¡Hola! About me and why I’m teaching in Madrid with CIEE

Programs for this blog post

Teach In Spain Program

Authored By:

Caroline B.



My name is Caroline, and I’m excited to introduce myself and start sharing all about my journey abroad with CIEE. I’ll be teaching English in Madrid as a part of the October program, so I’ll be assigned my school and age group once on site in Spain. 

Me, with ice cream, in Madrid, happy as a clam. 

Education and background

I graduated from Hamilton College in New York this past May, and I’m originally from Richmond, VA. At Hamilton, I studied Literature and Hispanic Studies, with significant coursework in Art History and Environmental Studies. I have a hunch that my blog posts will cover an intersection of all these interests! I look forward to taking you all through Madrid’s museums, parks, streets, and restaurants, as well as providing insight on my time as a teacher.

Books at a market in Madrid. This is supposed to reflect my ~literary aptitude.~


Why Madrid?

I decided to take this first career step after graduation because my gut was telling me I needed to go back to Madrid. I had more things to do, people to meet, and places to see there. I studied in Madrid through Hamilton’s renowned Spanish immersion program for a semester my junior year. During this time, I fell in love with the city and its 24-hour joy. Madrid was like no city I’d ever visited – my host family invited me in like one of their own, every day I’d stumble upon a beautiful new block that held some hidden historic plaza or vibrant mural, and I crossed paths with truly lovely people from all around the world. My time there pushed my language skills to unforeseen heights, and I’m still learning every day. I just knew I needed to go back to continue exploring, learning, and connecting.

View of Madrid
View from Moncloa in Madrid, intended to show exactly why Madrid is so irresistible.


Sitting here in Richmond, VA before leaving for Madrid, I think this would be a valuable time to outline a few of my goals for my year of teaching. Firstly, I aspire to grow my Spanish even more, using it every day. I plan to investigate CIEE’s Spanish classes offered in the evenings after work. It would be so rewarding to make friends and meaningful connections in my second language . . . which brings me to my next point!

Second, I endeavor to open myself up to making new connections with others. This could be other CIEE teachers or people from Spain or around the world that cross paths with me. Connections with others are so important to me, so I know I will need to make the daily effort to facilitate those meaningful interactions. That might mean joining a club, a Facebook group, or it could flourish organically with flatmates or neighbors. I guess we’ll see what happens!

I also hope to grow this blog into a dynamic log of my experiences in Madrid, to help others following me, remind me of memories made, and to add to my writing portfolio. Being a blogging intern with CIEE really opens so many doors, and I endeavor to serve this community and make this opportunity count.


Things that I’m a bit nervous about…

Well, I do have one thing going for me, and that is that I already have a good familiarity with Madrid. However, this year will be different than my previous time there, presenting new challenges and obstacles, but also new joys and discoveries.

I admit I am nervous about finding an apartment. I will spend my early weeks in Madrid touring apartments while staying in a temporary AirBnb. I plan to update my blog with more information about where I land once I do, and I know I will find just the right place. Still, I can’t help feeling a bit giddy at all that is currently up in the air. 


What excites me…

All this doesn’t even feel real yet. I’m sitting here writing this post in my childhood bedroom, and I don’t think it’ll all feel real until I feel the jet’s wheels hit the tarmac in MAD. I just want to get there, breathe in the city air, stroll to a plaza for a tinto de verano, and then I’ll know I’m not dreaming. So, I’m excited for all of it. I’m excited to meet my class, to meet the other CIEE teachers, for the weekends, and to just get started! Oh, and I’m excited for the Christmas market in the Plaza Mayor. And 15 Euro flights to Portugal. Okay, so I’m excited for everything, and I’m excited to share it with you all.

Me, at a threshold, in Toledo (a town near Madrid). This is supposed to signify opening new doors and embarking upon a new path.

I thank you for your readership as I apply my college degree for the first time, in another country no less. I hope my insight ~ keeps it real~ and provides you with information, humor, and joy.