Que tal! It’s insane to be writing a Jumbo Blog on the other side of the world, but here we are and I am so happy that you are reading this blog to see what a day studying abroad in Madrid looks like! Just a little background, my name is Cesar Urzua and I am a senior majoring in Biology and minoring in Child Development and Dance. I am studying abroad during my fall semester in Madrid with the Tufts in Madrid program, and I couldn’t be happier with this decision.
While abroad, I am leaving STEM in the states and pursuing dance in Spain (while you can most def do it, STEM doesn’t have to take over your college experience if you don’t want it to). I will show you what a typical Monday looks like in Madrid and I hope you enjoy moving with me through Madrid.
¡Nos Vamos! Let's go!
Welcome to a Monday in Spain!
8:00: Good Morning! It’s a warm morning in Madrid, and it’s time to get up and get ready for your day filled with dance and coffee! As you finish getting ready for your dance classes and packing a bag to switch out of your sweaty clothes after dance, you prepare your breakfast to get you started for the day. I have recently introduced my host mom to cold brew and she has been obsessed, so I grab my cup of cold brew, make my bowl of granola with yogurt, and devour my fruit for the day which has usually been some grapes or plums.
8:50: Run out of the house at around 8:50 am to start our 30min commute to dance class which starts at 9:30 sharp! When it comes to classes and meetings, Madrid does not play with time, which a tardy man like myself has had quite some trouble with, but we are gonna do great. I hop on metro 10 to head to Tres Olivos and wait for my stop at Plaza de Castilla. One of the great things about Madrid is that its metro system is absolutely incredible, so clean and punctual, and the same goes for the buses! We’ve arrived at Plaza de Castilla and we start our 10-minute walk through Nueva Espana, to then arrive at our dance studio, Carmen Serna!
9:30: Arriving at the studio you see everyone stretching, and you join in to prepare for the first dance class of the day which is Ballet. The instructor walks in, and without a second to spare she says “Okay, first round of warm-ups, 5,6,7,8” and the class begins!
11:00: Hi… everyone… I am now fully sweating, but there is a small break before the next class begins.
11:05: It's time for Modern Dance and honestly this is one of my favorite classes. There is such a focus on breathing, shifting weights, and listening to internal body movements, which are so important in dance!
12:30: Second dance class of the day is done, but we aren’t done yet! We have one more class, which is dance improvisation, which honestly isn’t one of my strong suits, but that’s why we take a class to learn.
14:00: And we are done! What a morning it has been, you’ve gotten your work-out for the day, and the only way to properly end a hardworking morning is with no less than a sweet dessert! I stop by Manolo Bakes Cafe, to grab a cafe cortado and a chocolate croissant (sometimes 2 croissants), it's like a reward!
14:30: I then run back home taking metro 10, now towards Puerta del Sur, and get off at my home stop Alonso Martinez. I run home and I try to shower and change as quickly as I can, to head to my next class of the day which is Spanish for Heritage Speakers.
16:10: Spanish for Heritage Speakers begins, and honestly this is such an interesting class aside from grammatical rules we talk about the sociology of Spanish and how that compares between different Latin cultures.
17:30: All classes are finally over, and what happens next really depends on how tired I am feeling. You can either go with friends from the program to get tapas and drinks at amazing bars and restaurants around central Madrid, or you can go home to your host family and rest for a bit to prepare for dinner. Whatever you decide, there really isn’t a rush because dinner time happens super late in Madrid.
Madrid has an amazing late nightlife, where dinner doesn’t really happen until after 21:00 (9 pm), and this is also the case for other late nightlife where on a usual weekend you don’t really plan on going home until anywhere between 3-6 in the morning.
21:00: It’s now time for dinner, and my host family and I sit around our dining table and talk about our days and start rambling on, sharing stories about our lives which are always too fun to hear! My host siblings have to start heading to bed because they have school tomorrow, and you and I also have a busy day tomorrow! But that's tomorrow's problem.
22:30: Finally getting ready for bed and doing some stretches so we don’t wake up super sore tomorrow from all the dancing today. But that just about covers what my Monday looks like in Madrid. Thank you so much for coming along with me on my journey around Madrid and I can’t wait to share more about what this amazing experience holds in store for the rest of the semester! But for now, we rest, and I will talk to you soon!
Feliz Noche! :)