Upon spending almost three months in Europe, I have had the great privilege to travel quite a bit. From Amsterdam to Brussels to Bilbao to Sevilla, with more trips planned in the future, finding the balance between taking advantage of this grand opportunity to travel around Europe and to get to know the city in which I live, Madrid, has been interesting. One of the first comments about studying abroad that has stuck with me from the beginning of this program was that students left in June feeling like they did not know Madrid. Though they had traveled the world, most weekends were not spend in Madrid. During the week, they had class and homework, so it was much more difficult to set aside time to explore then. In response to this comment, I made it a point to set aside weekends during which I stay in Madrid. I stayed for two whole weekends in February, and after traveling every weekend in March, I have left the month of April as a time to explore my host city. Those two mere weeks in February showed me more of Madrid than I had seen in the almost month in which I had already been living in the city. Madrid has so much to offer in terms of museums, art, nature, food, (especially my favorite: dessert :D), culture, bars, etc that I would feel quite disappointed in myself come June if I had not taken the time to try and crack the surface of the treasures that await in this city. I want to make it to every barrio and explore the richness of Madrid!
By Isabel Patt, University of Minnesota