My name is Gráinne O’Reilly and I am 16 years old. I live in Dublin and I am visiting Seville in Spain for 2 months to learn Spanish and get a taste of the Spanish life and culture.

On my first day in Seville, I expected to be settling in to my house and unpacking. This was not the case, we drove 1 hour to the countryside. There, we were greeted with kisses from family friends, a welcome that I knew I would have to get used to. Everyone was very understanding of my low Spanish skills as it was my first day! We lit bonfires and ate ice cream. ¡Lo pasé fenomenal!

My first day of school was daunting but when I arrived everyone I saw said hello and asked me my name. I couldn’t remember any names on the first day really but I got used to it. For my first class, we had PE. It was so fun as we just danced the whole time, something we don’t get to do in Ireland. Prefiero colegio en España comparado de Irlanda!

In Ireland I swim everyday with a club and so I wanted to continue my sport whilst in Spain. I joined a swim team and I swim with them 6 times a week for 2 hours each day. I really enjoy it and everyone there is so nice.

I spent my second weekend down in sunny Malaga and I really enjoyed myself. We stayed in a really pretty small hotel. My host sister, brother and family friends were competing in a panel competition over Saturday and Sunday. I had never seen this sport so I was really excited, I thought it might get boring after the first few minutes but I was wrong! I got to see the best players in Andalucía playing and it was really intense. I also managed to get a bit of a tan during the breaks in matches!

I am now in my second week of school and loving it. School has really helped me come out of my shell because everyone is so nice. During this week, I went into the centre of Seville with 3 of my Spanish friends – Isa, Irena and Blanca. First we went for lunch then they showed me around the town for a couple hours and I didn’t expect it to be so pretty. I really loved everything we saw and the parks were so tranquil and beautiful. After sight-seeing we went for merendar – snack at 6 o’clock. We got ice creams as the sun was sweltering and it was so refreshing.

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I was nervous before I came about the food but I really love it. Spanish tortilla is actually the best thing I’ve tried. The food is so different to Ireland but it really adds to the experience and makes everyday more exciting.

Overall my first week was enjoyable but difficult to get into the Spanish rhythm of eating and sleeping. Speaking is becoming easier everyday and I can’t wait for the upcoming weeks!