Beginnings in Madrid

Hey everyone,

My name is Lauren, and I’m currently studying abroad at IE Business School in Madrid. I’ve been here for two weeks now, and things are going pretty smooth. I wanted to study abroad in Spain because I love the culture here and I used to take Spanish in Middle and High school.

My 2 friends and I moved into an apartment located in the Salamanca neighborhood, just outside the city. We have 5 other roommates from Manchester, Mexico, Jordan, and Spain. It was definitely an adjustment at first, but it’s been a lot of fun! Our roommates have all been here for a while, so the first night one of them took us out to get dinner at his favorite local restaurant. A few days later, one of them took me to the city to show me around. We’re lucky because everyone gets along and they’re very nice.

My classes started January 8th, and I’ve enjoyed them so far. It’s very interesting because  I am one of a few exchange students in each of my classes, but everyone who goes to IE full-time is from a different place. The classes are in English, but most students speak Spanish or their native language outside of class. I was impressed when someone told me they are required to learn 3 languages before graduating. I’m not taking a Spanish class here, but I’m practicing using my Spanish in everyday life in Madrid.

IE hosted a “tapas night” at a local restaurant with full-time and exchange students the first week, which was really fun. I’ve been meeting new people and strengthening relationships every day. People are so friendly here! In many of my classes I’ve been put into group projects with mostly full-time students, and they are typically very welcoming. I’ve enjoyed learning about life outside of the US for a change.

So far on the weekends, I’ve traveled to Newcastle, England to visit some friends and Seville with my 2 roommates from UMD. It’s been amazing! We’re going on an IE sponsored trip to Granada this weekend, too. I can’t wait to plan more trips while I’m here and explore more of Madrid!

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