Hi again everyone! I’m honestly sad to say that I am writing this as I am on the plane to return home. It’s gonna be a long 9 hours so I figured it was time for some reflections.
I was terrified to go to Madrid (like, really terrified). I chose to do a one-month program not only for financial reasons, but also because I’ve never been away from home. I was scared I wouldn’t find friends or adapt to the culture here. I was sad I would be away from my family and friends for my birthday. For all these reasons, I really imagined that after a month away from home I would be excited to come back. Although I do miss my family and friends very much, I’m not ready to leave. In the short time that I’ve been here, I have fallen in love with this place, and traveling in general! I have learned a lot about myself and learned that I am capable of much more than I thought.
Once again I write this to let whoever may be reading this know that it is completely okay to be scared! But don’t let that fear hold you back from a life-changing experience.
Now I would like to let you all know some things that I’ve learned during my time in Spain.
- Spain is mountainous!
- I was never good at geography, but as someone who absolutely LOVES the mountains and would rather spend time in the mountains than at the beach any day, I had no idea.
- It’s okay if you don’t like Spanish food, but you should definitely try it.
- Personally, I did not like Spanish food, but a lot of people did find foods that they really liked, even if they seemed a little strange.
- If your studying Spanish, you may not learn as much as you would imagine.
- My vocabulary didn’t increase much over my time in Madrid, but I do notice a significant difference in my ability to understand native speakers compared to when I first arrived.
Overall, I loved my experience in Madrid, and I would do it all over again if given the chance. If you’re on the edge about a study abroad program in Spain, do it. It will be the experience of a lifetime, no matter how long or short you decide to stay!