Tuesday, 14 March 2017

One month (and a half) in Madrid!!


I am writing this from a class (which might tell you how Uni is going…) Whoops. We’ll get to that later.

One and a half months living in Spain tomorrow! Madness. Time literally FLIES here. We’ve crammed so much in to such a short period and I can’t believe how fast everything is going. On Sunday I got back from a crazy (and super fun) trip around Portugal, starting in Porto and ending in Lisbon. I had the best time ever: met people from all over the world, took my first trip in a tuk tuk, tasted Port, chilled on a rooftop bar….and somehow, survived three days on 13 hours sleep.

Sunny Lisbon!
Surprisingly smiley for 3 hours sleep...

thoughts on Port...

To those of you abroad or going abroad, I would 100% recommend going on a trip like this one- the 20 hours of travelling by bus may put you off, but don’t let it. We went with a group called City Life Madrid and they organised everything so well, from a trip photographer to a pub crawl (complete with a woman with a big red umbrella who shouted at us when it was time to move to the next bar.)

A few weeks ago I also took a train to Valencia with my boyfriend for a night, which is one of my favourite cities to date. I am already dying to go back! I’ve been to Toledo too- a beautiful little city just outside of Madrid, easily accessible (for most) by bus. I say for most as it took my travel buddy Rach and I three hours to get there instead of one! We are still getting to grips with the Metro…

Slightly stormy Valencia!
Oceanographic Museum in Valencia (aka the most futuristic place EVER)

Forgetting what I’m actually here for is VERY easy. That little thing called Uni. With 8/9am classes every day, and most of my classes being pretty useless in terms of a career in Journalism…missing lectures is extremely tempting. My fave module is photography, where we are developing our own film in dark rooms, manually taking photographs and learning about the history of photography. TV is also cool, where we’ve been taking industry cameras outside and filming news reports in groups.

Everything is just so chilled here compared to home, sometimes in a good way, for example handing in things late doesn’t seem to matter…but in other ways it is so frustrating, like when we had to queue up for 4 hours just to register for modules…It makes me appreciate Uni back at home and how well organised it is!

Speaking Spanish every day (and mostly getting in to awkward situations and ending up flustered and confused…) is definitely improving my language skills. When I have a successful conversation in Spanish it feels so rewarding! Also, one of my housemates is Spanish so I am enjoying practicing with her, as well as our cleaner who visits once a week.

I have also had visits from some friendly faces too- my boyfriend, my Step Mum's brother Jamie and his girlfriend Laura, my Mum and little sister and my friend Harika. It’s been so fun showing them all around this beautiful city. Seeing them has definitely made me feel more settled here and a lot less homesick. When it dawned on me just how soon I would be returning home it helped a lot....and realising that I'm only here for a few months, and soon I'll be back to life in Sheff for my last year.... all these things help to ease the pain of missing home, friends and family. FOMO back at Uni is a definite factor too, but video calling my housemates whilst they are having pre-drinks definitely helps....

Fun visit from my Mum and sis

Amigas...You can tell who is Spanish from the amount of layers!
I also had a slight disaster which I feel like every (clumsy) Erasmus student suffers from at some point...I broke my phone on a night out and had to pay €200 euros for the screen to be repaired. So my bank account suffered a big dent and working all summer is definitely on the cards...

Around a year ago I decided to study abroad after visiting Madrid for the first time….and I’m so thankful that I did! (especially when I’m lay in the park in 26 degree heat).

Thanks for reading!

Anna x

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