Howdy! As I finish up my study abroad experience and in the midst of finals, I have been able to reflect on what these past four months have meant to me. Being abroad for these past four months has been one of the most incredible experiences I have had. Through my exchange I have been able to grow in so many ways professionally and personally. Growing up I have always had a global perspective as my family is from Mexico and I have grown up traveling with them to different parts of the world. What I did not come to realize is that having a global perspective does not mean you know everything, it only means you are open to continuous learning as every culture has a uniqueness of its own.

During my time abroad I met this one girl from Brazil who I grew to be very close with by the end of my time here. She had such a different upbringing than me but what stood out the most about my time with her is that we are still the same. Two 21 year olds in a foreign country constantly learning and growing. Moreover, the more places I went to, the more people I met and the more interactions I had. While these interactions ranged from all kinds of scenarios and conversations, the interest in each stayed the same. If one invests in trying to understand a person from a different place or even the way of life in a new culture, then one will. All it takes is to be interested and open and with that alone, you will be able to grow your perspective and understanding of the world we live in.

In my first impression, I found myself very focused on the details of this new culture. Trying to distinguish the big differences and the culture shocks but little did I know that it was the similarities that stuck out the most. While the lifestyle in Spain does seem to be at a slower pace, the themes in life don’t seem to be so different. My favorite activity in Madrid was simply to go to Parque de Retiro and observe people. My roommates and I kept this theme of going to parks almost everywhere we traveled to. From all these observations, I came to one conclusion, people around the world are all the same. They will walk through parks with their families, with their significant others, and with their friends. They will sit and enjoy the weather and the nature that surrounds them. Kids will run around a playground and play with curiosity. A park is still a park, no matter where we went, and all of them consisted of all types of people simply enjoying the moment.

My experience abroad truly taught me so much and it allowed me to appreciate the life I live so much more. As I go into my senior year at Texas A&M, I am ready to be fully present in every moment and enjoy every bit of it. For this, last year won’t last forever but change and growth will continue to come as I take on life outside College Station.

Categories: 2023, Spain

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

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.

Categories: 2023, Spain

Landing in Madrid, I was immediately in awe. This was my first time in Europe, so I was very ready to explore my new surroundings and learn all about Spanish culture and Spanish tradition. It was hard to stay in my apartment without wanting to leave and explore the city.

As my first day of school arrived, I felt slightly nervous, but my excitement was exponentially high. I quickly warmed up to the schedule I had and the different environment I was now in. After 5 days of classes, I can say that this is very different from Texas A&M. I will have to adapt to these new teaching styles, but I am very excited to see my progression within the program and my time here in Madrid.

One of the biggest reasons I decided to study abroad in Madrid was because I wanted to experience Europe and practice my Spanish. It has always been a dream of mine to study abroad in Spain, and I am so proud that I am here now to truly live this out. Not only have I been attending school, I am fully taking advantage of my surroundings by meeting new people from around the world and by traveling to new places.

The main differences that I have noticed between Spain and the United States are transportation, eating times, and architecture. The main mode of transportation here is public transportation and walking. My apartment is near campus, so I can luckily walk to class in 15 minutes. But, to get to the city, I have to walk to the train station and then take the train. This is a new experience for me as I do not take public transportation often in Texas. I am fortunate enough to have a car, so to get from point A to point B is much faster than here. However, I am loving this experience, it is truly allowing me to get the full experience living in Spain.

It is a running joke in Spain for the Spaniards to clarify eating times by saying “Spanish lunch” or even “Spanish dinner”. People in Spain eat meals very late compared to my experiences in the United States. Lunch can range from 2-3pm and dinner is normally past 8pm. This has been a big personal adjustment since I am used to eating so much earlier. I will admit, I do cheat sometimes and eat earlier. But, I mostly keep to the Spanish culture of eating later.

Aside from the eating time and public transportation, the architecture here is very different from the United States. It is amazing to see these historical sights from hundreds of years ago and to understand and learn the history behind it. I find myself exploring a new city or area each weekend I am here. I am so happy to be here and will be taking full advantage of everything during my stay here. I can say that this experience will truly change my life, and for the better.

Categories: 2023, Spain


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.

Categories: 2023, Spain

Howdy y’all!

Wow, I haven’t said that in forever. As I prepared to go back home for the holidays, I was actually very sad to leave Madrid but happy to finally see my family. Yes, I was extremely stressed about my finals due to the curriculum being more weighed for the final rather than any other assessments I had completed during the semester. However, I would say I enjoyed the group work. I was able to meet my closest friends that I made abroad from those groups and I know I will miss them. Hopefully, I get to visit them in the future in their home countries.

Madrid had exceeded my expectations of how beautiful the country is. However, I was surprised by the diversity of the different backgrounds of those who are currently in Madrid. During my time there, I realized that a lot of foreigners seem to go to Madrid to work, teach, or study. I was able to try some Spanish food and I must say I did like the tapas but the tortilla de patatas was interesting. Other than that I was able to eat food from other cultures as well. Also, like how I previously assumed, I knew that my Spanish would be helped but it was definitely different compared to Spaniards. Definitely was an interesting experience and the funny thing is when I would video call my family, they would tell me that my accent had changed. Or that I’m using different words to express something rather than to say it in a way that they would.

My time abroad has made me a completely different person. I feel that I am a bit more organized to have my work in order and understood how to manage the study/life balance. I honestly think this is the most independent I have been in my entire life and I feel much more responsible. I’m excited to see how I will be with the start of the new semester and hopefully I can continue with my self-growth when I get back to campus.

Categories: 2022, Spain

As an exchange student at Universidad Carlos III de Madrid in Madrid, Spain, I learned a lot about conducting business and engaging with individuals in the host country. One of the most significant things I learned was the importance of building personal relationships in the business world. In Spain, it is common to take the time to get to know someone and build trust before conducting business, and I found that this approach can lead to more successful and fulfilling professional interactions. I also learned about the importance of being flexible and adaptable in business, as the way of doing things can be quite different from what I was used to. It was important to be open-minded and willing to learn about new approaches and ways of thinking. As one of my professors noted, the drive for entrepreneurship in Spain is not as vibrant as in the U.S., this was a notable thing to get used to in the business school especially since here in Mays we place a heavy emphasis on entrepreneurship.

My initial impressions of Spain were largely accurate, but I also learned that there is always more to learn and discover and that it is important to be open to new ways of thinking and doing things. Most classes continued to be taught in a more laid-back style, with much of the dialogue coming from students. Much of the discovering came from group projects where I had the opportunity to work with those from different cultures and countries. It was important to keep an open mind since their universities and schooling often taught them different ways of going about doing certain work than my education here in the United States has taught me. Overall, my time abroad has certainly changed my perspective and has helped me to become more culturally aware and open to new experiences.

Categories: 2022, Spain

Preparing to leave Madrid for the final time, I have to say that this experience has shaped me to be a more well-rounded individual. I now have a better understanding of how to complement my work-life with ample space for leisure because of the focus that the Spanish have on being out and about with one another. It seems that there is a lighter emphasis on career development that contributes to this relaxed atmosphere you feel in Madrid.

My initial impression before going to Madrid was that it would be very important to learn Spanish to be able to communicate and get along with others, but I could not have been more wrong. The people here are extremely English-friendly and often speak very well when you are struggling with your Spanish, but it does go a long way to make the effort to learn their language. Studying at an international university, you are going to meet individuals who come from all around the world to study abroad, and at times, it can be overwhelming with the culture shock you experience. To overcome this challenge, I found it invaluable to lead with the intention to understand where others are coming from to begin forming a relationship with your fellow international students. The school in Madrid was very different from the American education system. Your class grades are mainly determined by your final exam, so you may not be as motivated to put your best foot forward until the very end of the semester. However, the condensed workload and ambiguity of final exams in a foreign country do create pressure when the time comes to take your tests, so I found it useful to study 2-3 weeks in advance and attend my classes to have an idea of what the subject material would be.

I will always remember Madrid for its bustling main streets and quaint cobbled neighborhoods. Even after having lived there for an entire semester, I can confidently say that there was still so much of the city left to be explored. Saying my goodbyes after final exams, I felt as if I had built my own community of friends and had a sense of belonging in the city. The change of leaving Spain to come back home, though uncomfortable, has taught me greater independence, confidence, and gratitude. If I had the opportunity to study abroad knowing what I know now, I would still say yes in a heartbeat.

Categories: 2022, Spain

The first thing you notice about Madrid is how lively it is. There are a lot of people packed into the city and it seems like they’re always on the streets. I recall walking back home around 11:30 pm on one of my first nights and being caught off guard by how many people were at the bars and restaurants along my walk. The city has a relaxed atmosphere and it feels like their daily clock is shifted back a few hours; people eat their meals later, go to bed later, etc. Despite the considerable differences mentioned, as well as others unmentioned, for me, the small differences add up to create complexity in this new environment. Small things like laundry, finding out where to buy certain things since everything isn’t available in one place like an HEB/Walmart/Target, getting a gym membership, and many more add up to present challenges when doing tasks that would be basic back in Texas. These small things aren’t present when you’re on vacation, but when you actually live there you realize there’s nuance in everyday tasks.

My initial impression of the business program at Universidad Carlos III de Madrid has been positive. The professors have a more laid-back style of teaching and prefer the class to flow more like a conversation between the entire room rather than a lecture. One of my classes is all Spanish students, despite this class not being a business class and instead a political science class, I enjoy it quite a bit since I get to hear how Spaniards view world affairs. My business classes are filled with students from all around Europe and some Canadians, so I’m sure I’ll hear many great ideas from a wide range of backgrounds. I hope to learn from the unique perspectives of these students and be able to take some new ideas back home with me.

Categories: 2022, Spain

From the moment you set foot in Madrid, you can feel the special atmosphere that this city has created. There is an extraordinary social scene that is depicted by masses of people dining outdoors, walking alongside the streets, or just spending leisure time in one of the many parks here. I think one of the most alarming differences between Spanish and U.S culture is that overall, people here just feel more relaxed. It does not take more than a day for the casual observer to notice that Spaniards are not in a hurry to get anything done, and as a result, you become immersed in this calm feeling of acceptance. Furthermore, Madrid feels like an international hub. All kinds of people are welcome here as characterized by the warm smiles you receive when speaking with locals, who have no problem trying to accommodate the language barrier if you are still learning Spanish. Another evident difference between the U.S. and Spain is that many people walk to their destinations or use the efficient system of public transportation created by buses and metros, which creates an overall healthier lifestyle through active movement. As far as University classes go, the program at Universidad de Carlos III in Madrid is a breath of fresh air from the routine classes back home. The teaching style that I have experienced thus far has been a range from intense professors who passionately preach their teaching subject to more hands-off professors who choose to encourage classmates to collaborate and reach solutions collectively. Overall, I do not feel that the adjustment to learning the Madrid education system was anything unreasonable because of how well-prepared students at Texas A&M typically are. From this international exchange, I hope to further develop my ability to connect with others who share different views than me, and in turn, become a more well-rounded and open-minded person overall. Simultaneously, I believe that it is important to put yourself in uncomfortable situations in order to stimulate personal growth and that an international exchange is the perfect opportunity for an individual to encounter such experiences. Knowing what I now know after one week in Madrid, I am extremely happy with my choice to study abroad here and am confident that this was the right decision.

Categories: 2022, Spain