Buenos tardes de Madrid! My name is Alison Spahr and I’m currently spending my junior year in Madrid, Spain learning the language and culture in order to be a teacher some day. I’m from Huntington, Indiana so coming to a city this big has been quite the culture shock, even aside from the language difference. I have been here for a little over a month so far, and I have about two more months to go until I’m back in the States for Christmas. I apologize for the super long delay in me getting this first post up here: I am not the most intelligent person in the world when it comes to computers, and we have not had wireless internet here for the past couple weeks…thank goodness for signal from the neighbors from time to time 🙂 Hopefully I will soon figure out what the problem is with my computer not uploading pictures on here and I can show you all the fun we have been having!
Just to give you the summary of all summaries of my life thus far in Madrid, I am living on the fourth floor of an apartment complex on the south end of the city with my host mom (Mauri) her 18-year-old daughter (Patricia) and my fellow Gracie/roommate, Amy Messer. Our commute to Universidad Antonio de Nebrija is close to an hour each morning, if we catch the metros perfectly. We take classes there with international students from all over Europe, so it has been a very neat experience to compare and contrast our backgrounds…Amy and I have quickly learned that the United States doesn’t have many supporters here in Spain (or anywhere in Europe) so that gets us in some humbling situations from time to time. Since arriving, we have already travelled to Mauri’s hometown of Huertezuelas in the mountains of Castilla La Mancha and just got back from a spontaneous weekend trip to Granada and Sevilla. There are so many differences between life here and life in the States, I don’t even know where to start…it has been a very interesting, very challenging learning experience every single day.
Well, today we don’t have classes (yet again) because of a national holiday, so it’s time for me to accomplish some major academic feats aka study for midterms. I have grown accustomed to being productive early because after almuerza (equivalent to our lunch) everyone rests for a couple hours…it has been quite contagious 🙂
-Alison Spahr, Madrid