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81 posts categorized "Madrid Language"

Madrid Rewind in Photos

It's hard to believe that in 3 days, our magical summer in Madrid will come to a close.  Since we are all feeling pretty nostalgic, I thought it might be fun to look back at some highlights of the trips through photos to capture some of the highlight experiences we have all shared this past month.  Who could possibly forget...

Our first lunch out in Madrid as a group:

First lunch

First dinner


Our visit to the Plaza de Toros...



All the great ITC activities like "shopping" at a local furniture store or eating and ordering tapas...

Furniture ITC


Dining Out With Friends


The "albanicos..."



Our amazing trip kayaking in Segovia and seeing the "Alcazar" and "Aqueducto romano..."


Segovia Kayak


Taking a bunch of cool classes like cooking, flamenco, and cajon...

Cajon 2


Cooking Class


Cooking 2


Or the fun times we shared on the beaches of Valencia...

Beach Valencia

Valencia Beach 2


These are some of the memories our students will hold in their hearts forever.  In these last 3 days, I am certain they will make even more!  Stay tuned for more on the final days in Madrid!  ~Zach


Week 3 in Madrid has left me virtually speechless! This past week has been absolutely amazing; we toured Santiago Bernabeu Stadium (home of Real Madrid Futbol Club), visited the old Royal Palace here in Madrid, and today I am just getting returning from an awesome weekend spent in Valencia.

Since I am such a big soccer fan, getting to tour Bernabeu Stadium was like a dream come true. I was able to walk through the stadium where some of my own soccer idols have stepped foot and played. Seeing the trophies, the locker room and walking out on the field, it was all an incredible feeling. This was definitely one of my favorite parts of my summer abroad in Spain.


Visiting the Royal Palace was very exciting. Although taking pictures while inside the rooms of the palace was not permitted, I can tell you seeing all the paintings, art work, and architecture was pretty amazing. When we walked out of the palace into the courtyard we were able to see the view of the entire city. It was a breathtaking view.



This weekend the entire program went to the city of Valencia for the weekend. We went to the beach and visited a few museums. This is the first time I was able to get to the beach this year and it was ironic that it was in a whole other country, considering I’m lucky enough to be only a few minutes from the beach back home. It’s not everyday you get to swim in the Mediterranean Sea! While there, we were able to see beautiful architecture and a really cool plaza located behind a church. We had talked about some of the festivals held in Valencia during class, and we actually went to a museum about one of them. We also went to a restaurant and enjoyed eating paella, which is a typical rice dish here in Spain. We took a nice boat ride through the rice fields after.


As I begin my last week here in Madrid, I've been thinking of the amazing sights I have seen and beautiful places I have been fortunate enough to visit. I have been lucky enough to have been placed with an incredible host family that treats me as I am a member of their family. While I am looking forward to seeing my family and friends back home on Saturday, I truly am
going to miss my time here. It has been a true learning and growing experience.

-Emily C.

'Global Navigator Voices' is a collection of blog articles and pictures by our very own high school study abroad participants. Follow their adventures before, during, and after their experiences abroad!

Weekend in Valencia! (Read: Beaches and Paella)

Valencia is the nearest beach to Madrid. Throughout the summer many a madrileño can be found making the four hour trek to the coast to enjoy some time in the sun and some delicious paella. Since we are spending the summer living as the madrileños do, we spent the past weekend joining in on this summer tradition. We also discovered that Valencia has a lot more to offer in addition to the playa and paella.

Our first stop was the Fallas Museum. Every March valencianos build large wooden structures throughout the city and then burn them down in an amazing spectacle of fireworks, smoke, and flames. The structures often represent famous people or scenes. The winning ninot is saved from the flames each year and placed in this museum. Here are some that we saw:



We had fun at the beach:





We took a walking tour of the old town:

IMG_0338 (1)

IMG_0338 (1)

We at paella and took a boat tour through the rice fields of Albufera:






We visited the Ciutat de les Arts i les Ciències where we got to check out an awesome science museum and splash around in inflatable bubbles:



Tapas and a Royal Palace

Yesterday students in Madrid got to try eating tapas at a local tapas bar in Madrid. As per tradition, we stood, used toothpicks as silverware, and threw our napkins on the the floor when we were done. 







After tapas we headed over to the royal palace for a change of scenery. This eighteenth century palace is impressive and full of history. We were able to see the throne room and the dining room. We even stood in the room where Spain joined the European Union in the 1980s. Unfortunately, pictures cannot be taken in the royal state rooms, but we certainly took advantage of the entrance and exterior of the palace to get some awesome shots!








What a fabulous day at the Bernabéu

On Monday our global navigators got a chance to visit the home of one of soccer's greatest teams, Real Madrid. Fútbol as it is known in the Spanish speaking world is not only a game, but a way of life. 


Our global navigators got a chance to visit the stadium, check out the locker rooms, see the stadium from where the players sit and even walk on the field. 


We got a chance to listen to live footage from the games, it honesty felt like we were really there! 


Posing like champions was all part of a good day's work as we wandered about the stadium.  Our hopes were high to run into a player or two... but rumor has it-they are all back in the USA. 


For many of us, it was our first time in a professional stadium and it was quite impressive. The legacy of Real Madrid Futbol Club will stay with us for years to come!


Week 2: Madrid

Week two in Madrid is now complete. I would say one of the biggest changes I’ve had to adjust to is dinner time (what can I say, I like to eat!). We have lunch in school here around 12:30pm. Dinner with our host family can come from anywhere around 8:30pm to 11:00pm. It hasn’t been too hard to get used to though; there are a lot of great things to try that can hold you over until then. Another adjustment for me has been the 100+ degree weather. Since we arrived, it has been very hot. We have been busy with activities, so you really do begin to forget about how hot it is when you’re involved in different things.

Living in a new house with a new family has been a lot fun surprisingly. This had been on of the things I was worried about before I came to Madrid. My host family has been amazing. There were still little things to get adjusted to, but it has been almost like my life at home. My new home consists of my host mom and her four daughters and no pets. Not living with any pets took me a little while to get used to because I have always had some type of pet around, like our dogs. I really like my host family a lot. They have helped me improve my spanish had have introduced me to new foods as well. I have enjoyed shopping in some local markets with them and we visited Plaza Mayor which is absolutely beautiful.

Emily cheeseman2


Many people here walk and use the public transportation, which surprised me. Almost everything is in walking distance here and it is very easy to find the town that you wish to visit. The amount of walking that I do throughout one day here is what I would probably do in three to four days at home in the U.S. because things aren’t as close as they are here. I wish that when i go back home I was able to walk to stores and cafes like I can here in Madrid.

A typical day for me is waking up and having breakfast. I usually have breakfast alone because my host mom and one of my older sisters has to leave for work and the rest of the house is usually sleeping. Breakfast can be a bowl of cereal or some pastry like a croissant. Then i take the bus and the metro to get school. After getting off the metro I have a 5-10 minute walk to the school. Class starts at 9:30, and we are in class for an hour and a half. After, we are dismissed for something called a “descanso.” A descanso is where our instructor dismisses us for a half hour and we are able to leave the school campus to get food, coffee, or just hang there with friends. After the half hour we head back to class for another hour and a half. At 12:30 class is dismissed and we head to another room in the school and eat lunch. Following lunch we have a short meeting with the program leaders about what the rest of the day consists of.

We then head out into the community for the rest of the day for something called an ITC which means “Into The Community”. Our ITC is generally an activity where we will either have to ask a local person questions using phrases we learned in class that day, or it could be taking pictures and describing them as well. After the ITC assignment we usually have free time or do an activity with the group late in the day. 

Between 3:30pm-4:45pm our group activities begin which can consist of a variety of different things. This past week we went on a graffiti tour which we got to see beautiful graffiti art on buildings. Next week we will be touring el Palacio Real. The Palacio Real was the actual palace for the royal family at least a hundred years ago (they now live outside of Madrid). When the activity is finished, you usually have free time until dinner. Dinner is always supposed to be spent with your host family, so it is important that you are on time. After dinner activities usually include watching the TV, talking, or if it's really late, we all go to sleep.

Emilycheeseman 4
Emilycheeseman 4
Emilycheeseman 4

I hope you enjoy the pictures I’ve included of my first two weeks here in beautiful Madrid!

-Emily C.

'Global Navigator Voices' is a collection of blog articles and pictures by our very own high school study abroad participants. Follow their adventures before, during, and after their experiences abroad!

A Taste of Madrileño Culture

This week, we had an opportunity to explore the food, art, music, and dances of Madrid.  

*We took a cooking class and made some paella, tarta de Santiago, tortilla española, and gazpacho.


*We tried our hands (pun intended) at playing el cajón, an instrumental accompaniment to Flamenco.

*We visited an artist to learn about the current art scene in Madrid and got to let some of our own creative juices flow when we painted ceramics.


We also learned about the roots of Flamenco and even tried out some choreography (we are great at it, thank you for asking).

Este fin de semana, we'll spend relaxing with our host families.  

¡Hasta la próxima! 


Week 1: Madrid, Spain


On Saturday I flew to Madrid, Spain to begin my studies in Spanish language and culture.  Although I had prepared to study abroad by completing the modules and practicing the Spanish language, I was still a little nervous and unsure of what to expect.  But since my arrival on Sunday morning, I have dove into a completely different culture and been navigating the language pretty well.

One of the things that seemed to surprise me about Madrid was when I walked into the city I realized how clean it was and there were people actually cleaning the streets. You don’t see that a lot in the U.S., at least in southern New Jersey.  There were also people in the public parks who were gardening and that was their job, to keep the garden clean.  The city is really beautiful.  I was also surprised how hard it was for me to get into a good sleeping habit. I wasn’t able to sleep well for a good four days because of being jetlagged and just getting used to my surroundings in my new home.  I’m happy to say that sleep is improving.

On Monday I met my host family.  We went to their home where I got unpacked and set up with everything that I would need throughout my stay. My host family has been very accepting of me and also very welcoming. My host mom has treated me like I was one of her own daughters.  My host sisters have invited me in as one of them as well.  I like listening to one of them sing songs in English; it sounds so sweet.

I have enjoyed meeting people traveling to Madrid in this program.  We have exchanged information like where we were from and what our schools are like.  I consider them friends and plan to keep in touch with when I return home. There were people from all over the U.S.  Hearing all about their lives and where or if they have traveled outside of the country before was really interesting.  

I am doing quite well with the local language here in Spain and I am still learning more vocabulary with each day.  The local language in Spain is sometimes difficult to follow and understand because they have different words for things than we use in the U.S.  The local people can also speak really fast sometimes so I can get a little lost trying to figure out what they are saying, but it has been going better than I thought.  My host sisters have even taught me some Spanish slang!

Taking a Spanish language class in Spain, I feel, is more helpful than trying to learn Spanish where you’re not surrounded by it all the time. There are definitely some pros and cons when it comes to learning a new language in a country that only speaks the language. Some pros are that you are able to focus on the language and use it consistently.  The repetition helps to improve your language skills and you are able to remember vocabulary because you are constantly using it.  Cons of being in country and learning the language might include if you do not understand something or need to know something but can only ask the question in your native language and then not being understood.  I had been a little worried about that when I learned that I would be riding the metro and other forms of public transit. This has all worked out very well, though, and I think this language class has helped me with any of little language mistakes that I have made.  

-Emily C.

'Global Navigator Voices' is a collection of blog articles and pictures by our very own high school study abroad participants. Follow their adventures before, during, and after their experiences abroad!

Graffiti tour through Lavapies and Embajadores

Monday in Madrid our students and program leaders got the opportunity to learn about street art  also known as arte callejero. 



We learned all about commissioned art on the street that helped us get an idea of what importance street art holds for Madrileños. 


We learned that street art can be absolutely anywhere! 


We are excited for today´s activities- we will break into our first round of 5 activities: Cerámica, cajón, flamenco, parque Retiro, y cocina. 

Stay posted for some awesome pictures of all of us in action this week trying our hand at Spanish cultural activities. 

At the end of the day, we learned that the best way to keep cool on a HOT day in Madrid is to use our abanicos (the spanish word for hand fan) to keep cool. 


More Adventures in Madrid!

¡Hola a todos!

As usual, we've been keeping very busy here in Madrid. Students finished up their first week of classes and have been practicing what they have learned at home with their host families and when we complete our Into the Community Activities. This week students went to a traditional tapas restaurant, visited the Prado and Sorolla museums and went biking through Madrid Rio park. 

Sorolla Museum

Students in the gardens outside the Sorolla Museum.

We had a blast at our karaoke night on Friday where we discovered quite a few talented vocalists in the group. Students and host families came together to sing songs in both English and Spanish. Check out the photos below including one of our very own CIEE One Direction cover band. 

Karaoke 1

Karaoke 3

Karaoke 4

On Saturday Morning, we woke up early and took our first excursion out of the city of Madrid. We rode north to Castilla y León and the Hoces del Duratón national park and nature preserve. Here we went kayaking through the beautiful river that sits at the bottom of a canyon. After learning about the species of birds that live in the park (a type of vulture with a wing span of almost two meters!) we went for a swim in the water to cool down. 

Hoces del Duratón

Duratón 1

Duratón 2
After our morning on the river, we headed to Segovia, an ancient city home to a castle and former royal residence, a cathedral as well as aqueducts dating back to the times of ancient Rome. We explored the castle together before having some free time to wander around the winding hilly streets.

Segovia 1

Segovia 2

Segovia 4

Segovia 5

Segovia 6

Hasta la próxima,