My name is Cami Lidisky and I am studying abroad for an entire semester in Madrid, Spain. I have been in this city for one full week now and just started school today. In this short blog post, I hope to summarize my reasons for coming here and my greatest takeaways so far.

My travel experience was completely wild. My flights were delayed and my luggage was lost, but I finally made it to Madrid to meet my roommates in the evening. I am living with two other Mays students whom I met a few months before leaving for the program. We found an extended AirBnB in the middle of the city. It is great because it is so close to all of the fun and happening places! It is nice and busy during the day, which is great but also tends to be pretty loud at night. So far, we have done a lot of walking around the city and exploring. We have stopped into countless restaurants, coffee shops, and stores. For the most part, all of the locals here are nice. They appreciate it when tourists try their best to use Spanish, even if they don’t speak it very well. I have found that this is one of the best ways to show them respect and try to integrate into Spanish culture, which is important since I will be here for several months. I have never lived in a large city before, so the hustle and bustle and public transportation system is pretty new to me in general. However, it is not very hard to get the hang of! I have also found that food, drinks, clothes, and other products are pretty comparable in price to Texas, if not cheaper most of the time. We visited the Prado Museum for free because we are students; we are hoping that other attractions will also have student discounts!

We had a short welcome event the other day to introduce us to the expectations and values of UC3M. They emphasize academics and are known to be a prestigious university here. They also value fun. Today, I visited UC3M’s campus for the first time and started classes. I am enrolled in 3 English courses and one Spanish class. There are honestly not very many classes to choose from in the spring for marketing majors. I would have much rather taken all English classes because I am more comfortable learning in that language, but one class just did not have that option. I have not yet gone to that class, but I am hoping that it will be a great experience and a chance for me to improve my Spanish. My other business classes have many American students in them. It is super fun meeting new people and learning about other American Universities. I like hearing the reasons why other students decided to study abroad. I am sure that in my Spanish class, I will meet many international students who speak Spanish. I am excited to get to know individuals from different countries and cultures.