in the pool of the University of my city, which is the largest and the only one that is 50 meters long. This year I started playing basketball. I train two days a week with the team of the public high school in my neighborhood and I really like it.
Another activity that I do and that I love is related to Scouts. I’ve been part of a group of scouts for six years. Every Saturday we meet and do different activities. We go out to camp about four times a year, when we have school vacations. We always go to places far from cities and camp in the middle of Nature. There we carry out activities such as sports, games, workshops and learn scouting. There is a very healthy and supportive environment. There I have many friends and we have a great time.
I like to travel to know new places and live new experiences with family or friends. But I also like from time to time to spend a good weekend at home resting and recovering energy.When at h ome we all have holidays, we usually go on a trip to know other places. Normally we go on a trip at least 3 times a year: At the beginning of the year we usually go on a trip with another family friend to celebrate the new year. For several years we have gone skiing somewhere, however, last year we went to Rome for a few days, and next year we have already planned to spend the end of the year in Lisbon, Portugal.
In summer, when my parents have vacations, we go a couple of weeks to an apartment that we have next to the beach in the village where my mother was born. There we rest, we go to the beach, we learn to practice water sports such as windsurfing, kayaking or paddle surfing, but above all we take opportunity to be with friends and family that we do not usually see the rest of the year. We also usually make a short trip in summer to meet new places or sometimes just somewhere with a beach or cool pool in relax plan to rest.
My Institute very close to where I live, I walk in 5 minutes. It is a semi-public Catholic institute in a very old building. I am a good student and I get good grades. This year I am studying the equivalent of 10th grade. The subjects that I like the most are those related to Science, such as Mathematics, Physics or Technology, although I am also quite good at others such as Arts or History.
When I finish High School, I will go to the University to study a science-related career, maybe some engineering, but I am still not clear about the specific career I will choose.
In my Institute I get along with everyone and I also have good friends. Some are also from the Scout group. From time to time, the closest friends stay someday of the weekend for dinner or going to the movies. And sometimes just to play online video games.
A normal day in my life during the week starts getting up at seven in the morning to go to school. I have breakfast and I go to school. Classes start at 8 a.m. and continue until lunchtime. Three days a week, classes continue in the afternoon until 5, and those days I stay for lunch in the school dining room. The other two days that there’s no classes in the afternoon I go home, and I cook something for myself.
I am not a great chef, but I am able to cook some things. I also like from time to time to try to make new recipes in the kitchen of cookies, pancakes or dough, for example. When I am with my host family, I wish to be able to cook some typical dishes from Spain.
When classes finish, I take a break. Then I study or do the homework that has been sent to me from high school, until I have to go to training or swimming. When I return home, I take a shower and have dinner with my whole family. Then we watch something on TV, and I go to sleep.
However, on weekends I usually sleep late, rest a little in the morning until I start studying for exams next week or doing my homework. On Saturday afternoons I meet with my Scout group and then I usually stay with my friends for a while until I go home to dinner. Then I stay up late watching television. On Sundays I also usually study in the morning and the rest of the day I usually do different things with family or friends.
At home, my mother is the one who prepares dinner for everyone on weekdays, but on weekends it’s my father who cooks. My sister and I take turns preparing the table for meals and picking it up when we finish. When I stay alone at home or taking care of my sister, I usually cook basic things for both, such as grilled things, Italian pasta, etc.
I want to go to study in the United States to learn English very well, as I think it is very important for my future. I really want to live with an American family, learn about their customs and culture and share mine with them. I am excited to live the experience of studying in a year at an American High School, which is sure to be very different from those we have in Spain, meeting people and making new friends forever.
I have never lived abroad. I have been to several countries like France, Italy or the United Kingdom, but always on holiday with my family. My aunt Sandra, my father’s sister, lives in Paris, and almost every year we go to visit her for a few days. She has two young children and I love going to see my cousins. I also have two cousins in New Zealand, but they are far away, and we haven’t gone there yet.
My parents love to organize meetings with family and friends and whenever possible they invite them to have a “paella” at home. On holidays like Christmas, my family tries to get together as many as they can, and they come to my house to celebrate Christmas Eve together. My father prepares a great dinner with different delicious dishes. Afterwards, we usually give each other Christmas gifts and continue the celebration until late.
Finally, I want to thank you very much for welcoming me into your home and for giving me this great opportunity to live the experience of spending a year in the USA and participating in this cultural exchange program, which without your hospitality and generosity would not be possible. For my part I will do my best so that we all have a great experience and make it an unforgettable year in the best sense. See you soon. Thank you!