Bienvenidos a Mandy y Derek en Madrid!
Derek and I have created this blog as a way to share our travels and life abroad with our friends and family. I have a hunch that our readers will be the same readers that followed along with my adventures in Barcelona during my sophomore spring semester in 2014. (See: Besos de Barcelona)
That being said, welcome back to my ramblings and thank you for reading. Moving back to Spain has been a dream of mine since my semester in Barcelona. I didn’t know how I would do it, but I knew I would regret it forever if I didn’t. As a college student, a semester felt like a lifetime to me, but only when I moved to Barcelona for the semester did I realize how short 5 months really is. And now here we are – day four in the first of ten months in Madrid.
So, what are we doing in Spain besides eating croissants in cafes? I am currently enrolled in IE School of Human Sciences and Technology, located in the Salamanca neighborhood of Madrid. I will be working towards my Master in Corporate and Marketing Communication. It is an intensive 10-month program that is taught in English. By intensive I mean that I am enrolled in 10 classes for the first term (October – December). Unlike the college experience I had in the U.S., each class meets a different amount during the semester and my weekly schedule is different each week. No more MWF 10:00 – 10:50 AM classes for me and definitely more hours logged in the library. My calendar has already become my most-used app.
Derek, on the other hand, will be on the other side of the classroom. No, he will not be a professor at IE, but he will be an ESL teacher. Derek earned his teaching certificate through an online course called, The TEFL Academy. He is certified and ready to teach the wonders and complexities of the English language – he just needs to find the school first. The academy provides the certification, however, finding a job is the student’s duty. The job search begins Monday!
What have we been doing since we landed on September 28? Not taking naps! We are convinced we beat jet lag. Our secret? Two Dramamines for our 7-hour red eye and no naps once we landed. Besides resisting naps, we have been exploring our new city! Both Derek and I have not been to Madrid before September 28. I had a trip planned during my time in Barcelona, but unfortunately got sick the day before. We have a lot to see and learn. Unsurprisingly, Madrid is as beautiful as everyone says it is.
During the month of October, we will be staying in a homestay with a mother, Gabriela, her son, Raffaele, and their dog, Amanda! For the first three days, we stayed at Hostal El Tera located on Calle de Magdalena, 29. If you find yourself in Madrid and want to spend it in a reasonably priced shoebox with an in-room shower, look no further! When we first arrived at the hostal, we were greeted by the man who presumably owns and manages the hostal. Due to a little miscommunication, he thought we were part of Gary's group and brought us into the wrong room. The wrong room included two twin sized beds with a big balcony and yes, an in-room shower and sink. However, our buzz was swiftly killed when he found out we were not Gary. We were moved to the railroad car room next door. Lucky for us, this kind man whose name we never learned brought us an extra cot as the “double bed” clearly would not fit the both of us. Sometimes you have to give to take. We gave the 5 feet of open space we had for this cot. For $30/a night, you take what you can get. Thankfully, Gabriela allowed us to move in on September 30 instead of October 1.
We are officially moved in and have met our 5 roommates. There are two other women living in Gabriela’s apartment, a woman from Ireland who is teaching in Madrid as well as a young woman from Switzerland who is also attending IE. Derek and I are sharing a room, closet and bathroom. To be determined when we lose our minds. If going from fighting to crying laughing back to fighting in the middle of the supermarket is considered going crazy then it looks like we’ve already lost our minds.
Derek’s job search starts tomorrow and my orientation week starts bright and early tomorrow with a day trip to Segovia, a city located about an hour or so outside of Madrid. Wish us luck!
If you’ve made it this far, you’re a true pal. You can most likely expect similar length blog posts throughout these next 10 months, as well as more pictures and videos that Derek will be creating. We are planning to post once a week or every two weeks. Be on the lookout for our updates.