First of all, I would like to start thanking you for being part of your family in the next academic year. I appreciate very much your generosity and your hospitality.
Now, let me continue by introducing myself. I am Ignacio, I am 16 years old and I come from Spain. In my opinion, I am a very responsible, organized, hard worker, open-minded, friendly, happy, positive, sensitive and careful boy. I am a very active person and I love practicing sports (basketball, soccer, rowing, etc.), listening to music, playing videogames, reading and traveling.
I live in a magic and traditional region. The city where I live has around 0.6 million inhabitants. The relatively good temperatures along the year, the good quality of the beaches, the richness of cultural variety (restaurants, theaters, museums, …), the overlapping of different cultures along the history (Romans, Muslims, Christians…), and a variety of leisure alternatives (golf, diving, sailing, …), make my city a perfect destination for tourism. It´s very well connected by highway, train, bus and plane. In the last years, more and more cruises are stopping by in our port. The fact that the city is receiving hundreds of thousands of tourists every year makes people open and friendly.
Let me now talk about my family. My dad is 50 years old. He is a physicist, working in a global position and traveling very frequently to Europe, Asia and South America. My mom is 48 years old and she is a vet and she takes care of us. Then, I have two sisters. One of my sisters is 20 years old and I have also a little sister who is 11 years old. As we have been living in Brazil for more than three years, we enjoy very much traveling and doing things together. I try to do as many things as possible with my sisters like doing sports, listening to music, watching movies, riding the bicycle, etc. As I am the middle, I also take care of my little sister, especially when my parents and my sister go out for dinner.
I am currently studying 10th Grade. The subjects I enjoy the most are English and Geography. I study in a religious public school. It has many students, from kinder garden until High School. Most of the students are from the neighborhood, and everybody knows each other. I don’t know yet what I would like to study when I grow up.
I like hanging out with my friends, especially, at weekends. We enjoy doing things together (going out for dinner, going shopping, studying, going to the cinema, playing soccer, going to birthday parties and planning things). My day usually begins at 7 o’clock when I wake up for school, put my clothes on, and then make my bed. After that, I make my breakfast and then I go on foot to the school. Classes go from 8 o’clock until 14:30. After school I have lunch (in Spain we have it quite late) and after that I do my homework. On Mondays and Wednesday I have soccer. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, I have private classes on an academy of english, at this moment I am preparing for C1 certification. At weekends, we play soccer championship matches on Saturday or Sunday, and last year they said to me to play for my city to represent them and I played with the best players of my city and we got the first position. I prefer to study in the morning and in the afternoon so at night I can go out for dinner with my friends. On Sunday morning, we go to church and then we have lunch all together as a family.
I am sure I will love this experience and I will make it worthy because I have spent four years outside my home country and I have enjoyed the diversity, living another culture and meeting new people. When my parents told me I was going to participate in this program, I said to myself to really take the most of this unique experience and set my personal goals. I will do my best to enjoy the American culture, to meet new people, to make new friends, to live more intensively a more pragmatic educational system, to be a better balanced person, to get better prepared for a global world, … and, on top of that, improving my English!
My previous experience abroad was when I lived in Porto Alegre (Southern part of Brazil); I was with my family for almost 4 years. This period was fantastic! We really made very good Brazilian friends, we get immersed in the Brazilian culture and we travel a lot all the family together (Rio de Janeiro, Iguaçu Falls, Recife, Orlando, Buenos Aires,… ).
Now the situation is similar in some aspects but it is not the same, because I am going to live with a host family. Despite of this difference, I think I am ready because I studied four years in an international American school, I already lived in another country and I enjoyed the diversity. Nevertheless, I must confess that I have some concerns, especially the integration with the school mates. But I am sure you will help me to make the things get easier and I can count on your guidance when some difficulties will come.
I help at home with some household activities. I take out my dog for a walk, clean and tidy up my room, take out the garbage, set and clear the table for lunch and dinner, put dishes in the dish-washing machine and as I said before, sometimes I prepare dinner and take care of my sister when my parents and my sister go out for dinner.
In my house, we enjoy having as many meals together as possible. At weekday’s night, we usually have dinner together the whole family; we consider this time as the chance to get together and we chat a little bit about the main events of the day or talk about any relevant news. During the weekends, we go out for meal at least once. At home, my mom cook the famous “Paella” almost every Sunday, a Spanish dish prepared by simmering together chicken, seafood, rice, vegetables, and saffron and other seasonings. We also love cooking Chicken curry, because my dad brings the spices from India and the taste is quite special. We also enjoy very much “tortilla de patatas”, Spanish omelet. But when my preferred cooker (mom) is out, I manage to get some easy things. I do not prepare very sophisticated dishes, but I manage to cook some scrambled eggs, hot dogs, hamburgers, steaks, rice, pasta … and we all are still alive! On the other hand I am practicing to prepare some typicall spanish dishes.
On summer we spend a lot of time traveling, because we live apart from our grandparents and other relatives who live in different cities of Spain. We usually go with our cousins, uncles and aunts to some of the beaches of Andalusia in the Southern part of Spain to spend some time together. But we also meet all of us in my grandparents’ house in the country side. But we like, as a family (my parents, my sisters and I), to travel during holidays, take planes and go to different places. In the last 2 years we have been in London, Paris, Athens and Creta (famous Greek island in the Mediterranean Sea). I also go with my sister to a summer camp which is called Sabinillas.
The place that I have liked the most is New York, because is the biggest city I had never never been, and we went all the family together except my sister because she was abroad in Usa and she had an excellent experience which I would like to experience myself. We also went to Miami and spent some time there enjoying the beach, restaurants and shopping. That was really cool! Since that time, I am willing to come back to States!
I spend Christmas with my family and my grandparents because I like to spend time with them. We sing Christmas songs, make special dishes for Christmas and New Years, make Christmas cookies, and the best part is seeing them with a big smile. We don’t visit our grandparents and relatives very frequently (once every two months) because we live apart from each other; but, whenever we have the chance, we take the car and visit them. The best things about going on those long trips is that I know I am going to have fun, be active, and play with each other (like making dances, watching a movie together, preparing a barbecue,…)
Well, I hope that this gives you an idea about me. I thank you again for your hospitality and for giving me the chance to be part of your family next year. I am really looking forward meeting you. See you soon!!!