First Week in Madrid – Mariana Martinez
Mays Business School, February 18th, 2023
Howdy! My name is Mariana Martinez and I am a junior marketing major studying abroad in Madrid, Spain at UC3M. I have been in Madrid for a couple days now and it is safe to say I love it here. When I first got here, I expected to have multiple culture shocks and thought it was going to take me a while to adjust but I am surprised to say Madrid has not been as different as I thought. The biggest difference I have noticed is everyone here tends to enjoy a slower paced life. While living in the center of Madrid, you see many people rushing to get places but if you step a foot outside the center hub of Madrid or into a plaza, you will notice people will sit at a restaurant for hours enjoying some good tapas with friends. The city of Madrid is very clean and the buildings here are beautiful. Everytime I walk somewhere, I constantly catch myself staring up at the buildings everywhere I go because the streets are filled with simplistic detailed buildings with beautiful colors. I also adapted the sense of transport here which is walking, metro and train. Living by the Sol station, I am able to catch the train every morning to go 25 mins out of town to go to campus at Getafe. UC3M is a decent sized campus but in comparison to A&M it feels small. My first impressions of the school is that while it is a rigorous school, the professors are very kind and helpful with the students. The school also has a big international presence as they are known for hosting many exchange students every year. It is pretty clear the Spanish students tend to keep to themselves and their friend groups as they all take classes together and spend all four years surrounded by the same people. However, I have had the opportunity to meet so many international students from around the world. Moreover, another difference is in the Spanish culture, athleisure does not exist and so they dress more professionally and modest on a daily basis in comparison to America. Lastly, people in Spain eat small portions at random times of the day rather than 3 large meals. Overall, I have felt the Spanish culture in Madrid is not that different to that of America which has made it easy to adapt to life here. I am so in love with Madrid and Spain and am excited to see more of this country in my upcoming months here!