Current Madrid Student Ambassadors
I learned how much I value creativity while studying abroad. First, I took an art class, which was completely uncharted territory. Although it was labor intensive, I enjoyed trying to recreate some of the most iconic artists' works or working on an original piece.
Being in Spain for two months, I was able to experience living in the country, rather than just being a tourist in it. That meant that I could delight in the little moments of a Madrilean lifestyle, like commuting with the locals on the metro everyday or walking to the Instituto under a warm Mediterranean sky.
Past Madrid Student Ambassadors
The language pledge was challenging to stick to at first, but really brought the entire experience into focus. My Spanish improved dramatically, and using it everyday in academic and non-academic settings helped me move around the city with ease.
I think it's important to have a balance of traveling with spending time in the city that you choose to study abroad in. Some of my best weekends were the ones that I spent in Madrid and I think that although traveling to other parts of Europe was fun, I don't think you should come in with the expectation that every weekend is going to be a travel weekend. I realized this about a week into my study abroad experience and it made my experience in Madrid exponentially better.
Ana Cabrera (Public Policy) - Spring 2017-18
In Madrid I was able to take classes that I did not have the chance to take on campus such as a history class, and a flamenco class. On campus I was always worrying about checking off something in my major’s requirements, and being in Madrid allowed me to disconnect from that mentality and take classes that I really loved without checking a four year plan beforehand.
Alli Emge (History) - Autumn 2017-18
One of my primary goals was to improve my fluency in Spanish. Since the students participating in the Madrid program sign a pledge to only speak in Spanish, this goal was an easy one to meet.
Aaron Aquino (Computer Science) - Spring 2016-17
As a CS major, I had spent every quarter at Stanford so far taking at least one CS course. Consequently, studying in Madrid was a nice break from the techy grind and allowed me to focus fully on my Spanish minor, which involved taking courses related to Spanish culture, language/writing, and history.
Sam Schwager (Mathematical and Computational Science) - Autumn 2016-17
The process of adapting to a completely new situation turned out to be a ton of fun, and I greatly appreciate the independence I developed throughout the experience. Most of all, I learned that I’m capable of being self-sufficient to an extent I wasn’t aware of before going abroad, a lesson I’ll carry with me well beyond my time at Stanford.
Belinda Esqueda (Biology) - Spring 2015-16
I got to explore courses and topics that I had not had the chance to explore because of my major. I also made the decision to minor in Spanish as a result of my academic experiences in Madrid and have as a result continued to explore interests on campus.
Nina Donaldson (Environmental Systems Engineering) - Spring 2015-16
The Madrid program would fully immerse me in the language (we had a Spanish only language pledge 100% of the time) and expose me to the culture even more through the home-stay system.
Kelly Hernandez (Political Science) - Winter 2014-15
Having the opportunity to live and study in Madrid was beyond exciting for me; to be at the site where Federico Garcia Lorca wrote Canciones,where Picasso’s piece Guernicais displayed, and experience the rich diversity of culture in the heart of Spain would be incredible.
Grace Laboy (Communications) - Fall & Winter 2014-15
As a double major at Stanford, I don't have room for many classes outside my majors, and the Madrid program allowed me to explore and take classes that I wouldn't have been able to take otherwise.
Max Johnson (International Relations) - Spring 2013-14
Spain is dealing with a lot of the most pertinent issues facing political scientists and foreign policy thinkers; immigration, health care, economic recession, unemployment, Islamism, and trade reform. Anyone studying social sciences will without a doubt appreciate using Madrid as a case-study.
Katie Delahunt (English) - Autumn and Winter 2013-14
Madrid ultimately stood out to me because of its rigorous Spanish language requirement. After studying Spanish in classrooms for six years, I felt that my learning had plateaued, and a full-immersion program would be the next step towards fluency. Although I’d visited Europe in the past, I’d never been to Spain, and I was eager to experience European culture and history from a new perspective.