An early morning, two hour flight to Charlotte, NC, six and a half hour layover and an eight hour flight later, we have made it to Madrid, Spain! We were shocked to see 50 Cent directly behind us going through security at the KCI airport. That was pretty cool and made the early morning flight well-worth it. I am so thankful to have my best friend, Madison Ropp, embarking on this journey with me. I don’t think I would’ve ever made it this far without her. Coming all the way from Kansas City, Kansas, this is the first time I have ever been outside of the United States. So why not leave for three and a half months?! I will greatly miss this semester at the University of Arkansas where I’ve attended school for the past three years, but I look forward to returning in the Spring and graduating next May.
I will be attending school at Universidad Antonio de Nebrija where I will continue my Business degree as well as take a Spanish course. I am majoring in Marketing with a minor in Management so my classes will be International Business, International Marketing and International Management which will all count towards my degree. As of now, my Spanish is at a beginner level and I am quickly realizing just how little I know when it comes to actually holding a conversation. I am hoping that in addition to my Spanish course, living in a homestay will help me to become fully immersed into the language and learn as much as I can living here this semester. My homestay family consists of my host mom, Catalina, and her 12-year-old son, Mateo. It quickly became clear that there is be a bit of a language barrier when I called Catalina from the Madrid airport to ask for directions to their home. Mateo fortunately speaks pretty good English because he attends a bilingual school, so he was able to explain how to get to their apartment using the metro. Coming off of the plane was stressful and exhausting, but after getting our hands on a map and getting a few general directions we were able to make it to the apartment with little to no problem.
Catalina greeted us on the first floor and helped us walk our 50 pound bags up the five flights because there is no elevator here. But the view from our balcony is beyond worth being on the top floor. One thing I noticed right away is that their street signs are found on the sides of buildings made up of intricate paintings with the names written in fancy calligraphy which can be tough to read from a distance. The area around us is booming with people out and about at all times and the beautiful old buildings are filled with plants sprouting out of every balcony.
After a much-needed 12 hours of sleep, today Catalina is going to show us around the neighborhood before dropping us off at school for the start of orientation. I am looking forward to meeting the other students in our program, there are 43 of us total. I also can’t wait to figure out a phone plan here that won’t cost my parents a bunch of International fees. You’re welcome, Dad! Sending much love to friends and family, thank you for all of the love and support back home. More pictures and posts to come!