Ashley Boone

By Ashley Boone, University of Washington

One of the highlights of my semester in Barcelona has been getting to know Isa, Edu, and their daughter Sara. Every night I eat dinner with the family and listen to them talk about their daily lives. Not only do I get the opportunity to improve my Spanish, I get a unique glimpse at the life of an authentic Spanish family.

We always speak in Spanish but all three members of the family speak English. Isa has studied in London, Edu takes English classes after work, and Sara is learning English in her school. They also understand and practice French. On the weekends the family watches movies in Spanish, French, or English. They are fans of Miyazaki and watch a lot of anime movies with subtitles.

Isa and Edu love to cook and are always experimenting in the kitchen. They cook a lot of vegan food and the family is gluten free, so Isa makes her own gluten-free bread. For breakfast Isa leaves me a piece of fruit, tea, and pan con tomate. They make food from all different cuisines and we have had pizza, curry, tacos, potato, fish, and Gazpacho. They eat a ton of olive oil, which is produced in Spain, and put it on everything. All the food is delicious.

Living with my host family has been one of the most rewarding parts of my Barcelona experience and I would highly recommend it to anyone studying abroad.