Hello from the other side....


One Month Later...Those words are still so crazy to me. It's still pretty hard to believe that it has been one month since I packed my belongings into one luggage and one carry on and moved my life across the world. I am still very much in the honeymoon phase of study abroad and I must say in terms of anniversaries and one month marks, nothing beats the feeling that this “One Monthaversary” gives me. Sorry boys. 

The last month has definitely been a rollercoaster. Suitcases have been unpacked, papers have been turned in, weekend trips to beautiful places and even booking future travels have been done, and many many more things that would take too long to list. So here are some answers to any FAQs that may boggle your mind in regards to my first month abroad.

A dozen macarons for 6 euros (left) and dinner I made for friends (right)

Getting settled 

Settling down after the long journey to Madrid was definitely a great experience. I decided to live in an apartment (I'll do a room tour soon!) so it was pretty exciting to move in and unpack. I have always dreamed of living in an apartment in New York City so Madrid (with all its similarities to New York) definitely gives me a good taste of city life. Public transportation here is amazing. For 20 euros a month, my metro card is unlimited and can take me anywhere I want in Madrid and its surrounding areas. No more stalking students for parking spots. My university is just 6 stops away from my apartment so the morning commute to class only takes about 20 minutes.

Celebrating Jinny's bday at a cute bar (left) and cafe de mentha con crossaint (right)

Adjusting to life in Madrid
Culture shock is very much a thing (will probably write a post on that in the future). If you read my last post you saw my long rant on the weird schedule that they have here. Though I will never agree with how late people eat here, I have definitely adjusted to it. Another thing that I actually love about Madrid is the fact that you pretty much have to walk...everywhere. The 264894 flights of steps in the Metro I have to go up and down is basically my cardio everyday. My waistline thanks you Madrid. 

Travels with friends

The "study" part of study abroad
Contrary to the popular belief, students who study abroad actually….study. Shocker I know. The funny thing is because I got here a week before my actual classes started (classes started on Friday but I don't have Friday classes, woo!), I may or may not have forgotten that I came here to study until I got to class on Monday and realized I didn't even have paper. Good one Paula. If I didn't find a Muji store during my 12 hour layover in Toronto, I probably would not have any pens either. I guess I wasn't expecting to actually study.. haha. Well to answer the million dollar "do you even study, abroad?" question, yes I do. In fact you kind of need to, everyday, because the classes I'm taking abroad are not easy filler classes (for me at least). Spanish is my minor so I came here with the intention of finishing 2 years of classes in Spanish in one semester. That may sound a little impossible but it definitely is possible. However, that also means taking 18 credits and having classes that move at a faster pace than summer school. I have my first final exam next week, qué pobrecita! 
I have my "track" class (which is the class for my level of Spanish) Mon-Thurs from 9:40-11:55 and another class until 13:25 which means homework every night. The classes are taught only in Spanish and when I say only in Spanish I mean you can't ask your profesora "como se dice.... en ingles" because all you will get is another explanation in Spanish. Though the homework everyday is weird to get used to, I enjoy the class and have probably learned more in one month than I have in all my years of taking Spanish.

Hipster cafes and morning commutes to Uni 

Before moving here, I cannot stress how many times I was told that homesickness was very much a thing that hit after a few weeks abroad. Well, either it is a delayed reaction for me or I'm still very much in the honeymoon phase because homesickness has yet to hit me. Maybe it is the fact that I have been finding little bits and pieces of home here that makes it easier or maybe I'm just still really excited to be here...who knows.

Found an underground Chinese restaurant AND a boba place!


Ahhhh, nightlife. Mom and dad you can skip over this one. But I can't write a post about my first month in Madrid without including the nightlife or even just the social scene here in general. If there is anything that Madrideleños love more than their siesta, it is to disfruta which basically means to have fun. In fact they siesta all afternoon so they can disfruta all night and by all night I literally mean all night. The Nightlife here is almost comparable to Las Vegas (from what I've heard of course). The clubs don't peak till about 3 am and most of the time everyone dances until 6 am (which is when the metro opens). Coming from a city like Las Vegas, I was definitely pumped to get to experience "Nightlife" here for the first time. It is a lot of fun and the atmosphere is very different (Spanish club music can get anyone to dance) but it definitely gets exhausting after a couple nights. You know you're not used to this way of life when you fall asleep at the club at 3 am waiting for the metro to open. Sorry Madrid, I can't hang. 

Night out with some locals

Hasta la próxima vez,