瑞安·罗德里格斯 is an 一般时时彩网址-USA Pride Scholar who traveled to Spain on our 全球预科项目. 在他的个人随笔中, Ryan reflects on his experience abroad with his host family, 思考信仰和存在主义, and describes how his time abroad instilled a desire to see the world.
现在看来，我仿佛经历了某种充满异域风情的狂热梦，其中充满了我最大的幻想，并实现了我生命中所有的愿望, 但在现实中, 我花了生命中最美好的两周时间去探索西班牙瓦拉多利德市内外的世界. 没有任何东西能容纳这些气味, 风景, 城市, 激情, 历史, or the struggles (my own and those of others) I experienced in a mere fourteen or so days. 老实说，我担心自己会觉得“全球预科”计划的节奏快得可笑, 但在现实中, although I was moving from place to place both in class and at my host home, 这对我来说太完美了.
The only aspect of my days that ever slightly remained consistent was breakfast, 午餐, 和晚餐, 在我的日程安排中，从阳光普照的全城寻宝游戏到在印度文化博物馆跳宝莱坞舞，这些活动都给我带来了一些放松. 我现在想起来了, and regardless of whether I was in Valladolid, 马德里, 萨拉曼卡, or any of the plethora of big 城市 and small villages, 我热爱生活, 讲故事, 分享文化, 并教授新的课程(包括每天晚餐时如何发音“朝鲜蓟”这个词).
我的寄宿家庭非常乐于助人, 爱的, 好奇的, and insightful; and that goes for everyone from my youngest host brother to my host parents.
Alvaro(我的寄宿兄弟)是我海外家庭的一员，并且将在我的余生中一直是我家庭的一员, 还有他那些了不起的家庭成员. I could not have fit better into my Spanish family. They re-shaped my perspective on enjoying things I never considered, such as learning Spanish 历史 and eating green olives! Even when my family and I spent the day relaxing at home, 一副简单的西班牙纸牌就足以让我想起我的一般时时彩网址寄宿家庭是多么地热情. I would not have wanted to see the world with any other family, 直到今天，我还在给我的寄宿家庭发短信，分享没有他们我在家里的生活是如何继续的照片. 自从我回到家，我没有一天不想起他们在第一天下车迎接我时的笑脸, 我怀疑其中一个会通过，因为我在西班牙的家人已经成为我家乡家庭的一部分, 他们将永远如此.
One of my favorite family photos of us spending my last Saturday at a Medieval festival, 我相信这张照片浓缩了我在不到两周的时间里与家人的亲密程度. If I close my eyes I really can think back to that specific moment, and that is a memory I will never be able to forget.
One particularly memorable Sunday with my host family comes to mind; one which taught me some things I never considered about faith. 这是, 一如既往地, 西班牙烈日下又一个闷热的日子, and the plan was to visit the pueblo of Rueda, 我的主人爸爸的童年小镇. 首先是一场管风琴音乐会，令人惊讶的是，它激起了我甚至不知道自己拥有的情感. 现在, I didn’t expect much of anything but some beautiful, antique organ music shaking the walls of a small village church, but what I experienced was a stint of meditative introspection. As my natural mother never pushed faith onto any of her children, I never had much experience with churches beyond touring them, but here it was; my first time sitting in a pew (I promise you I am not lying). Before me towered a golden depiction of angels surrounding Saint Anne, 我简直不敢相信，如此精美的艺术作品就站在我的眼前. 跟随我的敬畏时刻, 这个程序被分发了, and I wasn’t surprised when I couldn’t recognize the setlist for that morning’s concert. Nevertheless, I peeled my ears and as the organ began to play I respectfully tuned in. 在我知道之前, I was soaking in the sounds of the music and naturally began contemplating all things religious. What drives people to dedicate endless days to constructing such beautiful altars? 这就是“有信心”吗? How can someone find such peace within religion and such a love for the idea of one God? 确实，存在主义是最完美的.
Right after the concert I was able to meet the organist himself, and not only did I get a free lesson on different types of organ structures, but I was also taught that the reason the organ sits in the back of some churches is so that it can provide its audience with a chance to think; a moment of meditation. 这就是! I wasn’t enduring some odd internalized crisis, I had been meditating and didn’t even know it.
我能有机会见到这位著名的风琴手，全是因为我的主人爸爸妈妈的帮助, 我的祖母. She was the assistant page-turner who introduced us, and the next important lesson I learned that day came straight from her. 音乐会结束后，我们走到她家吃了一顿我这辈子吃过的最好吃的午餐. 但在我们吃美食之前, 我的主人父亲对祖母说，我有兴趣去看看房子旁边的家庭药房. 没有片刻的犹豫, 我的祖母打开了门，带我参观了她女儿全天经营的药店，为Rueda的社区提供服务. 从那里就是花园, 还有客厅, 和卧室, 一个接一个地交叉, 画在画, this woman’s home became more and more animated. 它的历史很悠久, and I came to understand this being a direct result of how genuinely content she was with life. 她没有一刻不笑的, and after speaking with her I realized it was all because of two things; the health of her family, 以及她对上帝的爱.
Not only did this reinforce the thoughts I began having in the church, but it also helped me understand that true happiness, that one thing we are all seemingly in pursuit of, 能在最简单的事物中找到.
When considering the challenges I faced abroad, my mind immediately jumped to the age gap between my host brother and I. 考虑到我的大部分一般时时彩网址维护同行都是和同龄的兄弟姐妹配对的, 我有点像个败家子. With almost four years between myself and my host brother, it was difficult finding a point of relatability with him. 我们的利益不一致, and neither did our understandings of independent responsibilities nor life experiences. 我在国外度过的第一个周末, I discovered his interests in traveling to America, so from that point forward I would use that to help us get along. 我诚实而有见地地回答了他所有的问题，希望在我们之间注入一些信任. 虽然我们从来没有成为最好的朋友, 事实上，我知道他都是, 还有他十岁的弟弟, learned to see me as less of “that American boy” and more like the older brother they never had.
有一件事我从我在西班牙的全球预备学校的经历中没有想到，那就是我不仅从家人那里得到了同样的爱, 但我遇到的每一个人, including that one pharmacist who helped clear up my canker sores, and my host aunt who recommended watercolor painting as a way to beat stress. 我想当然地认为自己不会完全被社区所接受，我觉得自己是在入侵, 但事实上, 他们全心全意地拥抱我. 它们改变了我对西班牙的看法，因为我知道，我可以把一个初次旅行的人通常不会拥有的信任托付给任何人，而不用担心自己会被利用.
I know just what greatness the world has to offer, 幸运的是, I now get to share that greatness with others. 我目前正在为我的学校起草我的报告，我将通过我的Global Prep冒险镜头详细说明留学的好处. 我的校长也同意我在学校为那些对全球研究和外语感兴趣的学生颁发奖学金. 我的朋友们已经有机会听到我的一些故事，甚至尝试一些我在西班牙吃的食物, now it is time to bring that vibrancy to a larger audience. As I embark on my journey into my senior year of high school, I am still unsure about a lot of the finer details of my future. 然而, 我仍然坚定地爱着我的同学和我周围的世界所提供的被误解和被误传的可能性. I can imagine every other essay and video addresses their experience as “the trip of a lifetime.” Although this trip will remain influential for my lifetime, it was also just one of many future trips which will constitute my life, therefore making my Global Prep Spain experience merely “a trip of a lifetime.”
Thank you to every member of the 一般时时彩网址 staff both in the U.S. 以及让我的经历成为可能的西班牙，感谢我的寄宿家庭愿意与我分享你们的个人生活, 以及帮助像我这样的其他一般时时彩网址维护学生在国外找到自己的家的意愿.
Ryan’s essay so vividly captures the way in which travel imbues our lives with meaning. 如果你是一个公开承认自己是LGBTQ+的学生，渴望看到世界，并在国外有一个有影响力的经历, apply for our Pride Scholarship and receive up to $4,5万美元用于一般时时彩网址海外留学项目!