I cant believe that I've finally made it to Madrid! Ive been hear a week now and there's so much thats happened in this week that I'm having a hard time knowing where to start. I will do my best though and overall I am absolutely loving the transition. Madrid life has been wonderful and it could very well be the honeymoon phase but i dont care. IM IN MADRID and thats all that matters! The flight from NYC to Madrid was smooth and fast and arriving in Madrid with a different mindset other than being here on vacation was a real eye opener. Having to take care of important business while also trying to have fun and enjoy the free time isnt my usual vacation schedule and was a reminder that I had to stay on top of what I came to do.
Below is a little breakdown of the week.
Transportation: Although CIEE arranged for transportation for all student to the hotel, it was an extremely slow service. Most auxaliaries were waiting over an hour for the bus to come back for their turn. Its the last thing you want to deal with after an 8 hour flight. We decided to split a taxi which cost us 30 Euros flat. The drive was about 45 minutes away from the airport.
Hotel: The hotel Princesa was a beautiful hotel that we stayed in at and it came with a continental breakfast each morning which was nice. I was super disappointed that i didnt get the roomate I requested since CIEE made it seem so easy to be bunked with the person you wanted but that was not the case. We didnt throw a fit and it gave us a chance to meet other people in the group. You can never make too many connections right!? The hotel was in the center of everything we needed to start setting up our bank accounts and sim cards.
Program schedule: We were broken down into groups of 10 or so that we kept to the whole week and assigned an oreintation leader (O.L.) to help us answer any question throughout the week. It was nice hanging out with them and going to the CIEE office each day to go over paperwork that we needed to become a resident in the country. Important information that I wouldnt have wanted to go through on my own. Each day we were given more infromation and time to go over that information at lunch with our O.L. If anyone needed to
Nightlife: The nightlife here is great. So many places are responably priced to drink at and it was extremely fun bar hoping with other teachers after our daily schedule was over. The city is clean and feels very safe at night which is nice for a young woman walking at night. The buses are on time so far and the venues are beautiful. There are so many rooftops that I plan to visit.
Homestay: I decided to go for the 4 week immersion that includes 4 weeks of a homestay with a Spanish family and spanish lessons. I transferred to my homestay Friday and have really enjoyed my homestay mama as I call her. Her actual name is Pilar and shes been so wonderful and accomodating. She's gone above and beyond to make sure we feel comfortable and loves to show us around the city. Im very happy with my homestay placement and plan to keep in touch with her even after my homestay.
Tandem Spanish classes: After taking our verbal placement tests we were all placed in groups based on our knowledge and I start classes Monday morning. I will have more feedback on that on a later date but they did a wonderful job with homestay placements so I have every hope that the cirriculum for the classes have also been well thought out and will be nothing short of what I'm expected.
Well, thats a lot in one week folks so ill leave you with this. Thanks for reading.
-The Social Swan