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From Alaska to Valencia, Hannah finds a family to mend her homesick heart!

This was the first semester we extended our program from to support kids in Valencia and already a huge success, as Hannah tells us in her lovely letter:
“Having come all the way from Juneau, Alaska to study abroad in Valencia, I understand what it means to feel disconnected from your family. In some ways, the distance handicaps me in my ability to feel a sense of love, belonging, and companionship with my friends and family back home. But through this program, my home-sick heart was mended. Above all, this program has given me a gift no one in Spain could have: a beautiful little family that I can call my own. The Montoya family has welcomed me into their world and taught me things about myself as a student, a teacher, and a traveler that I may never have learned on my own. They graciously extended their welcome to me, and gave me that familiar feeling of companionship with every moment spent in their lovely home. They upheld just as much faith in my ability to learn Spanish as I did in Marina’s ability to gain confidence in English. Together, Marina and I are learning what it means to struggle with a language but most of all, what it means to have a friend. Both Marina and Lucia are wonderful, smart, beautiful young girls who are a joy to be with. We play games, dance, listen to music, draw, and cook together! Although Marina was very shy at first, she slowly began to bloom and day by day, in little ways, she never fails to show me what she really can accomplish.
That being said, I would strongly encourage every study abroad student coming to Valencia to participate in this program. It has given me confidence, friendship, and memories that will last a lifetime.
It is important for us students to realize that no one is limited by distance. No one is limited by what they cannot hear. We are only limited by what we think we cannot achieve.”
I hope this helpful for encouraging your program!! :)
Thank you again for this wonderful experience!! It has really meant a lot to me!!
Hannah M

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