I didn’t know what to expect when I arrived in Spain for my language and culture program. I was filled with nervousness and excitement alike, though the latter was the emotion that reigned supreme when I finally touched down at the airport in Madrid. Meeting all the students that I was gonna explore Spain with was super exciting and as soon as I arrived to the college that would help me perfect my Spanish, the nervousness left me and I was ready to start my adventure.

I took six credit hours at the University of Nebrija during my time in Spain. While I expected to dread having to take formal classes while being somewhere as wonderful as Madrid, I actually ended up taking a lot from the grammar and culture classes I took there. It felt very rewarding to start the day off learning language and culture that would enrich my journey through the city later that day. Classes were also built to be useful and teach its students as much as it could in a month rather than evaluate and trip up students with hard tests and assignments. My professors were very helpful and made it clear they wanted to teach rather than grade us, which took all the stress out of the program and made it completely enjoyable.

Classes were just one portion of my time in Spain. Excursions through the city filled up the remainder! One of the classes itself allowed us to walk through the major areas of Madrid and taught us a bit about the history behind it, which made it all the more interesting. We also took trips around Spain every weekend as a group, which was great because every trip was carefully planned for us and all forty of us could go together. One of the most important things to do during any study abroad is to take advantage of every moment you are there because the time flies by! It’s also great to immerse yourself in the culture. While we were there, we went to a soccer game at the stadium, saw flamenco dancing, tried all the most popular Spanish foods, and more. Learning and appreciating different cultures is the best opportunity when studying abroad, and now I am happy that I got to learn so much about the culture of Spain and learned more Spanish along the way.