The Study Abroad Awards!

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RACHEL ALLEN- Hello one and all! Welcome to the very first “Study Abroad Awards”. Much like the Dunder Mifflin Dundies, the Studies (ooo we already have a nickname) celebrate life itself. This will also probably be the last Studies, as we didn’t get the 1,000,000,00€ stipend we asked for to pay for a circus of bocadillos. But hey it was worth a shot. On that note, let’s get studious!

Award for “thinking I wouldn’t need to use this thing, but ended up needing this thing so much during my stay here” goes to…Spanish Healthcare!
As any other college student abroad, my physical health was not a priority for me. I figured my strong and able 20 year old body would withstand everything. Cut to me being on my literal and metaphorical deathbed week 4 into this program, rocking a 104 degree fever. Thanks to my doctor here and the super inexpensive, but effective drugs, I recovered 100% within a week. American healthcare needs to step up its game because I got blood work done and Doctor testing done and it only cost me 6€ for the two week long antibiotics I was on.

Award for “Best Airline” goes to…legit any other airline besides Ryanair!
Ryanair has so many loopholes. You gotta print out your boarding pass (which is destroying trees btdubs), have it stamped by Ryanair customer service, check in online, have the smallest carry on bags in the entire airline industry, sell your soul to the devil reincarnate, which is any club promoter in Sol and maybe you’ll get on your flight. Also, their seats don’t even have little pouches you can store your water bottles! Get out of my life Ryanair pls n thx.

Award for “Best Place to Nap in Madrid” goes to…Retiro!
This might spark some controversy with people who think the program center is the number 1 place to take a snooze, but has it EVER been quiet in there?! Sure there’s a couch, but there’s also three pairs of people filming their video project there. In Retiro, you can bring your hammock (or steal Nicole’s as I have done without telling her) and take a nap with peacocks! How’s that for a story for your distant relatives who like kinda care about your experience, but tbh are more concerned with Fox News.

Award for “Favorite Room in the Program Center” goes to…The program staff’s bathroom!
Ok in all fairness I haven’t been in there but I’m sure it’s lovely.

Award for “Best Internship Moment” goes to…little kids singing!
At my internship, I helped teach English to primary school kids. One day I walked into my classroom and my teacher wasn’t there yet. Immediately, the kids start singing “Sweet Dreams” by The Eurhythmics and I join in thinking, “ok this is gonna be a moment I remember forever”. So far it’s been three weeks and it’s kinda foggy, but still there.

Award for “best joke” goes to…Enrique!
Ok there was a LOT of competition for this category. From Will’s “hipoteca is a discoteca for hippos” joke to Chrissy’s “soy alérgica a las pájaros” to Shane saying I love you to Enrique and later getting dissed, Enrique takes the cake. Enrique could honestly take his syllabus on a comedic tour and he’d be a rock star. His stand out joke was when we were learning that adding -azo at the end of a word makes that word super cool. Like “cochazo” means super cool car. To help us learn this concept, Enrique went on Google to look up “cuerpazo”, meaning super cool body. His finger was on the escape key just in case something not appropriate for school came up, but it turned out just fine. It was a bunch of pictures of women and one picture of a man and Enrique points to the man and says “obviamente soy yo”, meaning that’s me! I almost fell out of my chair from laughing so hard. Dude brings the joooookes.

Award for “Best menu del día” goes to…Las Mañanitas!
Ok so this is a Mexican restaurant in the Tribunal/Malasaña/Bilbao area. This place has a carta with entrees starting from 14€ aka a student’s nightmare. BUT, the menu del día includes TWO of these entrees, a drink and a dessert for 9.50€! They have gourmet nachos. Like a layer of nachos underneath a layer of nachos. Also I’ve been there so many times that the last time I went the waiter gave me a free fancy looking margarita with pepper around the rim (ooo fancy). Needless to say, that drink was yummy and my grammar class that met after my lunch was entertaining.

Award for “Most Bitter Moment” goes to… Becky and Kate not getting the front seat for the Valencia bus!
Once again, the Studies had another heated category. Another nominee includes that one time when Nicole and I left Independance at the same time at 3:30am, and I was in bed by 4:00am, texted Nicole I was home, and she was still waiting for her night bus. To be honest I don’t think Nicole has talked to me since. Other nominees include when the Transatlantic Lit kids still have two papers due when everyone else has finished their work, and me on a daily basis. On the day we were leaving Valencia for Madrid, Kate and Becky had a legitimate plan for getting the seat on the bus they most wanted. They didn’t even tell me their plan they were so determined to achieve their goal. Cut to Nicole and I getting the front seat of the bus before Kate and Becky could and them giving us glares the entire ride back. It was worth it because the views were dope, but also not worth it because I got sunburned and I felt super guilty and still do.

Rachel Allen, Tufts in Madrid

Rachel Allen, Tufts in Madrid

That’s it folks for the first (and last) ever Studies! I’d like to thank my procrastination habits because without them, I would be here writing this instead of studying for my Grammar final.

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