This summer I’m studying abroad in Madrid with the Viterbi Overseas Program! So far I have been having a fantastic time. Madrid is an amazing city, and the perfect one for me to study abroad in. I took one year of Spanish in 8th grade, so I know just enough to get by, but not enough that I don’t have to try. I’m learning new Spanish phrases every day! Our program has about 30 Viterbi students, and we’re all living in apartments around the city. It’s nice that we don’t all live in the same place because I’ve been able to explore a lot of different areas in Madrid by visiting my friends in other apartments.
I’m taking two classes here (actually 3 if you count the Survival Spanish class we had during our first week here!). My classes are WRIT 340 (Advanced Writing for Engineers) and ISE 460 (Engineering Economy). They are both great. I’m particularly enjoying ISE 460 because I’ve always been really interested in finance. Both classes have pretty heavy workloads, but our professors are awesome in assigning homework due during the week so that we have the weekends to explore and discover España!
Speaking of which, we’ve done a lot of really cool stuff on the weekends here. Viterbi organized excursions to Segovia and Toledo and trips to Andalucia (including Sevilla, Granada, and Cordoba) and Salamanca. We’re going to Salamanca this coming weekend, but so far, all of the other cities have been a blast! My favorite cities we visited so far were definitely Segovia and Sevilla. Segovia was really cool, because we got to see original aqueducts built by the Romans. As a Classics minor, I had already learned about these aqueducts, and thought it was really cool to see them in real life. Sevilla was just a blast. We spent 2 nights there, so we had plenty of time to get familiar with the city. In addition to the trips planned by Viterbi, we have two free weekends. Last weekend, about 15 of us went to Barcelona. Between classes and exploring, we’ve been really busy, so it was great to relax on the beach for a couple of days. Next weekend, I’m going to Paris with one of my roommates for the weekend. Should be fun!
Besides our weekend trips, it’s been wonderful spending time in Madrid itself. There’s so much to do here: Sol, the Prado Museum, Mercado de San Miguel, Plaza Mayor, soccer games, Retiro Park, tapas at La Latina, shop at Zara, the list goes on and on. Not to mention the fantastic nightlife! There are metro stops all over, so everything in Madrid is very accessible, which I really like.
That’s it for now!