Submitted by Kristen Schlotman, Global Ambassador in Madrid, Spain.
I can’t believe I only have one more week in Madrid! This experience has been such a whirlwind. Never in my life have I done so much in less than a month. One of the best parts of studying abroad is traveling on weekends. The first weekend all of us in USAC were in Spain for the Running of the Bulls. Without a second’s hesitation we bought tickets and headed to Pamplona. Most of the other students in the program also bought tickets. We knew right away this was going to be a great weekend to bond and to get to know each other.
Pamplona was probably one of the crazier weekends of my life. The bus departed from Madrid at 2 PM on Saturday and by 8 PM, we were ready to experience one of the biggest celebrations in Spain. Dressed in the traditional red and white, we walked around the city taking everything in. By 1 AM, we were bar hopping, drinking calimocho (red wine and Coca Cola), and meeting people from all over the world. Sleeping was not an option. The city was too vibrant and exhilarating to sit it out. At 6 AM we lined up to watch the running. This was somewhat anticlimactic, but the night itself was one of a kind.
A week ago, USAC went on a fieldtrip to Segovia. It was just a day trip, but it was fun learning about Spanish culture and history. We even experienced a new Spanish dish called Cochinillo or roast suckling pig. Although this wasn’t my favorite meal, we all had a great time eating out together and hanging out with people in the program.
This past weekend, I went to San Sebastian with my roommate and two other friends from USAC. This little getaway was just what the doctor ordered. Madrid has been crazy hot the last couple weeks. Getting away to a somewhat cooler beach town was perfection. The first day we were there was a little to cold to go to the beach so we just walked around enjoying the cooler temperatures. The sun came out the second day and to the beach we went! The four of us went stand up paddle boarding for an hour and then continued to lie out on the sand for another 4 hours or so. That night we went to San Sebastian’s famous jazz festival and then went to a few bars and a discoteca. The whole day was wonderful.
Although I’m a big advocate of travel, make sure you have a few weekends in your city. Weekends are a completely different experience. Make sure you don’t miss out!
Want to read insider reviews from fellow study abroad students? Click here to find your perfect study abroad program!