Experiencing the magic in the wonderful city of Madrid

By Dillon Olagaray

Junior Dillon Olagaray stands above the beautiful city of Madrid.

Junior Dillon Olagaray stands above the beautiful city of Madrid.

If you don’t know me, my name is Dillon Olagaray and I am a junior studying international relations. Currently, I am living in Madrid, Spain for my study abroad experience, and so far all I can say is I am loving it. After only living in Spain for about a month, this trip has already given me several great experiences that will definitely be a highlight of my college life. For those of you who do not know, Spain is a completely different place compared to beautiful, sunny San Diego. These changes make the trip a ton of fun, and I highly recommend that anyone who wants to study abroad should definitely put Madrid as their number one choice.

The first reason why Spain is an amazing place to be is the culture and the language. As I said earlier, everything is extremely different here, and that’s why it’s the perfect place to get immersed in a culture. For example, there is basically no fast food and it’s strange if people do not take their siestas, or naps, in the middle of the day. Plus, there are a lot of times that I have absolutely no idea what people are saying to me in Spanish. But it is these little things that make us bigger people and make our experiences awesome.

The first two weeks after we got here everyone in the program went on a travel seminar. We traveled to basically all the major cities in Spain, including Barcelona, Valencia and Granada. This trip was really neat, since every place we went had different sites, people, food, etc. Personally, my favorite city was Barcelona, since there were really neat landmarks like the La Sagrada Familia church. Plus, the nightlife there was unreal since the clubs are open to six in the morning.

After basically seeing a majority of Spain, everyone is back in Madrid and we are all settled in with our host families. So far, I must say I love my host parents. They are extremely friendly and generous, and try to fatten us up by providing huge amounts of food. They also are basically my tour guides in Madrid, and show me where all the hot spots are, from clubs to restaurants to parks. They also help me with my Spanish homework so I don’t embarrass myself in class. Overall, they are great people and I know that I’ll miss my Madrid family when I head back to California in December.

Even though we technically have homework for classes, most of us like to travel on the weekend since Spain is so close to the rest of Europe and Africa. For example, a group of us are going to Morocco for next weekend and Ireland in October.

Overall, Spain has been an awesome time, and I cannot wait to find out what the rest of the semester has in store for me. Thanks for reading guys, and definitely consider Madrid if you want to study abroad.