Expedition España: Greetings from Spain

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By: Amanda Reid, Columnist

Hey readers, before I take you on a semester-long journey with me I guess I should give you some background on myself.

My name is Amanda Reid, and I will be spending the next nine months studying abroad with the International Studies Abroad (ISA) at the Universidad Antonio de Nebrija in Madrid, Spain while writing back to you all here at Towson each week about my travels.

I am a sophomore and have a triple major in Spanish, international relations and criminal justice, and will be completing credits for both Spanish and international relations while abroad.

I have been to Spain twice before in my life: once my junior year of high school for a three-week exchange, and once the summer after my senior year of high school to visit all my international students.

I have hosted five international students from Spain, three from Toledo and two brothers from Madrid. 

The first time I went to Spain, I fell in love with the language and culture and since then I have been waiting tables to scrape up enough money to study abroad for as long as I could afford to stay there.

This time, I will be living with a host family in a cute little apartment in the center of Madrid. 

My host family is a mom and her 10-year-old daughter, and I’ll be taking four classes per semester in Spanish to improve my understanding of the language.

By now you’re probably wondering if I’m crazy, and I’m pretty sure I am, because my Spanish is decent but I have no clue if it’s decent enough to handle living with a Spanish family and speak entirely in Spanish for two semesters worth of classes.

But whatever, I have 22 days to figure it out before I’m there, so yay!

I also haven’t even thought about how I’m going to pack nine months of stuff into two suitcases, a duffel bag and a backpack.

Space bags are going to become my best friend over the next few weeks, and I cannot wait to utilize my family members as weights to help me close my suitcases.

Ah, yes, speaking of my family, how did I convince them to let me go?  I asked them to travel there with me the summer after my senior year of high school so they could see for themselves why I fell in love with Spain.

They were able to meet the family of the two brothers we hosted from Madrid, and know that if I ever get into any trouble while I’m there (which I would never dream of doing of course) that I will have a family there to help me. 

That’s enough background for now. Next time, I’ll teach you how to pack for nine months of living abroad!

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