Where I’m Living in Spain!

Hola! In this blog post, I will tell you a bit about where I am living here in Spain! Alcalá de Henares is a small town, protected as an UNESCO World Heritage site and situated about an hour northeast of Madrid, the capitol city. Alcalá de Henares is best known for being the town where Miguel Cervantes wrote the famous Don Quijote de la Mancha. Right near la Universidad de Alcalá, I am staying at the Residencia Universitario Lope de Vega, or the Lope de Vega University Residence. While not officially affiliated with la Universidad de Alcalá, most of the people living here are either study abroad students, Spanish students, or professors of the university. I live in a dorm without roommates, but the amenities are great to enjoy with friends. There is a beautiful courtyard in the middle of the building, a gym, multiple group study spaces, and a game room. These accommodations were set up for me by the Pitt in Spain program and the Instituto Franklin. While I have had a great experience living here, I would say one of the challenges I am facing with this new home is that I am speaking much more English than I expected. With most of the students also studying abroad from Pitt or other colleges in the US, I mainly speak to them in English, as we all have varying levels of Spanish proficiency. Unfortunately due to Pitt’s COVID guidelines, I was not able to live with a host family in which I would have been able to better immerse myself in the Spanish language and culture. On the other hand, this experience has allowed me to meet people from all over the US and world. For example, I have met really cool people from Mississippi State University, the University of Buffalo, and people from Spain and the Czech Republic to name a few. As a student, I was able to acquire a monthly metro card, which allows me unlimited access to all of the public transportation in the Comunidad de Madrid. In just one hour, I can be in Madrid, one of the largest metropolitan areas in Europe. This has been my favorite part of this amazing experience. Whether its taking the train into the city to visit El Rastro, a huge flea market with endless souvenirs, clothes, and handmade goods, or taking the bus to Retiro Park to relax in the beautiful gardens with my friends, there is always something fun to do. In addition, I love visiting different fresh markets and rooftop restaurants with beautiful views of the city. 

Leave a Reply