Email Address:

Phone Number:

Study Abroad Blog

Flight Credit Get a Flight Credit worth up to $500 when you apply with code* by May 5, 2023

From a Vision to a Reality: Pre-Departure

After countless hours in the library, my college exams for the year are finally over. In two weeks I fly to Madrid. Between now and until I step onto that airplane, I will be packing, re-packing and reflecting on this past year, and anticipating future, exciting experiences. Even though I have planned and prepared for this study abroad trip for the past six months, it still feels unreal. Every deadline brought me closer to Madrid, and now I am trying to anticipate what I will need. I’m slowly asking myself: what to pack, how warm will it be, who will I meet, how will I get around, and what will I be doing when I’m not in class.

I have read articles about Madrid and why Spain is such a great country to study abroad in. I am really excited about moving out of my safe Spanish classroom in California, and immersing myself into ‘real-life’ Spain. I am imagining delicious tapas, a lively nightlife, friendly local peers, jaw-dropping museums, and a beautiful Spanish countryside. My Spanish classes have taught me times, tenses, definitions of words and phrases, and I hope that my trip will turn all my Spanish words into more fluid sentences and a three dimensional understanding of the language. It will not be easy for me to approach a local and try to converse in Spanish, but that’s the whole purpose of travelling abroad to learn a new language and culture. I already know that I will feel embarrassed and uncomfortable if my Spanish does not sound natural to the locals, but feeling foolish is temporary – I hope. As long as I keep smiling and trying to interact with my local community, I hope to turn my embarrassment into a positive experience.

When I was researching Spain, one thing that stood out the most to me was the rich and multifaceted culture in Madrid. I also read about how Madrid strongly embraces the Spanish mentality of inner happiness and the enjoyment of life. I am looking forward to seeing how a pulsating city with a population of 3.2 million creates that balance between work and relaxation. It is balance that I hope to incorporate in my own life. I hope this summer will expose me to challenges that bring out new sides of me. I have a vision of how the next month will play out, but at the same time I am trying to avoid having too many expectations. I want my new surroundings to surprise me, and I want to stay open to any new adventures that may cross my path.

Barbara Levin is the Summer 2015 CEA MOJO in Madrid, Spain. She is currently a junior at California Polytechnic State University.

Read more about our CEA Content Creators.
Load more comments
Thank you for the comment! Your comment must be approved first




Receive a $500 Flight Credit when you apply by May 05, 2023

Get your flight credit code and access to Passbook in two easy steps. With Passbook, you can track your favorite programs and courses, save flight credits, and watch videos on the destination you're interested in.

Apply Now

Step 1 of 2

Step 2 of 2

*By providing your mobile number, you agree to receive recurring text messages from CEA Study Abroad notifying you of important program deadlines. Message and data rates may apply.

Privacy Policy   |   Mobile Terms   |   Flight Credit Rules

Your flight credit has been added to your Passbook. Apply now or view your Passbook to begin the next step in your journey.