I am so glad I was able to study abroad in Milan. I grew as a person because being on my own for a whole semester in Milan made me more independent and resourceful. I also learned so much about Italian culture and other cultures in Europe by visiting historical landmarks, museums, and by conversing with locals. Moreover, I came to appreciate the rich history and culture Milan and many places in Europe have going back over 1000 years. I forget how young of a country the United States is compared to some of these places in Europe.

Some of my assumptions about Milan have been right. Pretty much everyone I talked to was willing to help me out if I got lost or if I was looking for something. Also, throughout my time abroad not many people spoke English which surprised me because I thought English was taught to most students. Lastly, I was right about the lack of options for food. After a while, I got tired of eating Italian food, McDonald’s, and KFC. I was wrong about the size of the city. The city was much larger than I thought it was going to be and it took a while to get from one side of the city to the other side.

After being in Milan for a few months, I learned that Italians take their time to do things as they prioritize the work-life balance and are not always rushing from place to place like most Americans. For example, many Italian restaurants are closed in the middle of the day and lots of museums are closed on Monday. Also, I realized that when I emailed Professors or other Italians they wouldn’t respond as quickly as my professors at Texas A&M. Overall, however, conducting business in Italy is very similar to how it’s conducted in the United States.

Categories: 2023, Italy

My time in Madrid, Spain has truly been life-changing. It has opened my eyes to the beauty of cultural diversity and the interconnectedness of people from different backgrounds.

The vibrant and energetic atmosphere of Madrid has taught me to embrace spontaneity and live in the present moment. The Spanish culture’s emphasis on leisurely meals and late-night socializing has shown me the importance of work-life balance and finding joy in the simple pleasures of life. Exploring Madrid’s stunning landmarks, such as the Royal Palace and Prado Museum, has deepened my understanding and appreciation of history and architecture.

Some of my initial impressions of Madrid turned out to be accurate, such as the warmth and hospitality of the Spanish people. The vibrant street life and the passion for food and socializing were also in line with my expectations. However, I underestimated the size and diversity of Madrid. The city is much larger than I imagined, with numerous neighborhoods each offering its own unique charm. The sheer number of cultural events, festivals, and activities taking place throughout the year exceeded my expectations, making Madrid an exciting and dynamic place to live.

In conclusion, my time in Madrid has been transformative. It has expanded my understanding of different cultures, challenged my preconceived notions, and deepened my appreciation for history and architecture. This experience has broadened my perspective and left an indelible mark on my understanding of the world.

Categories: 2023, Spain