I arrived in Spain a few weeks ago. Having already lived in Italy previously the culture feels fairly similar to me. The largest difference I’ve encountered is the time in which people to do specific things. For example, it is common to have a meal at 10 pm but still have class at 9 am. Smoking culture is just as prevalent as in Italy but I would say coffee is taken a bit less. The transportation system in Madrid is exquisite and the weather has been beautiful for the most part. It is easy to go on day trips from Madrid as there are a handful of beautiful old cities just a few hours away in each direction! In my opinion, the Spanish people are not as welcoming and are significantly more direct than Americans. Although being surrounded by international students from all parts of the world has been such a great experience. Madrid is home to a handful of prestigious universities. I hope to continue to meet amazing people and travel more during this semester in Spain.