Amy Rader, Madrid, Spain

Hola a todos! Saludos desde España! I have been here almost a week and I am absolutely in love with Madrid, and Spain as a whole! My flight was long and exhausting but it was worth the trip.

I landed in Spain at 8:30am on Friday, and I lost 6 hours. I was picked up by my program director at the airport and taken to a hotel in the direct center of the city in Puerta del Sol. I met a few girls in my program and loved them immediately. There are 12 people in the same program and everyone is great. The first day in the city was a blur of jetlag and amazement. Every building is beautiful. Every street has a ton of little shops to buy tapas or café. And there are people EVERYWHERE. Since I am in the center of the city, many people are tourists. But it is obvious who is and who is local.

The second day in Madrid, I met my host mom. Esperanza is definitely the definition of a hippie Spaniard. Her apartment is incredible and filled with art and all sorts of beautiful things. There is another living here from my program and I am so grateful because we can travel the metro or bus together. She has already been here a month and knows so much! On Saturday, she was away travelling and I left to meet up with other students and got so lost in the city at night. It was terrifying. Sometimes, you just have to suck it up and pay for a taxi. Its better than being the crying American in the middle of the street.

I have realized that I am not as good at Spanish as I want to be. Many people will help you if you ask, but sometimes they seem annoyed to be helping an American. It is common for people to walk into you or bump you and not say sorry.  But for the most part, if you are lost, it is best to ask for help.  The weirdest difference for me is that it is common for people to stare at you in the metro or in the streets and it isn’t considered rude.  It totally makes me feel uncomfortable.

On Monday, we travelled to Toledo. It is the most beautiful place I have every seen in my entire life. We visited the Cathedral and explored the old city. I ate Mazapan for the first time, which is a pastry of bread and honey, that is famous in Toledo.

Today was my first day of class. I still get nervous even though I’m 22 and should be over it by now. It wasn’t bad at all. The teachers all seem nice and helpful, but no one is allowed to speak English at all in the university. Sólo español. I am taking 2 classes in Spanish while I am here. One is grammar and one is language and culture. The classes are very small like at Albright, we even sit in a circle. Profe prepared me for that!

I am having an amazing time so far, but I can’t wait for more adventures to come!

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Comments

  • Bob  On July 2, 2014 at 10:41 pm

    What a great blog post! You are very informative and helpful, now I want to go to madrid!

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