The past two weeks in five paragraphs:
My jetlag and I officially arrived in Madrid on January 11th. So far, things have been pretty hectic and I’ve been busy 24/7 getting accumulated with the city, organizing my things, figuring out where everything is, and other study abroad student shenanigans.
Being a foreigner for the first time in my life definitely has its ups and its downs. For starters, EVERYONE speaks Spanish here. Don’t get me wrong, there are definitely Spaniards who speak English but whenever you’re greeted at a restaurant or store, everyone speaks Spanish and that will take some getting used to. Learning and practicing my Spanish was a big factor in making my study abroad experience worth while so constantly hearing the language around me will help. I’m already speaking in Spanish when I order at restaurants or if I need to ask someone for directions. But sometimes, when I stupidly ask a complicated question in Spanish and I get a reply in a super fast paced tone my face turns to this:
Five days in, my roommates and I got a data plan (20 euros a month for 2GB, what a catch!) and now communicating with my friends here is a lot easier and also being able to use Google Maps (& maybe snapchat tehe). Although I still use Wifi (wee-fee is how they pronounce it here) whenever it’s available and I keep my phone on airplane mode when not in use so I don’t use up all the data.
I love the people on my program and we have all bonded together to form a fun group to hang out with. We have already checked out a couple discotecas, bars, restaurants, and tapas places (one of these days I’ll make a post all about the food here). We explored El Parque de Retiro, Plaza Mayor, La Puerta del Sol and many other spots around the city. One of the classes I’m enrolled in is a drawing class here at the university so I’ll also be taking many trips to art museums and I cannot wait for those!
The metro system is very easy to figure out and I’ve already gotten that down and know where and how to get to major/popular sections of the city. Commuting to school is a pain in the ass honestly because my roommates and I live about 45 minutes away and it takes about 7-10 minutes to walk to our closest metro stop. We have to take three different lines to get to class but luckily campus is right outside the metro stop we get off at.
Madrid is the most beautiful city I have ever seen. Everyday, I think about how lucky and fortunate enough I am to be able to live and study here for a semester. I came to Madrid to study, travel and to find myself and that’s pretty much what I’ll be focusing on the whole time I’m here. In just five days, I will be on a plane on the way to Paris for my first weekend trip. I’m super excited for the new adventures I’ll be taking and experiencing as this semester progresses so stay tuned for pictures and updates!