Hometown: Lower East Side, New York
Birthday: March 27
Where and how long?
Madrid, Spain August 25- December 13
I am living in Madrid for the semester, but I have been to different parts so far. I've been to :
First things first, what is it like? What does it look like?
Outside of Madrid, in many of the cities I have visited, they are filled with cathedrals, mountains, some cities even have castles. Also, Spain is absolutely beautiful, I am in love with all their landmarks.
How are the classes?
The classes are like the classes back at home. We are only allowed two absences and have homework assignments due daily. In addition, we have projects and presentations that we have to complete within a group.
Does it feel more like a vacation?
It feels like a vacation everyday until I have to take the metro to school. Even while I walk around the city of Madrid, on my days off, it feels like a vacation because it is all new to me. It is beginning to feel like home and I am beginning to love it more. I feel like I am on vacation because I have been traveling a lot. Since I came during the fall I have been staying in hotels with pools and beaches and have been tanning. This past weekend I was in Valencia and it was very hot and I completely forgot it was already October because of the weather.
How are the people? The guys? The night life?
The people of Spain are very nice. They're very polite and if I need help with anything they try their best to understand what I need to help me. However, Europe is known for their pick "pocketers" and thieves so you can't trust everyone, like everyone in this world. In Barcelona I witnessed my first thief. He asked a woman for the time and while she wasn't looking he took her purse and walked off; some men saw what happened from their balcony and told her she was just robbed. Since everyone heard what he said about 20-30 people ran after him with the women and he dropped the bag and continued to run. It was about 3am and I was amazed how everyone from the town ran to help her get her bag.
How is it different from NYC or even Syracuse?
Madrid reminds me of New York City sometimes because of the atmosphere, except it is much cleaner, with no rodents running around at night, thank God. The metro is also clean and the trains run faster. They recycle more, save more electricity and water since it is very expensive for them. They also eat very healthy here. There is also a place in Madrid, which is called Cuatro Caminos, which is a lot like the Heights from NYC. It is filled with Dominicans, hair salons, barber shops, people eating pastelitos, maltas sold in the corner stores and hearing their Spanish accent reminds me of home. Spain doesn't really remind me of Syracuse, I only feel like I am in Syracuse when I am I school since they have SU posters all around .
Your favorite place so far and why?
My favorite place that I've been to has been Barcelona. I had fun during the day and also the night. During the day my friends and I rented motor pecs and gave ourselves a tour of Barcelona. We went to Park Guell, where the Cheetah Girls went to while filming in their movie, which mad me excited to be there since I watched them while growing up. Also, Barcelona has a beautiful man made beach that was very clean and allowed me to relax during my time there. During the night they have a lot of things to do. One night I went to four clubs for the price of one and transportation was included. I danced in a "discoteca" on top of a mountain and the view was amazing. It allowed me to see all the landmarks I saw during the day up high and it was absolutely beautiful.
My least favorite was Toledo, only because it was raining the entire time while I was there. However, it was beautiful, filled with mountains and their streets were very clean. Also, their cathedral was filled with gorgeous paintings.
I have fallen in love with paella, it is rice with vegetables and it sometimes had chicken, or shrimp, or even ham.
They have these meatballs that they serve very watery and they are not that pleasant.
Craziest thing youve gotten the opportunity to do?
One of the craziest things I've done besides riding a moped on top of a mountain in Barcelona was spending time in Ibiza during their last party weekend of the summer. It was a great experience for me because during I am only 21 and I am in college and being in Ibiza at this age is a true blessing since everyone there was high off life, enjoying every second of their day and just celebrating being alive. I went to many famous places and even was able to see their famous sun set, which was breath taking. The entire shore filled up with people around the time the sun was setting and boats joined together near the shore and everyone just sat there to take it all in. The restaurant and bars played beautiful instrumental music and when the sun left everyone clapped and the music changed into techno to let everyone know that the night has begun.
How is the living arrangement?
Through Syracuse University, before you get here, you fill out a sheet of requirements that you want in a host family. I met my roommate at the airport and she told me her sister, which studied here before, lived in her own apartment and still had a host mother who cooked, did the laundry, and cleaned up for her, so I decided to room with her. Our host mom lives two blocks away and cooks for us every night and her food is great. Our apartment is small, but still so very cozy.
The people you travel with?
I travel with my close friends here that I met while traveling during our seminar. The first few weeks of being in Spain, SU took us to many different cities and we stayed n many hotels and I was able to meet my new friends during those small weekend trips. We plan our trips together around everyone's class schedule and so far we have Morocco, Paris, Amsterdam, and Rome left to visit.
Is it hard meeting new people?
It isn't hard to meet people, I guess it depends who it is. Some people here are shy, but many are out here enjoying life and being very energetic and talkative so I have made many friends.
What do you miss the most about home?
I only miss my family and friends. If I can live here I would, but I would just want my family and friends to move here with me.