Valeria es una estudiante de 16 años de Madrid, vive con una familia numerosa, los Graveman y está disfrutando su año escolar en Tonganoxie, Kansas. En este artículo nos cuenta cómo es su vida america. Su host mother, su host sister y una de sus profesoras nos hablan de ella y de su experiencia en Estados Unidos.
“Tengo cuatro hermanas anfitrionas, Elizabeth de 16 años, Lucy de 15, Mary de 13 y Sammantha de 10. También tengo un hermano anfitrión, John, de 9 años. Siempre me divierto con ellos. Me caen muy bien.»
“En cuanto llegó, los niños pidieron tener una fiesta de pijamas en la habitación de Valeria. Inicialmente me opuse porque me preocupaba su privacidad, pero me di cuenta que es lo que ella también quería, ahora les permito hacerlo siempre que quieran. Estamos felices de tenerla en casa porque ha ampliado las experiencias de toda la familia y es un buen modelo a seguir para mis hijos. Su independencia y actitud positiva la convierten en un buen ejemplo para mis hijos”.
“Valeria es súper amable y servicial, la echaré mucho de menos cuando se vaya. Hemos ido juntas de compras y hemos visto muchas películas. También hemos viajado en familia y competimos juntas. Sin embargo, la mayoría de las veces pasamos el rato en su habitación hablando de muchos temas y charlando durante horas y horas”.
“Es muy sociable y hace amigos fácilmente. Se lleva bien con sus compañeros de clase; de hecho, a veces tengo que recordarle que deje de hablar. Ayuda constantemente en clase participando en nuestros debates. Le encanta unirse a la conversación, ya sea sobre el tema en cuestión o para hablar con los muchos amigos que ha hecho. Se ha sumergido completamente en la cultura estadounidense: ha pasado el año conmigo conociendo la literatura americana. Además, se unió al equipo de fútbol y está contribuyendo al espíritu positivo y solidario del grupo. Está muy conectada con el resto de estudiantes y ha establecido excelentes relaciones con ellos y los profesores. Es una gran escritora y proporciona un análisis perspicaz de la literatura.
¡Gracias por permitirle pasar tiempo con nosotros!»
¿Quieres vivir una auténtica experiencia americana como Valeria y estudiar un año escolar en Estados Unidos?, no lo dudes, contacta con ICES, Especialistas en Programas USA.
Valeria is a 16-year-old girl from Madrid, Spain, and she is living with the Graveman family in Tonganoxie, Kansas. She is living in a numerous family. She told us about her host siblings:
“I have four host sisters, Elizabeth who’s 16 years old, Lucy who’s 15, Mary who’s 13 and Sammantha who’s 10. I also have a host brother, John, who is 9 years old. I’m always having fun with them. I like them a lot.”
Her host mom is very happy to host her. She describes Valeria as a very intelligent, enthusiastic, creative and determined girl. She also told us about how she excels at school and how she makes friends easily. She has an outgoing and agreeable personality, and when she’s asked to do something, she will always give an enthusiastic YES! All of these qualities are essential but being open minded is the most important single attribute that is critical for an exchange student to have.
She is excelling in all classes and activities. Her host mom finds that some team activities like volleyball and soccer can be difficult because they can be demanding and there is too much of a skill gap for most people to participate fully.
School activities are by far one of the most important areas to immerse in American culture. Valeria’s host family participated in other cultural events and trips. Her host mom thinks that is good for an exchange student to participate in all the activities that they usually do, for a better cultural immersion. The family encouraged her to be very involved at school, particularly with school athletics and activities. Also, they have always felt that church activities like youth group are very important because they tend to be very inclusive.
Valeria fitted in immediately with her host siblings and began to form bonds with them as soon as she arrived. She shows deference and respect to Jennifer and treats them like her own siblings. Her host mom told us that:
“Almost immediately, the children were asking to have a «sleepover» in Valeria’s room, which I was opposed to initially out of concern for her privacy but I began to realize that this is how she and her siblings are at home and so it is permitted now. We are happy to host her because it has broadened the whole family experiences and she is a good role model for my children as well. The positive attributes that I mentioned above make her a good example for my children of independence and the power of having a positive attitude.”
She helps with chores at home the same as all the family do. She helps to cook and with the dishes. She is expected to pick up after herself in the common areas and she is emotionally available for her host sisters and brother. Forming this bond with the children and participating in the family as a «child member» is a very important part of forming the family bond.
Her Host Sister also wants to contribute:
“she is super nice and helpful, I´m going to miss her a lot. Valeria and I have gone shopping and watched many movies. We’ve also travelled as a family, and I beat her in all the competitions we had. Mostly though, we just hang out in her room talking about all our life problems and gossips for hours on end.”
Last but not least, her teacher Mrs. Slabaugh also commented that Valeria is an effervescent soul who brightens the room when she enters:
“She is very social and makes connections easily. She gets along well with classmates; in fact, I sometimes have to remind her to stop talking. She has constantly helped in class by adding insight to our discussions in class. She is happy to join in the conversation whether it be about the topic at hand, or to chat with the many friends that she has made. Likewise, she is willing to immerse herself in the American culture: she has spent the year with me learning about American literature. Additionally, she has joined the soccer team and is contributing to the positive and supportive team ethos. She is very connected to our student population and has made great relationships with students and teachers alike. About her virtues, Valeria is a strong writer and provides insightful analysis of literature. Thank you for allowing her to spend time with us!»