January 21, 2019

Experience Of A Lifetime

Written by Harlee Rood

(Franklin) — Ever wonder what it would be like to live in a foreign country even for a little while?

Miranda Ríos does, she is a tenth grade foreign exchange student at Heard County High School from Barcelona, Spain. She loves Franklin so far, and loves many aspects of it.

Miranda loves the farms, animals, and the different things to do. Although she misses her family and friends.

Miranda described the area of Barcelona as having everything at a close distance. So walking to stores, cafes and entertainment is normal. She smiled and said, “Heard County seems as though it takes hours to even go grocery shopping.”

Barcelona is a large busy city, much like Atlanta and has many activities to offer. There is a mall, soccer games, swimming pool with trampolines, a beautiful beach, and many high schools.


Miranda Ríos, sophomore foreign exchange student at Heard County High School from Barcelona, Spain

Also, there are many gyms that offer lots of different fitness classes, so many activities we rarely stay home on the weekends.

Heard County offers activities that are quite different fishing, hunting, swimming in creeks, going to tailgate parties, and watching football games.

There are many sites in Heard County that are different from Spain. There are farms and animals. There are not any cows and chickens running around at night where she is from. Coyotes are also not a usual sight in Barcelona.

Since Barcelona is a big busy city, animals aren’t really a common thing. In Barcelona where Miranda lives you would see surfers, shoppers, children playing in parks, you might also see a lot of sea life near the beach.

Manners are something that is very prized in Spain. They respect others especially when children are addressing adults.

She talks about how when a teacher enters her class the students are to stand up to give him or her respect. They also stand when their teacher exits. They are dismissed after their teacher leaves. In the class throughout the day, they are not allowed to eat or drink in class.

Eating is covered with heavy manners as well. No one eats quickly in Spain like people do in here in the United States.

Miranda talks about how she feels like here we are always in a rush and eat so quickly. People in Spain sit down and eat their meals together and talk. They don’t have chain restaurants like Hardee’s in Barcelona. They have many restaurants that are owned by individuals.

Miranda came into the United States to Heard County to study English. She is now studying math, physical science, and computers. She has learned a lot and plans to take her new knowledge and use it in her everyday life in Barcelona.

Miranda’s overall experience in Franklin has been great. She has had major positive changes in her life. This time has made her more mature. This has taught her that she can do things without her parents right beside her, although she wouldn’t do it again.

Miranda’s has respect toward her host family, she thanks them for taking care of her during her stay, but  Franklin, Georgia is no replacement for her real home in Barcelona.

Miranda is here for a ten month period and will be going home at the end of May, which she can hardly wait. She says, “There is no place like home.” Times~Journal




  1. Thank you for sharing this….. I’m one proud Momma!!!

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