Federico in Spain

Federico is a senior majoring in political science and foreign languages, with a concentration in Spanish and French, in Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences. The recipient of a Marion Tower Study Abroad Scholarship for Fall 2009, Federico is studying at the Fundacion Jose Ortega y Gasset in Madrid through SMU-in-Spain. He previously studied abroad in 2007 through SMU-in-Paris.

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When in Ghent …

DSC04087.jpg After a week of midterm exams here in Madrid, a few of us from the program took off to Ghent, Belgium, for the weekend. I Love Techno 2009, Europe’s largest techno festival, would be held just in time for our arrival.

We arrived in Belgium on Friday night after a short train ride from the Brussels airport. We found out that over 35,000 people were expected to attend this year’s festival, which only added to our excitement.

DSC04052-1.jpgSaturday morning we woke up to explore this small town. The Ghent River was one of the most spectacular sites of the town, full of restaurants and shops for tourists to enjoy. We also visited a castle/fortress that dated back to the 12th century.

We ended our sightseeing early because we had to prepare for the 11-hour techno festival, which would last from 7 Saturday night until 6 Sunday morning.

DSC04130.jpg We arrived at I Love Techno 2009 for a long and spectacular night. Europe’s most famous djs played, including Boyz Noize, Simian Mobile Disco, and Deadmau5. Dozens of djs spun their tunes in five large dance halls, which were connected to a large atrium area.

Although many artists played simultaneously, I was able to see my favorites. After many hours of dancing well into the morning, we took a tram back into the town in order to reach our hotel.

DSC04109.jpgThe next day we woke up to a sunny morning in Ghent. We enjoyed breakfast in the town square, which contains the Ghent Cathedral. We hunted for Belgian waffles and chocolate as we desperately wanted some before we headed back to Madrid.

Our weekend in Belgium was quite a treat after a week full of exams, but our short vacation was over as we returned to a full week of classes back in Madrid.

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