This summer I was fortunate enough to participate in the Viterbi Summer Overseas program. It all started in late May, when I met up with 40 or so other Viterbi students in Madrid, Spain for summer classes. I soon realized however that this was no ordinary study abroad program. Not only had Viterbi managed to fit writing and thermodynamics courses (WRIT 340 and AME 310) in a seven week program, but they had also jam packed each weekend with incredible excursions to cultural capitals all over Spain. I could probably discuss how much I learned from the talented professors for the entirety of this blog, but instead I’ll focus on those excursions.
We visited the six cities outside of Madrid starting with my personal favorite: Toledo. The way each trip worked was all us students boarded
a bus early in the morning in Madrid, arrived to our destination around noon, and usually had a tour of the historical part of each city. In Toledo, we were greeted by a local resident who took us on a walking tour all throughout the city. He told us all about his city’s history, showed us its unique architecture inspired by Muslims, Jews, and Christian artistic styles, and took us to the most well preserved painting by El Greco. My inner history nerd was beyond satisfied with every single part of that trip.
During other weekends we saw a massive Muslim palace called Alhambra in Grenada, a plaza in Seville built for the Ibero-American Expo in 1929 but more importantly used as set in Star Wars Attack of the Clones, and L’Oceanogràfic in Valencia which is the biggest aquarium in Europe and the home of the cutest Beluga whale you will ever see. I was lucky enough to see a ton of sights around Spain, but some of my best memories come from the time we had back in Madrid. During the weekdays all us students would try to find the best study spots (It’s the Buen Retiro park’s fountain area) and cafes (It’s called La Bicicleta don’t worry I found that too) which brought us all closer together.
As things started wrapping up in Madrid, I realized that my favorite
part about seeing all Spain’s amazing sights and finding Madrid’s secret spots was that I had so many friends on the Viterbi Abroad Program to share them with. If you’re studying in Viterbi, I highly recommend doing the Summer Overseas program, and if you’re not convinced yet, make sure to go check out other blog posts by Naish, Maria, and Bria about their summer’s abroad with me!Meet Michael