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Tuesday, June 18, 2024

The Begin of My Summer season in Spain – Drexel Schooling Overseas

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¡Bienvenidos! If you’re studying this, it is likely to be protected to assume that you’re inquisitive about learning overseas in Spain, or possibly you simply take pleasure in studying about different college students’ experiences. Both means, welcome to my weblog! I’m thrilled to have the ability to recount my experiences in Madrid on this weblog, principally as a result of I do know I’ll be speaking my buddies’ ears off with all of the epic tales I’m about to stay out.

Because the title of this submit suggests, I might be recounting my first couple days in Madrid and allow you to know every little thing I’ve skilled to date. Earlier than I get into my life as of these days, I ought to most likely introduce myself and provides some context as to why I made a decision to stay over 3,600 miles from Philly for a complete month.

My names is Jessica Andrade (however everybody calls me Jess) and, beginning fall time period, I might be a Senior right here at Drexel. I’m learning Psychology with the hopes of turning into a trauma therapist and I’m aside of Delta Phi Epsilon and Psi Chi on campus. I used to be born and raised in New Jersey, and am the daughter of two Ecuadorian dad and mom.

Me, Jessica Andrade, within the streets of Madrid 🙂

For these of you who don’t know, Ecuador is in South America, so all of my household speaks Spanish. Nicely… everybody however my siblings and I. You see, though my dad and mom and prolonged household all communicate fluent Spanish, they determined to curse my era by not talking their native language within the family. Blasphemous, I do know. Regardless that I can perceive the language (since my dad and mom would communicate it to one another and different adults considering we wouldn’t decide up on it… hah), I can’t communicate Spanish effectively. It’s at all times been one thing that has embarrassed me, since at any time when I meet one other Hispanic particular person they assume it’s outrageous that I can’t communicate the language (and, effectively, they aren’t flawed). I chastised my dad and mom at any time when I can for not instructing us. Although, now that I’m 22, everyones loooves to remind me that now I’ve the ability to study it myself (which, once more, they aren’t flawed, however are you able to blame me for not feeling empowered to take action, because it ought to have been one thing I used to be capable of communicate earlier than I even realized English?!). I’ll circle again up to now in a second.

Flashback to the start of 2023, in the future I bumped into one in all my sorority sisters, Emily, on campus and we ended up catching up and spilling some tea, you already know, lady issues. Whereas chatting, she was so excited to inform me that she was going to review overseas in Madrid for the entire month of July. I believed that was such an ideal alternative, and I used to be so completely happy for her! After she informed me all about it, I began excited about all the benefits this system had that others didn’t.

For one, I cherished the thought of going away for under a month. Whereas some college students are desperate to be away from campus for a time period or extra, I used to be by no means a fan of that prospect. I like the life I’ve made for myself in Philly, and I noticed how my buddies who studied overseas in London for fall time period fell so out of contact with campus and our pal group. I didn’t need that taking place to me.

Additionally, since this program is in summer season, it gave me the right alternative to truly take pleasure in my summer season! As you might know with Drexel, college students both have courses or co-op throughout summer season, so there’s at all times an obligation to be on campus through the hottest time of the yr with little time to benefit from the season as college students from different faculties can. Nicely, this program eradicated that drawback for me. Though being overseas requires me to attend courses every single day, courses are out by 12pm, so I’ve the remainder of the day to take pleasure in a brand new metropolis (which is ample time for the reason that solar doesn’t set right here till 9:30pm!). Whereas in Madrid I’ll earn 9 credit for summer season time period, which suggests I’ve to take a minimal of 1 on-line class for Drexel (so after all I caught to the minimal), so after I return to the States on the finish of July I don’t must be on campus. I can take my one Drexel class on the seaside or anyplace I would like! This program has given me a lot freedom, not simply overseas however again at house, too!

Lastly, again to my level of not with the ability to communicate Spanish. Learning at Nebrija College is the place to be to study the language. Situated within the coronary heart of Madrid, it is among the high universities to take Spanish courses! This Hispanic Research program was too good to cross up, so after chatting with my dad and mom I informed Emily that I’d be tagging alongside on her epic summer season in Spain. After I informed my greatest pal Abby, who can be shut buddies with Emily from DPhiE, that we have been going overseas, she determined to come back with! Not solely would I be dwelling in Madrid for a month and learning the language my ancestors’ have spoken for hundreds of years, I’d be going with a few of my favourite folks on the earth! You may think about how lengthy spring time period should have dragged on for me, anxiously counting down the times for my good July to start.

So now that you already know just a little extra about me and why I selected this program, I can provide the rundown on how the primary 48 hours have been to date!

Orientation for this system started on July third, so we would have liked to be within the metropolis the day earlier than that. The three of us have been capable of get a direct flight from Philadelphia Worldwide Airport to Madrid that departed the evening of July 1st, so we landed in Madrid at 8am on July 2nd. I can’t let you know how a lot I like to recommend an in a single day flight when you’re going to be touring someplace with such a drastic time distinction from the place you reside (for context, Madrid is 6 hours forward of Philly)! We wakened throughout our flights within the clouds throughout dawn, which was so breathtaking and excited us to the purpose the place we wished to remain awake all day to discover! We took a fast 25 minute cab experience from the airport to Nebrija College since we selected to remain at one in all their scholar dorms.

We selected the dorms for just a few causes. Our major precedence was dwelling someplace with AC. Summer season is after all at all times brutally sizzling, and I *want* to be in a room that’s freezing chilly to have a very good evening’s relaxation. 3 out of the 4 dorms the faculty has had AC’d rooms, in order that was very incentivizing. Whereas we initially wished to stay in an AirBnB or native residences, many didn’t have AC, and in the event that they did they have been both the identical worth or dearer than dwelling within the dorms, with out the extra perks scholar housing has to supply. The particular dorm we selected to stay in, Chamberi, serves breakfast day by day to its residents, and has 24-hour safety and a gymnasium. It is usually solely a 15 minute stroll from our courses, so there have been many perks to room with the college (although, be warned: the showers are very small. Additionally, allegedly, the dorms have an 11pm curfew through the college yr however it isn’t enforced through the summer season. Aside from that the rooms are good for this program).

After unpacking, we explored the neighborhoods for meals and to familiarize ourselves with our new environment. First impressions of town is that it’s means higher than Philly (I stated what I stated). The historic structure gave every constructing, every street, every part of Madrid such a novel persona that the modernity of again house lacked. It was additionally very evident that this metropolis was a lot cleaner, since there was barely any litter on the bottom and hardly any “metropolis smells” that built-up trash causes on campus (to date I’ve solely gotten a whiff of 1 disagreeable odor, and that was from an precise rubbish bag).

To date, the meals right here has been superb. There’s each meals you possibly can consider right here– sushi, burgers, tacos (Tiki Taco has 1 euro tacos, how insane!), crepes, pizza, and naturally conventional Hispanic dishes. Our first evening within the metropolis we met up with different Drexel college students attending this program for dinner, then went to mattress early to get up for orientation.

July third we have been launched to Nebrija’s campus– the small Princessa location features a beautiful quad space, 4 buildings all situated proper close to one another, and so many facilities for college students. Not solely have been there college students attending from different faculties within the U.S., however we additionally met college students learning overseas from China and South Korea. I’m so excited to not solely have the ability to study Spanish tradition, however the cultures of different international locations as effectively. The school even have a division referred to as the Servicio de Actividades Culturales (Providers for Cultural Actions, or SAC) that deliberate so many various actions for college students to immerse themselves into Spanish tradition. They provide each free actions, similar to excursions of museums and the Royal Palace of Madrid, and people with extra charges, similar to dance classes, kayaking journeys, and wine tastings! We after all signed up for as many as we might, and I might be letting you know the way these go!

After orientation we grabbed lunch with college students from different universities and explored the various plazas this metropolis has (the native boutiques have so many distinctive European vogue statements that I might be spendings an excessive amount of cash on). Regardless that it typically might be troublesome navigating a rustic that speaks a overseas language, there have been many youthful workers who perceive English and make speaking really easy. I’m hopeful that we will really feel proper at house dwelling in a unique hemisphere for a month, and I do know I might be lacking this beautiful metropolis as soon as this program is over.

So, first impressions: Madrid is breathtaking, and I nonetheless can’t imagine I get to stay right here for a month! I already know I might be having a as soon as of a lifetime expertise right here, and am so grateful I’ve this chance to be right here and share my experiences with the world! For now, I’ve some extra exploring to do, however I’ll test again in later with extra epic tales of my Summer season in Madrid. ¡Hasta luego!

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