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Jen Hoy checks in from Spain, where she is currently volunteering abroad for 3 months of the off-season:

“In exchange for teaching my host family English for 15 hours per week, I get free room and board and the opportunity to immerse myself in the culture of Spain. I majored in Economics at Princeton but I also received a certificate (minor) in Spanish, so I have been studying the Spanish language and culture for over a decade and this just seemed like the perfect opportunity to teach, travel and train in one of the world’s most soccer crazy countries. I am currently living in a town right outside of Barcelona called Sant Feliu de Llobregat.

I teach for an average of 3 hours each afternoon, so during the day I train on my own and at night I have been playing pick-up with local men’s leagues and practicing with some women’s teams. I have weekends free, so when I’m not mountain biking or cooking traditional Catalan dishes with my host family I like to take the train into the heart of Barcelona and explore the city. The people here are so friendly and fun, and I love it here more and more with every week that goes by.”

hoy spain 1On the way to my first FC Barcelona game at Camp Nou! I was so excited! Barcelona played Valladolid and won 4-1.

Hoy Spain 2My host family in Sant Feliu de Llobregat. Mother and father: Anna and Ferran. Son and daughter: Pol and Carla.

Hoy Spain 3Inside Camp Nou with Ferran and Pol before kickoff.

Hoy Spain 4On a mountain biking adventure with Pol. The Mediterranean Sea is off in the distance. So beautiful 🙂

Hoy Spain 5La Sagrada Familia. It’s hard to believe that Gaudí started building this over 130 years ago.. And it’s still far from done! I hope to come back around 2028 when it is finally finished.

Hoy Spain 6Getting in some technical work and enjoying the views in a park near my host family’s house.

Hoy Spain 7Making the best of a rainy holiday in Sant Feliu de Llobregat. This photo was taken at Castell de Montjuïc, an old military fortress that dates back to 1640. La Sagrada Familia is off to my left.

Hoy Spain 8A big holiday in the town of Sant Feliu de Llobregat filled with lots of fireworks, parades and food. I’m wearing the traditional hat and bandana to keep me safe from all of the sparks and the smoke.

 

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