Hello everyone! Welcome to my 8-week study abroad journey in Madrid, Spain! In my pre-departure video, I briefly explained that I will be completing a 8 week virtual internship with The Intern Group. I am ecstatic to be in Madrid and getting a look into what the workforce looks like abroad. From the title and the images I have provided, I hope I have sparked some interest in my journey abroad. I have been abroad since January 2021 in a coastal city along the shores of the Mediterranean Sea, known as Alicante. My time spent there was one of a kind, quite literally. It was mid-pandemic when Spain was in a complete lockdown with all types of restrictions. There, I studied biology and Spanish at the University of Alicante, mostly virtual but did get to be in-person towards the end, and was able to build an incredible bond with my host family! For this study abroad opportunity though, I originally, was suppose to go to Medellín, Colombia to complete this internship in 2020 but as the pandemic hit, it was postponed. Since I was already in Spain, I decided to switch my internship to a city that is only about 4 hours away by train rather than an 10 hour flight across the world.
Living in Spain for about 6 months now, I still had not made my way to Madrid. When I arrived, let me just say, it left me in awe. Its beauty of architecture, the diversity in people, the crowds, everything was slightly different than Alicante which had me excited for my days to come. The first difference was quite obvious, that being the lack of beach. Alicante is right on the coast so I was living 10 minutes away from it! Everyone who I mentioned my departure to Madrid told me “¡Prepárate porque en Madrid hace muchísimo calor y no hay playa!” It’s true, it was very, very hot and without the beach, it seems even more brutal. What they didn’t know though, was that I came from Phoenix, Arizona! I handle intense dry heat well but humidity, forget about it! I was so happy that Madrid has this dry heat instead of the intense humid heat that I fortunately was escaping from. I do have to say though, without AC, the summer heat is more noticeable. Another huge difference was the difference in people! Since I am a Mexican-American native Spanish speaker , living abroad has fined tuned my ear to the Latin American Spanish accent. Here in Madrid, I have noticed the diversity from Latin American countries like Colombia, Venezuela, Cuba, República Dominican, Chile, etc. In Alicante, there was also diversity in people but they came from countries like France and Italy. In Alicante, I heard a lot of Spanish from Spaniards but here its from people from Latin America! I couldn’t believe this when I was out exploring!
I am excited to keep everyone updated on my journey with my (virtual) internship, my experience living in Madrid, the interactions I have, and all my emotions that come with being abroad! Stay tuned, adiós!!