Meet NYU Madrid Global Peer Mentor, KP!

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

Today, meet KP, who studied in Madrid in Spring 2016.

kp-nyu-madrid

Major: Nursing

What is your favorite memory about your time abroad?Meeting the people by far was my favorite memory. I think there isn’t any specific memory which stands out as there are just so many memories I hold dear to my heart. However, one of the best times I had while at NYU Madrid was actually on a program trip to Morocco in the spring, and later, in the summer term, a program trip to northern Spain to San Sebastian/Bilbao. I really solidified my friendships on those trips.

What was the most interesting course you took and why? I really appreciate the Masterpieces in the Prado Museum course because I can’t imagine when else in my entire lifetime I’ll be able to take a course in one of the world’s most renowned museums every single week for an entire semester. Art history is so far removed from nursing, yet I enjoyed every minute of it.

What two things do you wish you had packed? I wish I had packed my winter jacket because I didn’t anticipate it being so cold. I also wish I had brought more warm weather gear, but that’s because I stayed for the summer term and had nothing to wear that was appropriate for the blazing summer heat!

Name two things you should not have packed.  I honestly brought my Spanish-English dictionary and did not use it once. For homework assignments, let’s be honest – you’ll probably use Google translate or word reference. In person, you won’t be looking at a book while you talk, so don’t waste space on that! Also, definitely don’t bring too many pairs of shoes. I brought perhaps a pair or two too many, and I regretted not using that space on American toiletries or perhaps that winter jacket I later so desperately needed.

What do you miss most? The people and the food – those are two aspects I miss everyday when I cook and when I interact with people. Otherwise, I miss everything else just as strongly. I miss the city, the noise, the music, the language – literally everything.

One good way to get to know locals is: Join the intercambio program! Befriend the locals there! There is one young woman with whom I still Skype and chat with at least once a week. She is such a dear friend of mine, and she even took me to her village! Also, don’t be afraid to strike up conversations with locals in the clubs/bars. You’ll be surprised how friendly everyone is!

If there’s one thing students should know about Madrid, it is: You should stay and explore Madrid more than you think! One semester seems like a lot of time, but as you’ll hear over and over again, it’s really not. So, definitely take advantage of those weekends to travel around Europe, but also, take the time to really enjoy the city you chose to live in for an entire semester.

If you could go back in time and do one thing differently, what would it be? For one, I wish I could have gone to a fútbol game. I missed my opportunity to do that even though I was already warned that I should go and do that as soon as I arrived. Moreover, I wish I had spent more time just wandering around Madrid. There is still so much I haven’t seen nor experienced. But, you truly can’t see literally everything in only a semester/six months, so I guess that’s why I need to go back! More than anything though, I wish I had traveled around Spain some more. I didn’t get to visit Granada (especially La Alhambra), Sevilla, Salamanca, or Barcelona, and those are just the more famous cities! There is so much to Spain than just Madrid and Barcelona too. I wish I could have explored more of the culture in Galicia and northern Spain or visited the smaller beach towns on the east coast. Thinking more about it, I wanted to travel to the Balearic Islands too! As you can probably tell, I miss Spain everyday, so make sure you leave feeling like you didn’t miss out!