La Ciudad y La Escuela

Trip Start Sep 01, 2013
Trip End Dec 20, 2013

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Flag of United States  , Indiana
Friday, August 30, 2013

T-minus 2 days until departure! I'm incredibly excited at this point - not nervous yet. Maybe that will set in on the flight over? I've decided to write this one last blog post while still in the States to let you all know what my city and school will be like over there. I figure once I get over to Spain I will only be writing about the experiences I am having.

  I finished up packing yesterday in Evansville and then headed back up to Butler for the weekend, stopping for dinner at IU yesterday to see some high school friends. My flight to Spain leaves Sunday morning at 10:30 a.m. I will be with about 10 other Butler students on the group flight over, which stops in Charlotte, NC before arriving in Madrid at 7:00 a.m. Monday morning. I'm definitely not flying solo - no worries. In fact, I know several of the students I will be spending the semester abroad with very well already

Alcalá de Henares, my home city for the semester, was inhabited during the pre-Roman era. The name literally means "Citadel on the Henares" (Henares is a river). It is a large community of about 200,000 people that is right outside of Madrid (35 minute train ride). It still contains many ancient buildings and much history. Miguel de Cervantes, the author of the famous novel Don Quixote was born in Alcalá and did much of his life work there. 

The University of Alcalá, where I will be studying, is the major landmark of the city and is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Its main campus now lies on the outskirts of the city, but I will be studying in the old campus, which has been preserved from renaissance times! The foreign language, humanities, and law programs are currently housed in this old portion of the campus. The main building can be seen in the picture here and is often showed as the symbol of the city. The old campus borders the Parque Central, a large cobblestone bordered square in the center of the city that has also been preserved with many buildings dating from the 14th century. 

I will be taking four classes in Spain (12 credit hours). This is 1-2 classes fewer than I normally take at Butler, so it will allow me plenty of free time to do all the exploring I want. The class I'm most excited for is "The Global Dimension in European Soccer." I can't wait to be able to take a class on my favorite sport! That definitely would never have been an option at Butler. Other classes I am enrolled in are "Spanish Culture and Civilization", "Spanish Society on Film", and "The Art and Literature of Madrid". By studying abroad for a full semester through this Butler program, I am also fulfilling one semester of my Global and Historical Studies (GHS) component of the core curriculum I am responsible for here at Butler, which is three credit hours. In reality, I'm not going to be losing any ground in terms of classes while abroad! 

That's it until I officially begin my trip abroad! I'll post shortly after I arrive to give an update. 

See you on the other side (of the Atlantic)!

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