Goodbyes and Hellos

It is getting close to the end and it is time to start saying goodbye and hello to this adventure and to future travels and new experiences. I’m sitting in my room trying to write a final paper, but instead I find myself writing this last blog post.
My time here in Spain has been really enjoyable, but to be honest, I don’t think that I have realized how important and incredible this semester has been for me. I have seen that some people have already realized how living abroad has changed them. For some they feel empowered after living in a city for the first time, for many their Spanish has drastically improved, some feel a new sense of independence after travelling and living on their own, or for others they are really excited to get back home to the states and never look back.
For me, I have to say, volunteering with the AECC at the Hospital Infanta Sofía has been my favorite experience of my semester abroad. I feel incredibly lucky to have had the opportunity and I am going to miss my internship the most. The time has gone by too quickly and I am going to think about my Monday morning routine often. The friendships I have made here are also incredibly important to me. I am so grateful to have met new people here and to continue those relationships when I leave Spain.
I was also extremely lucky to have my mom attending a conference in Madrid, making it easy to see her and show her around the last couple of days. Most importantly, she was able to meet my host family and Manuela made incredible paella for us! Manuela, Antonio, Reyes, and, of course, Sansa (the dog) are incredible. I will miss them and I wish I had more time to get to know them and spend time with them.
Attending class at UAM has also been a highlight of my experience here. Being in a large class with all native Spanish speakers was surprisingly only a small challenge for me. I have learned so much and have really enjoyed every minute of being a student at UAM. Riding the train became something relaxing and enjoyable for me. There have been some days where I have wished the ride was longer! I have now become a person who listens to podcasts like Serial, S-town, and Ted Radio Hour. I find that I have tid-bits of useful information to add to conversations now and I love the art of story telling.
I would like to thank everyone who has helped me travel abroad and everyone who has been here for me while I have been in Spain. This has truly been an awesome experience.
It’s been real.
Hello to new adventures!

Recommendations
1. Use your extracurricular money.
2. Take advantage of cultural reimbursements.
3. Study abroad! You’ll learn something whether it is bad or good and that will be invaluable.

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