Paloma, Juan, and Yoki the dog, I cannot thank you enough for your kindness and the impact you had (and still have) on my life.  There is not a day that goes by when I do not think about you and the effect you had on me. If you’re considering a host family for your study abroad experience or have had a host family of your own, you will appreciate the following letter. Thank you for introducing me to wonderful Spanish food. I still dream about tortilla Española,…

One of the coolest parts about studying abroad in Europe is the opportunity to travel on the weekends.  Personally, from Madrid I’ve made it to Ireland, Italy, France, and many more!  I love being able to jet off to a new location each weekend, and packing efficiently is an absolute must. It took me a few tries, but I think I have my packing routine down to a science at this point in the semester.  It’s so easy to forget one little thing that somehow ends up being…

In our current time, technology continues to become more accessible. While high-tech is cool, keeping a travel journal is too!  I chose to study abroad spring semester, so for Christmas I received many gifts related to studying abroad. One gift in particular was a travel journal. Mine is a leather, with an old-fashioned look (just what I wanted!), and it has kept up with my travels because I try to always take the time to write in it.   Travel journals are a great way to unwind and…

Shoes.  Some say they’re most important part of an outfit, and when you’re constantly roaming Europe, they are definitely the most important part in terms of comfort. When I was packing my shoes to study abroad, I needed some tips.   My number one pair of shoes: Adidas sneakers. These shoes are versatile and comfortable: the two most important qualities in my opinion!  I definitely got my money’s worth with mine. They came with me on every weekend trip, and I constantly wear them around Madrid. Stylish sneakers…

“So, why do you want to study abroad?” Here is a question I was constantly asked by my friends and family. The short answer: I want to. The long answer is as follows. I’ve always wanted to study abroad, for as long as I remember. Being raised in an area without a lot of diversity just made me that much more curious to see what the rest of the world has to offer. Also, plenty of my friends who were older than me always recommended to study abroad….

It’s no secret that the streets of Madrid are filled with fascinating art.  From graffiti to tiled walls, there is not a boring place to look when walking throughout the capital city of Spain. One of the art movements in Madrid are “Las Meninas.” These are sculptures scattered throughout the city that are covered with a modern and unique look to them. Las Meninas are everywhere. They occupy plenty of touristy locations like Puerta de Sol or Gran Via, but also area locals frequent.  The idea behind the…

Each day abroad holds something new, but here is a typical weekday in Madrid!  I am taking four classes during my time abroad: International Communications, Spanish Language, Modern Art and Architecture in Spanish Cities, and Fundamental Aspects of Spanish Art.  Classes in Spain are Monday-Thursday, which leaves plenty of time to explore Madrid!  From discovering new stores to new restaurants, a weekday in Madrid is never dull! Cara S. is the Spring 2018 CEA MOJO Blogger in Madrid, Spain. She is currently a sophomore studying Public Relations, Marketing,…

My suitcase was under 50 pounds.  My travel documents were in check.  My boarding pass was in hand.  I was ready to take off for Madrid, Spain.  Hello, or should I say hola, my name is Cara, and I am the current MOJO Blogger in Madrid for Spring 2018.   I always knew I wanted to study abroad in college, and once I declared a minor in Spanish, I knew Spain was the obvious choice for where I should spend a semester of my life. Although I’ve only…

A major part of study abroad is the “study” portion.  The reality of my academic life abroad is the classes I am taking are incredibly different than the United States equivalent, and that is exactly what I had in mind before I got here. When I decided to study abroad, I knew I wanted to take classes that would both meet the requirements of my home university and actually interest me.  Now I can confidently say both of those things are checked off the list.  One of the…

In 2008, I made Black history. I was 1 of 2 Black students in my program in Cuernavaca, Mexico, and 1 of 3 Black students in my program in Madrid, Spain. Was I the first to do it? No. I wasn’t even the first person in my family to do it. But, according to NAFSA data, in 2015-2016, only 5.9% of study abroad students were Black. Since my study abroad experience was 7 years prior, I like to think that I contributed to that growth, and to the…