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Kaitlin Conner, Ohio State University

18 Sep 2016

My name is Kaitlin and I’m currently a Biochemistry major at the Ohio State University. I am enrolled in Spanish 2, but I am considering a minor in Spanish as well. I completed the first assignment on TalkAbroad, which included discussing our daily schedules, chores, homes, cultures and foods.

My conversation partner was Marianela Arguedas, who was very kind and helpful. She made sure to enunciate clearly and use lots of hand gestures so I could understand fully what she was saying. We ended up having a great conversation and I can honestly say that I have learned so much about Marianela and her culture. Before the conversation, I was completely nervous and probably would have cancelled the conversation if I did not need it to pass my class. Five minutes into the conversation however, I was having fun and learning a lot. I realized very quickly that saying a few lines in Spanish during class was nothing compared to having a full half an hour conversation. Even though I did not always know the correct way to convey what I wanted to say, Marianela was very helpful and patient in helping me communicate. I now understand that I am capable of holding a conversation in Spanish, as well as recognize the importance of synonyms and hand gestures.

I was genuinely surprised by the similarities between Marianela and I. Throughout all of my prior Spanish education I felt as though I learned so much about the differences between our cultures. However, after talking with my conversation partner about her lifestyle and even food, I was able to see just how similar we actually are. Our similar favorite foods even led to one of the funniest moments in our conversation. After discussing our traditional dishes of our cultures, she asked what my favorite food was. After telling her my favorite food was actually Italian, she confessed her daughter’s favorite food was Italian as well. We were laughing as we talked because neither of us would have guessed our conversation between a Costa Rican and an American would have led to a discussion about Italian pastas.