Meet NYU Madrid Global Peer Mentor, Emer O.!

Throughout the semester, you will have the opportunity to hear from NYU Madrid alumni to gain their firsthand insight and tips.

Today, meet Emer O., who studied in Madrid in Spring 2015.


Major: Media, Culture & Communications

What is your favorite memory about your time abroad? Going to Sintra, a town 45 minutes from Lisbon, Portugal. It was the first time I decided to travel on my own and I felt more nervous knowing I had a plane to catch in a couple hours. I arrived in the morning before everything opened to find a quiet magical town covered in mist. I walked the long trail up the mountain, lined by beautiful Romantic architectural monuments and homes, hopped the fence into the Sintra-Cascais Natural Park (it was closed!), and sat on a rock that had a sick view of Castelo dos Mouros (Castle of the Moors). I sat there in awe until the mist cleared. Solid experience.

What was the most interesting course you took and why? “Techniques of Translation” with Professor Cristina Perez Calleja. I am Dominican but wanted to formally study Spanish, so this class was a great bridge between the two. We spent all semester translating movie scripts, like Little Miss Sunshine, American Beauty, and Annie Hall. You really do get a feel for the idiosyncrasies of both the English and Spanish language through a pop culture lens. Cristina is an awesome and efficient professor, but I feel the same could be said for all the professors I met in Madrid.

What do you miss most? Feeling like my life is a field trip.

What two things do you wish you had packed? 1. A picture or two of my family, because it’s difficult to make such a new place your home without having some familiar faces around. 2. Notebook, because it was difficult to find college-ruled paper.

Name two things you should not have packed.  1. Heels – I could have gone with a single pair. For the most part Madrileños party in casual environments. 2. Less clothes – shop while you’re abroad!

What advice would you give about housing? Not to worry! There are so many options I think students forget there are different housing situations to accommodate different people. I lived in an apartment and absolutely loved the two random girls I was paired with (s/o to Rody Roo and Kristine!!!) and our Señora was dope! She bought us a toaster oven upon request since we did not have an oven, and even brought over a tortilla de patatas with it.

If you could go back in time and do one thing differently, what would it be?  I think I would have done a homestay. I immediately denied the possibility and found myself warming up to the idea once I arrived.