As I write this article sitting under a tree in perfect homage to Socrates in Madrid’s famed Parque del Retiro contemplating how to possibly place my experience abroad thus far into words, I find it fitting to begin with a recommendation.
To all my fellow UM students, I would greatly advise you to take the opportunity offered to study abroad and broaden your horizons, your intellect and your career as a college student. The prospect of having the chance to see the world through the eyes of others around you, immerse yourself in the language of a foreign country and learn what it means to become a global citizen in this ever-globalizing world is something one must explore in their youth.
Even though you may have been drawn to Miami for its beaches, nightlife, and strong academics I assure you there is a world outside of this city or wherever your hometown may be, and it’s one that you must seek to discover as long as you have the option to do so.
My experience here has been one of utter fulfillment and, as a political science and journalism major, one that has been critical to my growth as an aspiring journalist. Personally, it has offered things that could never have been learned within the perfectly cured lawns and exotic amenities within our astonishing Coral Gables campus.
Whether it be meeting friends from all over the world or discovering this grand European capital through its nightlife, culture and history, this semester has certainly been the most rewarding and undoubtedly my most memorable in college.
Describing his feelings after having to leave Madrid for the final time, Earnest Hemingway once famously quoted: “It makes you feel very badly to know that you will have to die and never see Madrid again.”
Like Hemingway, it has left such an indelible mark on me personally that I hope to write a novel on the experience as I continue to explore my journalistic prowess, which could have only been possible by leaving what I had been accustomed to and undertaking this new and unknown but exhilarating challenge.
Thus, for now I’m off to stroll down towards Gran Vía to the elegant Plaza Mayor to go for tapas atop one of the city´s delightful open-air terraces with friends and soak in the night air of this electrifying metropolis. I hope you will join me.