Megan in Spain

Megan is a junior journalism major in Meadows School of the Arts, with Spanish and advertising minors. The recipient of an SMU Abroad scholarship, she is excited to experience the Madrileño culture, as well as the culture of Spain, and to improve her language skills.

Ahoj, Praha!

Old Town Square, Prague. Look at that tree! That’s hello in Czech, by the way! Well where do I begin? My trip to Prague was a dream come true. It was full of fun, memories, Christmas, cold (that’s putting it lightly), friends and even a castle. My last trip while abroad turned out to be to the farthest place from home I’ve ever been, which is perfect (and kind of exciting) as now I have around 10 days until I will be home. Wow! I can’t believe it. Our flight got in around 5:15 p.m. Thursday, and we were welcomed with darkness. "What?" we said. "Why is it dark already?" We couldn’t believe it, but the sun sets around [...]

2012-12-12T17:01:25+00:00 December 12th, 2012|Megan in Spain|

Andalucía!

La Mesquita, Córdoba Hello! This week my adventures continued as the group headed south to la Comunidad Autónoma de Andalucía (Spain is divided into 17).  Our first stop was the city of Córdoba.  We had some free time to get lunch and sit beneath the orange trees, simply enjoying the warmer weather (the south is much more “Mediterranean” in climate), before our tour of the cathedral. This cathedral was once an Islamic mosque, and is also called la Mesquita. It is beautiful!  The mix of the Islamic and Christian cultures are especially noticeable in Andalucía because that is the area the Muslims held the longest, before being expelled from the Iberian Peninsula by Los Reyes Católicos (Granada is [...]

2012-11-21T22:12:50+00:00 November 21st, 2012|Megan in Spain|

El Escorial y Valle de los Caídos

El Escorial Hey y’all! Today we took a little field trip about an hour outside Madrid to San Lorenzo de El Escorial, a small town in the mountains. El Escorial is the home of a beautiful Monastery built by el Rey Felipe II of Spain. El Escorial is a monastery, palace, school, and library today; it is huge! Apparently, King Felipe II was very religious, and as we are learning in class, fought many wars for Catholicism against the Protestants during his reign. He decided to build this place to display the wealth and power of Spain after one of the battles, where he felt he had lost some control. It is a beautiful place and boasts many [...]

2012-11-01T15:04:42+00:00 October 31st, 2012|Megan in Spain|

¡España! ¡España! ¡España!

Notice all the flags! ¡Viva España! That was the chant of the night. Can you hear it? All the spirit typically associated with Spanish fútbol echoing in your ears. Well, it sure was all present at last night’s España vs. Francia FIFA World Cup 2014 Qualifier! Getting to experience a true partido de fútbol (soccer game) in Spain, where soccer is a matter of life or death, was such a blessing. Our sweet program coordinator, Tania, found these great tickets at really good prices, and despite our midterms the following morning we were all in! It was everything I expected and more. The Spanish believe in their team; they all wear the colors, everyone gets little plastic Spanish [...]

2012-10-26T21:21:47+00:00 October 26th, 2012|Megan in Spain|

In awe of northern Spain’s beauty

Speechless. That’s how I felt over the last couple days, during our group trip to San Sebastián and Bilbao, in el País Vasco in the north of Spain. I had heard how the north was supposed to be so green and rainy and more like Scotland than the mesa where Madrid is located, but I guess I wasn’t really prepared for the beauty I would behold. Now, I’m a sucker for green, trees and mountains (LOVE it! I needed a breather from the city!), then add the ocean, a beautiful beach, with Carlsbad-like weather and I was as good as gone (that would refer to San Sebastián, but I’ll get to that later). The group in Burgos, outside the [...]

2012-10-11T14:57:53+00:00 October 11th, 2012|Megan in Spain|

!Barcelona! A taste of Catalunya …

At La Sagrada Familia This weekend I was blessed to have the chance with three other members of our group to visit Barcelona, a major Spanish port city and the capital of Catalunya – which, I have learned, desires to be the next independent state of Europe. It’s safe to say that the Catalonians are very proud of their culture and language, Catalán (it sounds different than Español, or Castellano, as they call it in Spain; the French influence on Catalán is very evident). One of my profesoras even went so far as to say it may be better to speak in English, not Castellano, since Madrid and Barcelona have quite a bit of animosity toward each other. [...]

2012-09-18T16:19:52+00:00 September 18th, 2012|Megan in Spain|

¡El Primer Día de Clases!

Today was the first day of classes! I have now experienced 3 out of 4 of my classes here in España. I enjoyed all my professors and believe I will learn a lot (OK, so really no doubt about that!). It was interesting having my whole day in Spanish, in the classroom, outside, todo — all of it. I know it will advance my Spanish rather rapidly, and, for that, estoy emocionada (I am excited). After my classes I got to help Sofía with her English (and she with my Spanish). She picked a couple of songs in English that we would listen to and then go over the lyrics. It is hard to explain lyrics to someone who speaks [...]

2012-09-14T20:23:37+00:00 September 13th, 2012|Megan in Spain|

Un Día Bonita en Segovia

Once again the twelve amigos embarked on a new adventure! An early morning bus ride found us in the beautiful town of Segovia (about an hour and a half outside Madrid) with the full day ahead of us to discover its treasures. Our profesora, and guide for the day, took us to the Alcazar first. Made my day, since alcazar is the Arabic word for castle/fortress! It was beautiful. It has a torre, tower, and real turrets, too. We toured the inside of the palace, enjoying the extravagant ceilings and hearing the history of Isabel and Ferdinand of Castille y Aragon, and saw some gorgeous views before taking the experience to the next level. Adrenaline rushing, we took the challenge [...]

2012-09-14T20:12:01+00:00 September 9th, 2012|Megan in Spain|

¡Madrid!

Today, we had a short tour of Madrid’s main attractions. We had the privilege of seeing el Palacio Real (Royal Palace), which we found out has 6,500 rooms! Yes, I said 6,500 rooms. Does the royal family live there, you ask? Nope. Not anymore. So the twelve of us are tempted to spend the night there … how can they refuse us? It isn’t like they have a lack of space :) Across from the palacio is the city’s main cathedral. Our guide was not impressed by it, saying el catedral in Toledo is más hermoso (basically, way prettier!). I have to agree. We then walked up to the Plaza del Sol. It was the main marketplace back in the day, and [...]

2012-09-14T20:07:15+00:00 September 7th, 2012|Megan in Spain|

Field trip to Toledo

Mi Escuela La Fundación José Ortega y Gasset. It is a small and very beautiful campus in Madrid. About a 20-minute walk from my home, and a quick jaunt on el autobus. Escuela (L) Toledo (R) Toledo I was just blessed with the opportunity to spend the last two days in the city of Toledo. Toledo is about an hour outside Madrid and was the capital of Spain. It is a medieval city set atop a rock surrounded by a river; essentially, it is una fortaleza, or fortress.  The streets are a labyrinth, modeled after many Muslim cities, narrow and cobblestone, and so very cool! Our group of twelve students stayed in la Fundación’s satellite campus. It is tucked [...]

2012-09-14T20:04:53+00:00 September 5th, 2012|Megan in Spain|
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