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3 posts from November 2015




By Kate Morrissett

Northeastern University

At this point in the semester, I’m certainly not the only person who has experienced that not-so-fleeting moment of panic upon opening my bag to realize that something valuable like a phone or wallet wasn’t there. Plenty of us have had to go through the unpleasant process of canceling debit cards, replacing metro cards, or using someone’s old iPod touch until we could get a new phone. While I don’t love having to call Bank of America again and again, I have to admit, getting my wallet stolen just hasn’t been the end of the world like I imagined it would be. What I pictured as being the worst experience ever has really just become a minor inconvenience. On the flip side, every good experience has been 10x times better than I could have imagined. 

Every trip I’ve taken has completely exceeded my expectations. I’ve made deeper friendships in three months than I ever expected. I’ve tried food I was convinced I’d hate and ended up liking, (I’m looking at you, croquettes with squid ink). So, yeah, my wallet may have been stolen two times too many, but at the end of the day that’s just two negative experiences in three months, and can’t come close to comparing to the countless positive ones I’ve had. 

I wish I could tell anyone who is thinking about studying abroad that all the good stuff is so much better than they think it will be, and the bad stuff isn't such a big deal after all. 





By Francesca Hidalgo

Claremont McKenna College

Before leaving, every alum tells you one thing: the next four months will be some of the best of your lives, but beware: time will fly. By this measure, the semester has been extremely predictable. The past three months passed in a flash, but have been filled exploring Madrid, traveling around Europe and making, truly, some of the best memories. We've found our place here in Madrid and although we'll never be true madrileños, we do feel at home. In many ways, our host families have become as close as, well, family; we've all had our ups and downs, and we've gotten to a place of mutual understanding and love. Life here has become so routine that the thought of going out with other friends in other cities, without the night revolving around sangría, tapas, and sol, almost feels wrong at this point. 

Yet in the spirit of Thanksgiving, I am reminded of all of the things I'm thankful for- not only to have had this opportunity, but also to be going home for the holidays. To be able to see all of my families and friends for a month before heading back to school. For getting to eat dinner before 10pm, to have a 5 minute commute to class and to be living with friends. 

So on that note, here's to appreciating all the time we have left and what we have to look forward to upon return to the states. 


An open stomach leads to an open mind

By Denise Ponce

University of La Verne

One of the most fascinating aspects about Madrid is that it’s a city that is diverse. This unique hub of people has created an environment where the food is equally appealing! Of course, you will eat plenty of tapas during your stay, but part of the process of embracing a culture is being open to all other aspects of its cuisine.

I have to make a disclaimer that not every dish I ate was truly Spanish, but I did make an attempt to switch it up like ordering burgers with goat cheese, or substituting french fries for patatas bravas. For some reason I felt that the more comfortable I became with trying new food, I also became more comfortable navigating through the city and speaking to Spaniards.


Patatas y Salmon in San Sebastian

One night my friend Aitana and I even attended a Spanish cooking class and I would just like to point out to my future husband that he’s very lucky I now know how to make paella, Spanish tortilla and a killer Sangria.


Vegan Burgers in Barcelona

It’s all about opening your mind and not being afraid to truly get out of your comfort zone. One night we all went to an absinthe bar without truly knowing what to expect and although we all had mixed feelings I could vouch that none of us regret trying something new and experiencing it together. So with that being said I hope you leave Madrid with a happy heart and a happy stomach.


Paella Mixta by yours truly