Hi everyone! I am about halfway through my study abroad program in Madrid, Spain, so I thought it was about time to tell a little bit about what life has been like so far.

When I first arrived in Madrid, I was excited but terrified. Before this trip, I had never been on a plane, out of the country, or even out of the states surrounding Alabama. I arrived in a huge city in a country whose primary language isn’t my first. It was a little overwhelming. The first thing most of us learned immediately is that you probably don’t know as much Spanish as you may think you do, but that’s okay! Most of the people here are extremely kind, and they appreciate that you are making an effort to learn their language.

I think the first few days are the hardest for most. I struggled at first to adapt to the schedule here in Spain, but after a couple weeks, you settle in. Lunch here doesn’t begin until 2 most days, and dinner won’t begin until about 8 or 9. So if you are thinking about coming to Spain, get used to eating late. The time difference back home can also be difficult to work around, so definitely discuss that with your loved ones if you plan on talking to them while you’re away!

However, after the first week, I sometimes would forget I’m on the other side of the world. The time difference with my family is often the only thing that really reminds me. Whether you visit Spain for just a month or for an entire semester, things begin to feel like home. We rarely refer to our residence as “the dorms” anymore, and instead, simply say we’re going “home”.

I write all of this to say that traveling abroad might seem really scary at first, but eventually, you will settle in and things will start to feel like normal, no matter where you are. You just have to take that jump.