Exploring my Spanish roots in Madrid

Hello, my name is Callie Amill! I’m a rising senior at Syracuse University graduating in May of 2024, studying marketing and political science. I’m from Ridgefield, CT and studied abroad in
Madrid, Spain during the Spring 2023 semester.

My passion for the Spanish language and culture began when I started learning Spanish at ten years old, and I quickly realized that I wanted to incorporate a study abroad in Spain into my academic pursuits. With my heritage stemming from Barcelona and my grandfather’s prideful stories of Spain passed down through the generations, I felt a deep connection to the country.

My experience is unique in that prior to my study abroad experience, I had never left the United States. I didn’t know what to expect, but was excited for the challenges and eye opening experiences I knew were to come. I enrolled in the Spring 2023 program and signed up for the Marine Ecology Signature Seminar. I have always had a passion for aquatic life and environmental sustainability, and had the goal to get my scuba diving license, a great benefit offered within this program.

Throughout this special seminar I made new friends, learned about the impacts of climate change on immigration and migration specific to Northern Africa and the Mediterranean, and was able to swim among the fish at 40 m below sea level. This unique opportunity opened a new door for me in a newfound passion for deep sea diving, which I can only explain as truly serene and thoroughly impactful. You come to understand your role as a human being in navigating a perspective as but a small dot among the unexplored ocean, and yet a real threat to the organisms which inhabit it through overfishing and waste accumulation. I hope to pursue my passions in future dives off of Greece and in the Great Barrier Reef in Australia.

Following the signature seminar, I returned to Syracuse Madrid for the rest of the spring semester. I lived in a co-ed apartment homestay with my best friend and two host parents. Coming into this program, I had conversational abilities with Spanish but had not practiced in nearly a year. Through translating between my roommate (who spoke only English and Korean) and host parents (who spoke Spanish), I was able to greatly increase my fluency and come home practically fluent! This was a goal of mine and one I am proud to have achieved after spending four months in Madrid.

One part of my homestay experience that I had not expected was the deep cultural difference between living in the United States and abroad. This included hanging laundry to dry outside, a sharp 8 pm sit-down dinner, short showers to accommodate for the water crisis, and no ice in drinks. While new and exciting, I did come home thankful for my iced coffees and dryer, but that’s all a part of getting the whole experience and realizing the privileges of the western world.

Over the course of the semester, my friends and I were able to visit so many countries and cities. Some of my favorite memories are of skiing in the Swiss Alps, coming face to face with the Pope in the Vatican City, experiencing St. Patrick’s Day in Dublin, and enjoying the pebble beach of Nice. Study abroad has impacted my future in helping me to realize my love for travel and expanding my global experiences. In the future, I plan to live in another country and to invest in my passion for scuba diving as well as my love for languages.

My biggest piece of advice is to be open to new people and to book your trips ahead of time to save money! Consider what you are looking to spend, if you prefer to be active or more relaxed, and to what degree you prioritize certain activities. Put yourself first and realize that you don’t need to be friends with everyone or go on trips with all of the same people. Give yourself the room to have experiences that could be uncomfortable and help you to grow, step out of your bubble!

Callie Amill ’24

Marketing & Political Science

Syracuse Madrid

Sport management and Soccer in Strasbourg

Tell me about yourself…Why did you choose to major in Sport Management?

My name is Sebastian and I’m from New York City. I’ve grown up watching and loving sports and it only made sense to pursue a career in sports. As a sport management major studying abroad in Strasbourg, it was amazing to experience the sports industry in a foreign country. I feel like I gained a lot of amazing experience in something that I would never be able to do in the US.

Why did you choose to study in Strasbourg?

I chose to study abroad in Strasbourg because I am half French, I’m a dual citizen and I wanted to experience living in France to see if it’s somewhere I might want to live after college.

What was your internship experience like?

In Strasbourg, I did an internship with the Sporting Club de Schiltigheim which is a small soccer team in the north of Strasbourg. However, I was placed with the “Cécifoot” which is blind soccer. I spent a lot of time planning for the big tournament at the end of June. I got to meet some extraordinary people with some amazing stories. Their athletic ability, despite losing their sense of sight, is incredible. Coming to Strasbourg has allowed me to learn so much not just about France and what it’s like to live here, but about a whole new sport.

Did you face any challenges living in Strasbourg?

At the start it was a difficult adjustment to make. I’d spoken French at home, but I have almost no experience writing French. That was something I struggled with towards the start, but I could feel myself getting more comfortable with it as the internship went on.

What was your most rewarding experience abroad?

The most rewarding experience was seeing our hard work come together for the event. Working with the Sporting Club de Schiltigheim Cecifoot (Blind Soccer), we were preparing for the World Grand Prix France 2023, a preparatory tournament for the Paralympic Games next year. For many weeks we worked hard at planning the event, organizing hotels, documents, flyers, game programs, tickets, credentials, etc. It was very rewarding to see it all come together when the tournament started.

What surprised you about Sport Management through your international internship experience?

What surprised me the most was the way this organization was run compared to organizations in the US. Everyone knows their role and does a very good job at doing what they need to do. There are no set hours to be in the office (Unless there’s an event), everyone comes and goes as they please. I felt like it was a much healthier work environment than a typical 9-5. Sometimes I’d come in for just an hour or two, and other days I’d be there for 12 hours – it just depended on the day. That pleasantly surprised me about the sport organization in Strasbourg.

Sebastian Delangle ’24

Strasbourg Center, spring 2023

Falk College

Studying Architecture in Florence and London

My name is Olivia Porrill, and I am a fourth-year architecture student. As an architecture student, you get the opportunity to go abroad for two semesters in two different locations. I knew before even coming to Syracuse University that I wanted the experience of going abroad, and so I knew that I definitely wanted to go abroad for both of those semesters. In the Spring of 2022, I was at the Florence Center, and then in the Fall of 2022 I was at the London Center. Each semester was totally unique and extremely fun. Going abroad was the most memorable experience of my time as a student so far, and I am looking forward to sharing the joy of my time abroad with other students.

Olivia Porrill

Going to Florence was frightening at first, as I was very worried about the language barrier and generally being immersed in a totally different culture. However, making the decision to live with a host family made this fear more manageable. Living with a host family was my favorite part of my time abroad in Florence—I could not have asked for a more kind and welcoming family. My host mother, Mimma, would prepare home-cooked three course meals every night of the week that I always looked forward to coming home to. Living in a host family was also a great time to practice my Italian. Before coming to Florence, I did not know any Italian; but after a semester of taking Italian classes and speaking with my host family, I was very surprised at how fast I began to pick it up! I also worked an internship during my time in Florence, which was an amazing way to see architectural practice from a perspective that was not purely American. On top of all of that, my classes were amazing, and I got to go on exciting field trips with excellent professors, as well as plan some trips with just my friends.

breakfast in florence

After going to Florence, I was not as nervous about going to London – mainly because I had the relief of knowing that I knew the language. However, my experience in London was equally amazing as it was unique. I took full advantage of how cheap West End show tickets are compared to Broadway tickets (15 – 40 pounds!) and got to see several amazing theatrical productions such as Cabaret, Mathilda, Hamilton, A Christmas Carol, Moulin Rouge, and much more. The access to arts and culture was amazing, nearly every museum is free! I also got familiarized with public transportation, and generally the experience of living in a big city. The tube did confuse me at first, but I got the hang of it a lot quicker than I thought I would. The Syracuse London Center is amazing, they are always offering free tickets to shows and other experiences and being supportive in every way possible. My professors were also incredible, and I got to go on architecture field trips throughout London, and even to cities outside of the United Kingdom such as Paris, Berlin, and Vienna. Overall, it was an incredible and empowering experience, and I was very sad to get on the plane back home.

florence skyline

I am very grateful for my time abroad, and it has inspired me to look for more opportunities to spend time abroad in the future. Through studying abroad, I have become a much more confident and independent person. It has also affected the way that I view architecture; being able to see architecture in a European perspective has been incredibly insightful for me and motivates me to continue looking to other places in terms of architectural education and practice. I think that everyone can gain something from going abroad, and I hope to encourage other students to take the opportunity.

Olivia Porrill ’24


Syracuse Florence & Syracuse London

Reasons why I love London

Hi! My name is Allie Rosen and I’m currently a junior with a major in Sport Management and minor in Public Communications. I spent the Fall 2022 semester abroad in London, England, and it might just be the best decision I’ve ever made!

I always knew I wanted to study abroad during my college career, no matter what university I ended up at…thankfully I ended up at Syracuse, which has an incredible abroad program! So, why London when I had so many options to choose from? It has always been my dream to end up living there and working in the Premier League (the top soccer – or football depending on who you ask – league in England and one of the best leagues in the world). When I looked at Syracuse’s study abroad centers and saw Syracuse London as an option, I thought it would be a great way to “test out” living there. I can tell you that my semester there confirmed what I’ve always known…London is definitely the place for me! Not only did I survive London, but I thrived!

The biggest focus for me while abroad was culture. I truly believe that the best way to learn is through hands-on experience, although I recognize that not all of us learn the same way. For me, seeing the sights (and tons of soccer games) and basically eating my way through the country was how I was able to learn about the culture, and proved to be an incredibly valuable experience.

In terms of soccer, the moon and the stars aligned and I was in London while the 2022 World Cup was happening! It was so much fun watching games at our local pub and coming together with a bunch of my friends to support the U.S. Men’s National Team. We even watched the USA vs England game in a pub which is an experience I’ll never forget. It was incredible to hear the conversations people were having about it around the city and seeing TVs showing games everywhere you looked!

I really got to assimilate into British culture by going to professional soccer games across the Premier League, Championship, and Champions League! As a lifelong Chelsea fan, visiting Stamford Bridge was on my bucket list…and I am not ashamed to say that I cried when I got to see my first game there. I also went to games for teams I had no affiliation with – like QPR, which is a second tier team in English football – and had an amazing time chatting, sitting, and cheering with the locals.

If soccer is my favorite thing in the world, food is a very close second and it’s an incredible way to learn about culture. With London being such a global city, there were so many cuisines to try!

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the market culture of London. There are so many famous food markets across the city housing so many hidden gems. My favorite was definitely Borough Market – if you couldn’t find me, I was most likely there. They have food stands serving dishes from all around the world. The best thing I ate – I told practically everyone in the Fall program about this sandwich –  was the Smoked Scamorza sandwich from The Black Pig. Seriously, it’s life changing. You have to get it when in London!

In addition to the markets, I spent lots of time in Chinatown and consumed many steak and ale pies, Indian food, and street food. Outside of London, I also loved finding food-related things to do when I traveled. I always made sure to try foods that countries are known for and even took some cooking classes – like a pasta-making class in Rome and a chocolate-making class in Brussels! I really recommend taking advantage of using food to learn about cultures. For more food content, check out my food Instagram @sportygirleats (yes, you’ll see the Smoked Scamorza featured there).

Studying abroad pushed me outside my comfort zone, but in a good way. I’m so thankful to have been able to take advantage of this amazing opportunity to learn about myself and the world outside the U.S. If you have the opportunity, pack your bags and go! Still not sure or want to know more? I’d love to talk to you about my experience and answer any questions you might have…feel free to email me at alrosen@syr.edu.

Allie Rosen ’24

Sport Management

Syracuse London

Dreaming of Australia

My name is Laura Kenneway, a sophomore at Syracuse University, and I recently attended the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia in fall 2022! I am majoring in Forensic Psychology here at Syracuse with my graduation year being 2025. Choosing to go abroad was one of the best experiences I have ever had.

laura kenneway

Being only a sophomore, I realized that many people thought you could not go that early in your college career, but you can go whenever suits you! I knew I wanted to study abroad in Australia for about eight years now, so honestly I wanted to get out there as soon as possible. I am happy to talk to fellow students about Australia or World Partner Programs in general! I know a lot of the abroad students choose Syracuse Programs at the satellite campuses but there are plenty of other places to travel as well. I can talk specifically about homesickness, traveling alone, researching, or just about my experience abroad!

This program was a World Partner Program, so rather than going with a group of Syracuse students, it is more independent and you go to a separate university in the country you wish to study. I traveled 10,000 miles across the world not knowing one person. That may seem very daunting to some, but these universities do so much to help their foreign students. For example, mine has a group called Quest which was a club for all of the study abroad students at the university. This club allowed us to go on overnight trips, attend fun restaurants, and so much more so we could become comfortable and get to know each other. I was able to meet incredible people from all over the world. Some of my best friends now happen to be from Argentina, Mexico, Chile, Australia, Germany, and France. That is why I recommend the World Partner programs so much- they allow you to meet people from all over the world and experience new
things on your own.

beach in australia
Mermaid Beach, Gold Coast

Every place was so accommodating and helpful when I had questions, and this brings me to some things that I believe everyone should do before going abroad. Research, research, research the country you are going to. For Australia, I had to get a certain student visa and overseas healthcare insurance. You want your experience getting there to be as smooth as possible and having all the information sorted months in advance will do that. And if you were to travel to different countries while abroad, like me, look into their requirements as well.

As I mentioned, this experience has changed my life. I am planning to take extra courses here at Syracuse to graduate a year early so I can go back to the University of Queensland to continue my schooling in a masters program and potentially move there permanently. It truly felt like the right place for me and if I did not travel abroad, I would have never known that. So my advice is to just go for it. Travel out of your comfort zone because there is so much of the world that is meant to be explored and experienced.

Laura Kenneway ’25

Forensic Psychology

University of Queensland

Discovering Strasbourg

daniel morozov

Hello, bonjour and hallo! I am Daniel Morozov, a biochemistry major of the class of 2026. In the fall semester of 2022, I participated in the Discovery Strasbourg program, which was an absolutely amazing experience!

As a Discovery student, I had three choices of where to study abroad: Madrid, Florence and Strasbourg. I had previously been to both Florence and Madrid, so my choice of studying in France was based on my desire to try a new experience – which is what studying abroad is all about. Though I speak two languages fluently and have studied Spanish and Latin for five and three years respectively, I knew nothing in French except one phrase that I learned on Duolingo: “je suis le cheval.”

And that’s the thing; you do not need to know a language to study abroad in most of Syracuse’s centers – as I learned. The language courses provided there are immersive in the local culture, so learning is both easier and more interesting. And while on the topic of the Syracuse Strasbourg Center, I loved every aspect about it.

daniel in burgandy

The best part about the Center is its size, when I was there we had less than 40 students, some not even from Syracuse! This small size made classes more enjoyable as we were able to get closer with the professors and work together rather than simply being lectured (no offense, main campus). Additionally, the Center had a plethora of fascinating events and trips planned for us that facilitated meeting new people. Whether we travelled to local Alsatian villages, Paris, Germany or Switzerland, each trip was a highlight of my time abroad.

You also get the opportunity to travel by yourself or with friends (both are different and interesting in their own rights). Personally, I enjoyed traveling by myself the most when I went to Germany twice – once to a small village in the middle of nowhere and the second time to Berlin and the Baltic Sea where I met up with my family.

friends in strasbourg

One final (of many) aspect of what made studying abroad so memorable was the living situation with a host family. I lived by myself with my host mom, and I took the semester to learn about her, her family and friends, and the culture by which I was surrounded. She, along with her family, helped and encouraged me to try new things and learn the French language. This, I am sure, is consistent among the other host families and makes the semester abroad truly amazing!

Daniel Morozov ’26


Discovery Strasbourg

Life-changing experiences in Madrid

thenia madrid

My name is Efstathia Desimone and I am a graduating Junior, and psychology major at Syracuse University. During fall 2022, I had the incredible opportunity of attending Syracuse’s Abroad program in Madrid, Spain (Syracuse Madrid). The primary reason I chose Spain is because of what I had heard of Spanish culture prior. Spain’s history and the impact it has had on the lifestyle of Spaniards today was something that I knew I had to experience in person – and I was not disappointed. Spanish culture was exactly what I had expected it would be like. The routine and pace of living was very slow and relaxed just as I had hoped, and the people were incredibly welcoming and friendly.

Having never taken Spanish before, I knew navigating Spain would be a bit scary getting into. To my advantage, student must enroll in a Spanish course while abroad! Introduction to Spanish introduced me to the basics of the Spanish language, while other courses such as Cross-Cultural Psychology and Sexuality in Spain gave me more insight on Spanish culture and history.

Throughout the academic semester, I was quite involved with student activities facilitated by the center. Firstly, I had the honor to work with incredible staff through my work-study position, where I was able to assist in the student life and communication department. Secondly, I was one of the biggest fans of the center’s MadWorld program! MadWorld offered various cultural events throughout the semester which encouraged the student immersion in Spanish culture. The events included daytrips to locations near Madrid, yoga classes, cooking classes and more!

Lastly, I was member of Syracuse Madrid’s Diversity, Inclusion Student Committee (D.I.S.C.). D.I.S.C. is a student run group, dedicated to making all Syracuse and visiting students in the Syracuse Program feel welcomed, supported, and included during their time abroad. As an organization, we placed strong emphasis on creating resources to support students who identify with marginalized or historically underrepresented groups. Overall, participating in university-ran activities, allowed to me to integrate better into the abroad program and transition smoothly into my academic semester.

Marine ecology seminar 2023
Marine Ecology Seminar

A once in a lifetime opportunity is offered to the Madrid Abroad students and that is: the Marine Ecology Seminar! I can say with ease, that the 10 days of which it consisted of, were the most adventurous and spontaneous days of my life thus far. Not only was it a great way to meet the students that would be with me in Madrid, but we also had the opportunity of exploring southern Spain. After hiking in Puerto de Javea, snorkeling in Tabarca, kayaking in Xabia and then scuba diving in Cabo De Palos, I knew that there would be a great semester awaiting for us!

The greatest highlight of my time abroad, was hands down the friends I met and connections I made. Going abroad alone, was certainly the scariest factor of my experience. Despite my concerns, I was so relieved to know that most of the student in my program were in the same situation as me; alone and eager to explore Spain! With that being said, during my semester in Madrid, I met some of my closest friends today. Despite, all challenges and fear I might have faced, exploring Spain became the most educational experience of my life!

Thenia Desimone

Psychology major

Syracuse Madrid

New to London? Tips on adjusting to a new city

Check out these tips about how to to best acclimate to a new city while you’re abroad for a summer or semester!

Experience new cultures in the Borough Market

From Japanese ramen to Colombian coffee, the Borough Market is home to several food stalls where you can truly appreciate the diversity of those in London. It offers you the ability to embrace new cultures and grow closer to others through a shared love of food. If you’re not careful, you could spend the whole day meandering through the many alleys of the market!

But eating food is just one example of what you can do to catch a glimpse of the many people residing in this vast city. True appreciation of London’s distinction as a melting pot of people starts with acknowledging that those you encounter come from different backgrounds with a life’s worth of lived experiences that may differ from your own. Equally important is familiarizing yourself with the cultural and social norms of the city. My curiosity and desire to learn about others led me to do just this in my brief time in London. By sharing my experiences encountering people in London, I hope to make the process of learning about London—and its inhabitants—seem less daunting to do.

london market
Borough Market’s delivery service

Using London’s public transportation (P.S. don’t be too loud!)

My first experience on the tube—the equivalent of a subway in New York City—started off with continued side-glances by other passengers. Confused as to why this was happening, I chose to ignore them and continued my conversation  with my classmates until we reached our destination.

I thought nothing of this encounter until a similar occurrence happened just one day later. In this instance, a passenger chose to switch cars after my classmates and I had boarded the tube. We would later come to learn, however, that the problem lied with our speaking volume while on the tube. Those in London prefer to sit in silence or in quiet spaces, and my classmates and I—not knowing this—unintentionally challenged this social norm. The next time we boarded public transportation, we were cognizant of this new information and to respect those around us, we lowered the volume at which we spoke at.

A penny—worthless or a valuable treasure?

When I first exchanged dollars for British pounds, I was fascinated by the texture and appearance of this currency. It differed greatly from the standard dollar bills and coins that I was so accustomed to seeing, that every little detail in the currency sparked interest in me. When I first paid at a gift shop using British currency, I shared this interest of mine with the store clerk. She chuckled and claimed that there was nothing special about their bills and coins.

Yet, when a penny fell out of my wallet onto the counter, she was astounded at the sight of it. She rejoiced that she had always wanted to see what a penny looked like, and within a minute, our roles had reversed. She, who had no interest in her own currency was suddenly intrigued by a penny—something I do not regard highly. This interaction with the store clerk highlighted the fact that learning about others can not only bring joy to yourself but to the other party as well.

In short, you will inevitably make mistakes when first arriving in the city, but it’s important to make an effort to address this and appreciate London for what it is—an amalgamation of people from around the world. Even though you may think an interaction as mundane as paying for your souvenir can offer no value to you, think twice as it might make someone’s day and fulfill their lifelong wish.

Nicole Pulido ’23

Public Health

London Summer Session ’22

How to study abroad in London on a budget

Can I study abroad? Is it something I can afford? Students often find themselves dwelling on these questions, fearing that it could hinder their ability to participate in a study abroad program. Because opportunities to cover program costs tend to be daunting or less known to students, it may dissuade them from even exploring their options. If this is the case for you, do not stress! With adequate research and support, studying abroad can be financially feasible.

Follow along to learn about budgeting while abroad at the Syracuse London Center!

The pre-application process

Education about financing a study abroad experience is important and universities have shifted the narrative to show that studying abroad is achievable for students with diverse financial and academic backgrounds. When determining if studying abroad is possible for you, you should leverage study abroad staff as well as the external scholarship platforms at your disposal. Being proactive in the process of searching for financial opportunities can assuage your worries and convince you to apply to this unique academic experience.

I’ve been accepted – now what?

london phone booth

Congratulations! Now it’s time to consider the various avenues available to you to help pay for this program. Reach out to both your financial and study abroad advisor to talk through these options and learn more about scholarships you may be eligible for. Syracuse University offers additional aid if studying at one of their centers over the summer, so this is an added benefit of studying at the London Center! Students who currently receive a federal Pell grant and are U.S. citizens are also eligible to apply for the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship, which is federally funded and helps cover the cost of program fees, flight expenses, meals, and more!

I’m in London! What can I eat? Where can I shop for food?

London is truly a melting pot, and once you arrive in the city, it is clear to see. On any given street there is a myriad of restaurants, boutiques, and stores that represent the numerous cultures of those residing in London. Take this opportunity to try food that you’re not used to! Note that a meal plan is not included when studying at the London Center, so, keep in mind that eating out every day for every meal eventually adds up to a large expense. An alternative to this is…cooking!

Depending on the length of your stay, consider buying food to eat as needed, instead of splurging at Waitrose, Sainsbury’s, or Tesco (popular grocery stores in London) and having to throw away extra food. Finding a balance between eating at home and eating out is important, but don’t stress, once you acclimate to London, this will be easier to do!

groceries in london
Groceries in London for £15.31.

How can I travel around the city on a budget?

Navigating a new city is hard for anyone to do, but Syracuse University has made it a bit easier for students. By offering those studying at the Syracuse London Center a prepaid Oyster card—equivalent to a MetroCard in New York City—students can travel to many areas in London for free and make the most of their experience. The Oyster Card allows access to London’s public transportation (the bus and the tube) in zones 1 and 2 of London. Black taxi cabs are abundant in London but they tend to be a more expensive form of travel.

Alternatively, you can walk or bike! Taking a walk around London allows you to see sights that you would’ve missed if you took public transportation and is more common in London than you may think. Be careful when crossing the roads, however, as cars are coming from the opposite side of the road! Luckily, London has considered this, and often at an intersection, there are instructions written on the road of which direction to look before crossing the street. Biking is especially common in London, and as such, bike lanes are also incorporated into lanes on roads. So, watch out for both bikes and cars when walking around the city.

Where can I visit without spending money?

Luckily, London is home to several museums, galleries, and parks that are free to visit! With research, you will be able to find a list of such places. An example of two that are close to the Syracuse London Center includes the British Museum and the National Gallery.

You can also dedicate a day to exploring Westminster and seeing the many sights it has to offer! All within walking distance, you will be able to see the Big Ben, Buckingham Palace, St James Park, and Trafalgar Square. Remember to carry around your student ID to take advantage of student discounts!

Walking through St. James park

Final Takeaways

Moral of the story— yes, studying abroad on a budget is possible! Just be sure to do your research beforehand and balance your expenses.

Nicole Pulido ’23

Public Health

London Summer Session ’22

My journey in Spain studying at UAM

Hello, y buenos días!

My name is Alyeska Reimer, and I am currently a senior Theatre Management and Spanish student. I had the amazing opportunity to study abroad in Madrid, Spain in the Spring of 2022 and I couldn’t have been happier with the experience!

My SU Madrid experience was actually a little different because I was enrolled in the UAM program as well. This meant that I took half of my classes at one of the best Spanish Universities alongside Spanish students and other international students as well. The classes were challenging, but my language ability improved so much and I met friends that I’m still in touch with! The program was also about a month longer than SU Madrid program was, but I felt that it gave me more time to settle into my homestay and really get to know Madrid.

alyeska reimer

The SU Abroad center in Madrid was also a great place to take classes, grab a café con leche in the cafeteria, and connect with the staff. They were always super helpful in helping me navigate my class schedules, work study, organizing tutors, and letting us know what activities to check out in the city. Additionally, they were a great resource whenever I needed health appointments and made me feel prepared to get tested for Covid and even find allergy testing when I needed it.

I had a lovely experience living with my host mom, María José, in an apartment by the Real Madrid Stadium. She helped me practice my Spanish by talking with me about my day and sharing with her family, watching the show “Pasapalabra” together most days of the week, and eating dinners together. She also helped me get familiar with public transportation on busses and metros – I had never lived in a city before, but I sure do have an appreciation for Spanish transportation now!

One of the best ways I found to get involved was to participate with the Erasmus program. This was a program run through the Spanish public universities that had a jam-packed schedule of social and cultural activities for international students (generally European, but we took advantage of this!). They would have weekly conversation groups, occasional trips, and more! I participated in an Improv group every Tuesday night and had so much fun, and I also loved the trip they sponsored to volunteer at an animal sanctuary.

cityscape of madrid

I am grateful I experienced the UAM program as well because now I feel more confident in my speaking and comprehension. This study abroad experience has inspired me to apply for a Fulbright in Mexico in order to immerse myself in another Spanish speaking country and expand my cultural awareness even further. I really hope you consider traveling abroad during your years at SU!


Alyeska Reimer ‘23

Syracuse Madrid