Study Abroad in Madrid, Spain

As we reach the halfway mark of this fall semester we are all starting to receive emails from advisors about scheduling appointments to discuss classes for next semester. Amazing! Where has the time gone? I have already had my meeting with my advisor and before I left she handed me graduation papers and said that was our last meeting! I can hardly believe it, being a senior is great but also scary thinking that this time next year I will be in graduate school.

But looking back at my time here so far, I have an incredible experience. I think the key to this is really getting involved on campus, whether through clubs, greek life, a campus job, or taking advantage of our many opportunities to study abroad.

Last week I was able to bring a visiting student to my Children’s Development In Cross-Cultural Perspective class (Psyc 368) and she asked a lot of questions about classes and then mentioned she was interested in minoring in Spanish. So because I too am minoring in Spanish I started talking to her about all the different courses I have taken, the many opportunities there are to practice the language here on campus, and my study abroad experience.

study abroad 1This past summer I spent 7 weeks in Madrid, Spain. I stayed with a wonderful host family and also took classes study abroad 2Monday-Thursday with excursions on Fridays. The courses I took were all taught in Spanish by professors at the University of Nebrija (where we studied). The courses were interesting, but I loved getting out of the classroom and going out to learn. Learn the culture, practice the language, even going to El Museo de Prado (where we learned and study abroad 3got to see the art which we learned about in class), and going on excursions. As a group we went to Toledo, Segovia, Salamanca, and Granada. All absolutely beautiful cities with a lot of history. But I would have to say my favorite city was Granada.

Since our excursions were only day trips (on Fridays), that left us the weekend free. So I was able to do a lot of traveling on my own to other cities. I went to Ciudad Real, Valencia, Sevilla, Paris, Barcelona, and Pamplona. The last two cities I visited after the program ended with 3 others who also study abroad 4stayed extra to travel more. We were able to rent an apartment for four nights in Barcelona and it was just a 10 minute walk from the beach! After those days we went to Pamplona, which just happened to be during the Running of the Bulls Festival, or San Fermin. Everywhere you turned people were wearing white and red (the colors of the festival). It was a crazy, fun, all night long (literally) event, but well worth it.

When my 7 weeks came to an end it was sad to leave Madrid, but it was also good to come back home and see family and friends. But I would go back in a heartbeat that is for sure. So my advice to all of you (as always), is to get involved and do the most that you can while you are here at Purdue. The opportunities are endless!

Priscilla Gaona, Senior, Movement & Sports Sciences

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