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Meeting Rosa

Going abroad can be nerve-racking, especially if you’re going to be living with a host family. You don’t know anything about them, where they're from, what they do, how they live, let alone what their household rules are. This was definitely the thing that I’ve been the most worried about going abroad and living in Spain.

I left Seattle nervous about what was ahead of me, I flew into Dallas where I met up with a friend to fly to Madrid together. The flight from Dallas was delayed for three hours which meant that once we got to Madrid we would have to hurry to the bus station to buy our tickets for Granada. The journey was exhausting and when I finally arrived in Granada I started to feel even more nervous about how I would approach my host family’s home. So many emotions ran wild and I didn’t know what to do because this was such a new experience for me.

I said goodbye to my friend as he was going towards his own host family’s home, got into a taxi and eventually arrived outside an eight floor building. What was I to do next? Ring the doorbell and wait for someone to open? I rang the bell to the apartment that I would be staying in, a lady answered and I heard a dog bark in the background, as she said she would come down to get me I began to feel a little better but still very nervous. My heart was racing until I saw an older woman come out of an elevator and a warm feeling filled the air. She looked like the sweetest person I had ever seen and she came up to me and greeted me the Spanish way, with a kiss on each cheek and a warm hug. All was better from there; I went up with her to the 7th floor, my new home for the semester.

Rosa is 64 years old, lives with her dog near one of the busiest streets in Granada that is now under construction because they're putting in an underground metro system. She loves to cook, travel, read, learn new things, and spend time with her family. That first night we talked about the basics and she gave me a tour of her apartment, which for just us two and her dog is quite big. I won’t be having a roommate this semester so getting to know her won’t be that hard if I’m the only one that she will be talking to. Dinner was great! She had croquetas and other tapas ready for me when I walked into the kitchen. So far, this is a great start to this wonderful new journey in my life.

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Fatima Ruiz Villatoro

Name: Fatima Ruiz Villatoro

Class: Sophomore

Major: Engineering Management and Spanish


Hometown: Seattle, WA

Activities: OLE, Coffee and Catholicism, Entrepreneurship Club, College Republicans


Favorite Professor: Dr. Male

Favorite Class: EGR 110

Favorite Commons Meal:  Salmon with mashed potatoes and vegetables


Why I Chose UP: The campus was amazing and the community at this school was exactly what I wanted. I liked that my classes would be very small and I would be getting the right academic attention. I believe strongly in the mission of the school and I felt at home when I made my decision.

Favorite Thing About UP:  Close enough to home that I can go for a weekend, come back and not be totally exhausted. There are so many things to do in Portland and I like that we have a lot of studies abroad opportunities.


Advice for Prospective Students: Visit the school; you don't know what you're getting yourself into until you truly experience it.

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