It has been two months since I have returned from Madrid. I had the most amazing time. I made so many new friends and I learned so many new things. One thing that really stood out to me was how little we know about other cultures. Every movie poster and song we heard was American. All fast food restaurants were American. My Spanish literature teachers knew so much about American literature, cinema, and pop culture. We knew nothing about Spanish culture, but our teachers already knew so much about our culture.
An example of this is when we traveled as a class to Granada, Spain. I did not know anything about Granada, I had never even heard of it. We learned in my classes that Spain once was ruled by all major religions: Christianity, Judaism, and Islam. We visited the Alhambra in Granada which is an Islamic castle built in 1238. It is very well-preserved and it is beautiful. It had so many wonderful views of the city as well as pretty gardens. I especially loved the gardens. The visit to La Alhambra and Granada actually ended up being my favorite part of the whole study abroad experience. This visit made me wonder: how many other incredible places are there out there that I don’t even know about?
I truly believe I got to have a once in a lifetime experience in Spain. It was perfect for me because I got to study my favorite things: literature and history. I also made many great friends and memories along the way!