“It almost always felt as though the city was giving one big collective and rested sigh,” said recent graduate Madeline Reid on Madrid, Spain.
Reid studied abroad in the Spring of 2015 in Madrid for almost four months. She spent her time in the city, travelling Europe, and studying, all while living with a host family.
Among enjoying her time in a new country with a different culture, Reid noted how helpful her SNHU education had been.
“I remember relating everything I had learned in my general education courses at SNHU to the life I was living in Madrid…I distinctly remember thinking that I was so glad I took certain education courses, geography courses, and politics courses because it helped me better understand the world and lifestyle I was living at the time,” said Reid.
She previously spent over a decade studying the Spanish language through school and had that in mind when she decided to study abroad in Spain.
“Primarily, I wanted to learn more about the Spanish culture and be able to exercise/strengthen/broaden my use and knowledge of the Spanish language,” said Reid.
According to Reid, Madrid is a clean and beautiful city with friendly people who are willing to help. Reid found differences in the atmosphere as well as the people.
“The city, like any other, is more fast paced than a rural setting, but did not have the feel of New York City, or even Boston,” said Reid. She noted that some people lived at a hurried pace but they still stopped to talk to others and enjoy the moment they were living in.
When looking at the people of Madrid “there sometimes didn’t seem to be that polite buffer or sensor that so many Americans are concerned with disturbing. It wasn’t a negative aspect of their culture though; it was almost refreshing how honest and forthcoming they were towards me,” said Reid.
During her four months, she spent much of her time in parks, museums, or stores around the city.
“The parks are gorgeous and green, always teeming with people enjoying the day. Spain’s unemployment is at 24% and I’m convinced that’s why so many people were always in the park,” said Reid.
Reid has some advice for students looking to study abroad.
“Make a list of personal goals you have in life, and in studying abroad…Think about why you are interested in going abroad and how you hope it will shape you as a person. Once you have this list, look at the different location options and how they pertain/would strengthen the chances of you meeting these goals,” said Reid.
Students looking for more information on studying abroad can contact the Study Abroad office at firstname.lastname@example.org.