Tuesday, January 29, 2013

a Word to SMC

A Word from Ed Sheeran to you as you brave the winter!

Enjoy it!!! Live it up! Make a snowman and remember that I'm here not in the cold, actually missing it and quite envious of you all... and I have to watch the Spaniards bundled up like it's 0 deg when it's probably in the 50s here!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Principe de Vergara

      In Madrid I live near the Colombia Metro and that's the way that most people here are familiar with the city...by the locations of the Metros.  Colombia is slightly north of the center of the city, so I'm still in Madrid while not being quite so central.  My street is fantastic, it has anything I could possibly want on it from clothing stores, to my cellphone service store, to markets.  Also I walk right outside of my front door and can step right into the metro! So convenient!!!  Most people live in small apartments and houses are rare, just as in any major city.  So, I live in a 3 bedroom apartment with a kitchen, 1 bathroom, and a living room.  I have my own room and live with a girl from my program Gaby and an older woman named Esther.  She's a lovely woman and cooks delicious food.  Here are some pictures of my place!

The end of Mare Nostrum

    Lets continue with the travelling seminar....

an Amphitheater in Tarragona: 

the Castle of Papa Luna:

A Natural Park in Altea:

Oceanografic in Valencia:

     Overall, this travelling seminar was a fantastic experience.  I got to make friends with many of the other students I travelled with and experience different parts of Spain that I might not have if not for the seminar.  I really enjoyed the different sights we saw...not always the most touristy spots but those are sometimes the best parts of an area.  I hope that my time in Madrid will be just as culturally enriching...Vale!


Thursday, January 24, 2013

Wait did you know....?

                                                                  Look up!

I made a new page called "Quintessential Quotes" maybe you should take a peek :)

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Greetings from Madrid....finally!!!

      Greetings from Madrid! I've finally arrived after 10 days of travel.  My program through Syracuse University had an introductory "Study Tour" that allowed us to travel in a group of about 30 to visit several villages and larger cities.  Within this group I also had to find a potential roommate for the host family situation.  That was slightly scary but I met a very nice chica- Gabby- and we get along very nicely.  So, on the tour we visited:

  • the medieval village of Besalu (picture above)
  • Roses a fantastic beach village (above)
  • Teatro-Museo Dali

  •  the Monastery of San Pedro de Rodas
  • the fantastic town of Gerona where we saw a Judio Bonastruc and the Catedral de Gerona
  • BARCELONA...my favorite place so far, so gorgeous and special

The Sagrada Familia...ok this was astounding and so incredibly beautiful

Park Guell: this is basically designed by Gaudi and is gorgeous!

      Well, that's all for now folks...the trip has just begun and pictures are more to come!


Friday, January 11, 2013

Adios Muchachos

     Well friends, I will be leaving tomorrow...TOMORROW!!!  I'm nervous and worried...but the excitement is building.  I thought of some more tips to consider before studying abroad:

  • go on the CDC website to review shots and vaccines that you should maybe get before you go to your study abroad country and countries you might visit, this should be done early
  • I mentioned in the last post to get banking done early...but did I mention to get it done EARLY because I really mean early
  • get your electronics in order: make sure chargers and batteries are ready!
  • get a gift for your host family...this I was just reminded of by my aunt tonight so it's a bit of a scramble, but I will make some soaps (yes make them) for the family
  • print out forms and documents you will need, you never know when the next time you can get at a printer will be
  • I don't have many so far, but I've been knitting a blanket and I will definitely not be able to finish by tomorrow so I have to wait until may which is disappointing...knitters will understand
Well readers, the next time you hear from me will be in probably 2 weeks when I'm settled in with a host family.  I will try to keep you posted as often as possible, so be patient!


Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Good Bye America, Hello España

     Well everyone, in 4 days I will be leaving the United States and boarding a plane headed for Barcelona.  I'd like to say that I'm so excited and happy to leave, but honestly I have trouble getting excited for the 4 months away from home and Saint Mike's.  When I was getting ready to go away to Paris I experienced the same apprehension, but once I got there and got really settled in to the Parisian lifestyle, I ended up loving the experience.  Hopefully it will be the same for me, nervous to leave at first but once I've gotten to Madrid and settled in I'll be fine. 

The differences:

     There are quite a few differences between my Paris Study Abroad and my Madrid Study Abroad:

  • The first being of course that I will be away for a whole semester, not just a month
  • I'm going to fly to Barcelona and then travel with a group to a couple different cities (Gerona, Barcelona, Valencia, and the Azahar coast) on a 10 day study tour and then go to Madrid, where I'll be for the rest of the semester
  • I will be staying with a host family and a roommate...fingers crossed for a good match!
  • I will be taking 5 classes at a University (although I did study at the University in Paris, I was only taking 2 courses)
  • I will have the opportunity to travel internationally, being in Paris for only a month with 2 planned weekend trips I didn't leave Paris to go to other countries, instead I chose to take advantage of what was offered in the city
  • I had to pack a lot more, and I have to think about clothing and shoes for several seasons whereas I only had to worry about summer weather in Paris

  • banking: make sure you get this done EARLY, like a month prior to leaving...it makes life a ton easier and maybe I'll learn that eventually
  • make sure your ATM card or whatever you use has a VISA logo on it, that means it will be accepted at more places because it is internationally recognized
  • passport: renew or get one SUPER early
  • currency: shop around to a couple different banks and see where you can get the best rates or special deals
  • get all your packing done early so that you can have time at the end to think of extra things you need
  • don't forget to check and research the weather patterns of your area
  • look at baggage requirements for your airline!
  • DO NOT OVER PACK, chances are you will buy clothes and other things abroad, so there is no need to pack every little thing you think you will possibly need, remember everyone is in the same boat so you can be an outfit repeater!
Well, that's all for now and I will definitely check in before I leave!