Week 1: Check!

Authored by:
Jessica Kehoe

Jessica Kehoe

Week one in Madrid got off to a great start as students enjoyed getting to know one another and meeting their host families for the first time! We began with a bit of orientation on Monday. And on Tuesday we dove right into Spanish classes and afternoon cultural activities to help students get to know the city they will be calling home for the next month. This week's activities included tours of the famous Plaza de Toros de Las Ventas (the bullfighting arena), Retiro Park, and Puerta del Sol.

Arrival day at the Madrid Airport!
Arrival day at the Madrid Airport!

As week one comes to a close, we thought it would be nice to hear from some students about how their first few days onsite have been going!

One group of students exploring Puerta de Alcalá.
One group of students exploring Puerta de Alcalá.

"Even though it has been only two days, I already feel that I will enjoy this program very much. It is so nice to actually have activities and classes in-person because we did not have that last year. So it's really nice to be able to communicate and learn face-to-face! I am very happy that I chose to go here."

-Yana

"My first week in Madrid was something out of my comfort zone. I have always been close to my family and have never been this far from them. But even though I missed them, my host family and CIEE have made sure I have everything I needed to feel safe. Having this support while in Madrid has made me feel more confident about walking around the city and letting my Spanish skills grow as I go off to afternoon activities. It has not been easy, but being able to be in a different country has shown me how much I am capable of independently. I am having so much fun and can't wait to see what new things are ahead of me!"

-Michelle

Another group exploring the Royal Palace.
Another group exploring the Royal Palace.

"I am enjoying Madrid very much and in the very little time I have been here, I have learned so much more Spanish. This has given me the ability to hold many more conversations in a different language with my host family, and learn so many interesting things. I am very excited to learn more and see more beautiful sights throughout Madrid."

-Klara

"My first week in Madrid has been really amazing. I've made amazing friends already and am really excited to meet more people. Communication was a bit of a struggle at fist because my Spanish speaking skills aren't as good as my vocabulary and ability to understand, but as I'm here more and more, it's getting easier. As long as I continue to try hard, I know I'm going to improve. The food here definitely has a different taste, and I had to get used to it, but it's been really good. Overall, I've had a great time so far with my classmates and friends."

-Sylvia

Learning about the Ventas Bullfighting Arena.
Learning about the Ventas Bullfighting Arena.

"My experience in Madrid started out a bit rough, but after the first day of struggling with bad Wifi during Zoom classes, being rusty with my Spanish, and struggling with the metro system, everything was great! I got the chance to explore many beautiful areas of Madrid, learned the metro system, and my Spanish has improved quite a bit in the short amount of time I've spent here so far. I am looking forward to exploring more of Madrid, practicing Spanish with my friends and host family here, and engaging in more activities that CIEE has planned for us! It's been a blast so far!"

-Patience

"My first few days were hectic in the best way. There was really no easing into anything, which made the experience feel much more immersive already, and I think the independence we’ve been given is helpful to push people outside their comfort zones and be more confident in themselves."

-Drew

Students enjoying a tour of Retiro Park.
Students enjoying a tour of Retiro Park. 

Sounds like everyone's experience is off to a great start! We are all so excited to see what the rest of the progam brings!

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