Program: BUCOP in SED – BS Modern Foreign Language Education and CAS – BA Hispanic Language & Literature
Hometown: Branchburg, NJ
Favorite aspect of SED: The close relationships we have with other students and with our professors
Favorite place to hang out in Boston (other than BU, of course!): Coolidge Corner is always fun to walk around and grab a bite to eat
Favorite food: Anything and everything chocolate!
Favorite quote: “Be happy, because you deserve to be. And believe that dreams come true everyday, because they do.” – One Tree Hill
If you could have a superpower what would it be? Moving things with my mind, like Matilda!
Hola chicas y chicos!
As some of you may know, I’m spending this semester studying abroad in Madrid with BU’s International Programs. So far, it has been a fantastic experience. To kick things off, I flew into Madrid the second week of January and had a few days of orientation with the program to pick classes and get to know the city—much like BU has orientation during the summer before freshman year. After orientation, I moved into my homestay. I live with a single older woman, Señora Maria, who is the sweetest person I’ve ever met. She has two kids and three grandkids that visit often (the grandkids and I even watched Esponja Bob—aka Sponge Bob—together!)
I’m in the level 3 program so although almost everyone else has started their full semester classes already, level 3 students have not; instead, we do a four-week seminar on contemporary Spain with just BU Abroad students and then start classes at the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (UAM) with Spaniards. I finally picked out my three Spanish literature classes for UAM and I’m definitely getting excited about starting there and making some Spanish friends!
Although I’ve had much more classwork than I originally expected, I’ve still made time to see some of Madrid by visiting el Palacio Real, el Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, and el Parque del Retiro. This past Sunday I even got to go to a Real Madrid game! They played against Málaga and won 2–0 with two goals by Ronaldo, who then got a red card—it was a very exciting game to attend!
This weekend I’m finally venturing out of the city to visit Toledo and Avila, two of the more historic cities right outside of Madrid. If you’re interested in reading my personal blog and seeing what I’m up to day by day, just check out www.steph-gonzalez.blogspot.com.
Hola chicas y chicos!
Classes are now officially in full swing as of today! I just got back from handing in my registration form to the international office at Universidad Autónoma de Madrid. Things are very different here and it definitely makes me miss how much simpler things are at BU. Some of the big things that are different: registration here takes place in person and there is practically no information available online; in general, the professors show up to class between 5 and 10 minutes late; everyone smokes in the buildings and especially right before going into class; most professors do not even hand out a syllabus! It’s been an interesting first couple of weeks getting used to things at UAM and I know there are definitely things that I’ll never get used to, but it certainly is a unique experience.
One of the great aspects about taking classes at UAM is meeting other study abroad and Spanish students. So far, I’ve met many ERASMUS (the European version of study abroad) students and it’s been very interesting talking to them because for the most part we all have different Spanish accents depending on where we are from so it’s a bit of a struggle communicating, but it definitely makes the conversation entertaining! I have three ERASMUS students that are in all of my classes—one is from Denmark, another from Belgium, and the last one is from Argentina.
Besides class and making some awesome international friends, I’ve also been doing my fair share of traveling. I’ve visited four cities in Spain so far: Salamanca, Toledo, Avila, and Alcala de Henares! This weekend I’m heading to Sicily with my best friend from grammar school who is also studying abroad in Spain. I’m pretty excited about my first adventure outside of Spain!