Monday, August 27, 2012

Arrival in Madrid

 After a fairly uneventful twenty hours I've made it to Madrid. I'm writing now from what will now be my bed for the next semester, in the apartment owned by my new host family.
I was received at the airport by long-time friend and compatriot Leia, who also happens to be a veteran here at Suffolk Madrid. To clarify, she's returning to Madrid for the first semester of her sophomore year, although due to a change in major she'll be transferring to the Boston campus next semester. It's because of her that I heard about the program in the first place; we journeyed to the consulate in NYC together this past summer to secure our visas, and without her there to help my arrival wouldn't have been nearly as smooth as it was. Ever since I sent in my acceptance letter (and subsequent deferral, due to my planned gap year after graduation) she's been there every step of the way for me, a source of infinite wisdom regarding visa applications, flight tickets, paperwork, and the countless other steps in the process of arrival to Madrid.   
At any rate, after meeting up with Leia at the airport, we (Leia, my luggage and I) rode the metro from the terminal into the city and, eventually, up to the SUMC campus. I arrived somewhat late for all the first day orientation/welcome activities, but I was able to meet up with the staff at school, who then contacted my host family to let them know I had arrived. My host sister arrived not long after by car to pick up both me and one of my two roommates, Aretha. The apartment where we're staying is within spitting distance of the Real Madrid stadium, so I guess I'll go to a few games while I'm here. Our host mother explained a few things to us in Spanish over dinner; both she and our host sister have bee nothing but kind to us ever since we set foot in their home. At this point I can understand much better than I can speak (five years of study can't all have been for naught), but I have a feeling that the language will come in time. 

So for now it'll be a lot of upacking and a lot of catching up on sleep; we have orientation all day tomorrow and then it's off to Salamanca for the welcome trip on Wednesday. Updates (and photos) to follow. :)

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