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100 Days in Madrid

5 days. 5 days is the amount of time I have left studying abroad in Madrid. It feels like it was just yesterday that I had arrived in Madrid in September and now here I am about to close out my semester abroad. These past few days I really have been reflecting on my time here in Madrid. I’ve realized that in just over 4 months I have grown more than I thought I ever would and I have seen more than I ever thought possible.
 Exploring the world

During my time abroad, I learned a lot about other cultures. For Spain in particular, I learned about their fashion, eating habits, typical times of the day to eat, the way their transportation works, the dos and don’ts of daily life and so much more. Among the many differences that I’ve encountered while being abroad, I think the most important thing I’ve learned is how to appreciate other cultures and the specific things that make them unique. I’ve loved learning about day-to-day mannerisms, cultural characteristics, groups of people, music, habits and the like about the Spanish culture. I think this aspect has really helped me adapt to life in Madrid and feel more part of their culture. Another thing that I’ve learned during my time abroad is to break out of your comfort zone and to get to know people. Every single person you meet has a different story and comes from a different background. Breaking out of your shell and talking to new people will help you as an individual learn how to be open minded and learn so many new opinions about beliefs and ideas.
 Always appreciate the simple things
 
 Making friends

Study abroad will impact my future in so many ways. I came to Madrid to really learn and practice Spanish, it is going to be extremely beneficial for me moving forward in my career field. I’ve realized the importance of learning a language during my time abroad and I am excited to see all of the ways and situations that I will be able to use the language to help others. The other thing I will take away from my experience is my knowledge about how beautiful the world is and my passion to continue my exploration this big world. Traveling is a big part of going abroad and after you go abroad, it’s true when people say you catch the travel bug. Don’t worry it’s not bad, it just means your wanderlust is real and you have a longing to go see this big, beautiful world. There’s so much out there waiting for you and going abroad triggers that “what if” in your mind.
 Learning cultures

I am incredibly thankful for my time studying abroad in Madrid, Spain and I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world. I have met the most incredibly intentional and kind people during my time here, who have taught me so much about the world and about myself. We’ve shared stories, our likes and dislikes, our beliefs and the things we value, and this is something I will forever be grateful for is that 95 days ago, I met a large group of strangers in an unknown place. And now 95 days later, these strangers are life-long friends.

 Learning languages

5 days seems so far away till I depart to the United States, but it surely will creep up fast. Till that day, I will cherish every moment I have in this city and with these people because there will never be a time again where we all will be this place, together, in our current physical and emotional states. Madrid, you have been so good to me and have taught me so much. Thank you for teaching me, accepting me, and opening my eyes to a beautiful culture and world. I will surely be seeing you again soon.
 Learning myself

Lauryn H. is the Fall 2017 MOJO Blogger in Madrid, Spain. She is currently a Senior studying Exercise Science at Belmont University.

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