Today in Madrid, we had our final day of class. For my program, our class culminated in a presentation about how we have been changed by the trip. During my month in Madrid, I took two classes for six credit hours. These classes were beneficial for many reasons. I enjoyed learning under local professors who helped me learn specific points about the language and how the locals speak it. Spanish in Spain has different pronunciations, colloquial terms, and different grammar points that are not used in Latin America. One of my classes involved walking throughout Madrid and learning about important buildings, artworks, and museums. Learning outside the classroom in a new environment and using the language with the locals was an awesome experience that I couldn’t have had in Tuscaloosa. Getting credit hours is a nice bonus for all the great experiences I’ve had.
Another cool aspect of my program was talking with my conversation partner. Everyone in my program was paired with a student at the university we were staying at in Madrid. I really enjoyed hanging out with my partner, Manuel. We went out to restaurants several times and he showed me his favorite parts of Madrid. I also enjoyed practicing my Spanish with him. He helped me correct errors I had been making and taught me new phrases as well. Working with a local the same age as me was really beneficial. Just as they taught us about Spain, we taught them about the United States.
This month has been special for me because I learned through first hand experiences and did so much more than simply being in a classroom. I also made some great new friends. I have really enjoyed my month in Madrid and I look forward to returning soon.