Wow, I can not believe that it has been two weeks since my return from Spain. I truly miss it every single day. I miss the food, the people, the culture, the nightlife and so much more. It was a struggle to readjust to my simple life in Wilmington, Delaware. First off, Jet lag hit me harder than a wrecking ball. I could barely stay awake past 8pm for an entire week! Also, I kept accidentally speaking Spanish to cashiers and waitresses for the first few days back. Nonetheless, I have since adjusted and I am back in my routine.
It’s very hard to briefly summarize my last two months because it was so jam packed with different personal and professional experiences–but I will try my best. To start off, I had a great experience interning at Icofunding. I was fortunate enough to get the opportunity to work at a company that deals with cryptocurrency and blockchain, an industry that I was not familiar before this opportunity. Because it was a small startup with only 5 team members, I became very close with my coworkers and learned a lot about finance, marketing and legal services. Also, working at a Spanish company helped me learn to adapt to a new culture as well as improve my Spanish speaking abilities. It was very interesting to see how the company interacted with other clients throughout Spain. One of the most interesting events that I was able to attend was the BBVA startup bootcamp accelerator pitch meeting. I was able to listen to pitch’s from 8 different startups and I was amazed on how well developed some of the business models were from very young entrepreneurs. Overall, I had a great time working for Icofunding and was able to gain experience in several different fields while also building relationships.
Other than my great internship experience, I also got to travel to many different cities. By the end of my trip, I had visited Madrid, Toledo, Valencia, Barcelona, Dublin, Porto, Segovia and Pamplona. I tried many different amazing foods and met so many interesting people. Some of my favorite places were Valencia, Porto and Pamplona. In Valencia, I tried rabbit paella. I was a little reluctant at first because I had never tried rabbit before but it turned out to be some of the best paella I had. Despite the food, Valencia was one of my favorites for two reasons–the beach and the ability to spend time with my friends. The beach was nothing less than beautiful. The sand was a light creme color and overlooked the piercing blue Mediterranean sea. The view was nothing short of breathtaking; I loved every second of it. Porto was a tremendous experience because of the great seafood, the beautiful landscape and vibrant history. I tried grilled octopus for the first time there and I think I found my new favorite seafood. The landscape was beautiful because the Atlantic Ocean poured into a river that weaved through the mountainous city which created quite the view. Pamplona was one of my favorites because we were there during the running of the bulls. I rocked my white and red clothes all weekend and watched the chaotic running of the bulls from the sidelines. It was quite the experience.
Overall, I think that I have grown immensely from this trip. I think that the most important thing that I learned was respect and humility. I highlight those two qualities because this was the first time that I was in a country that english was not the primary language. It was a bit of a shock to struggle through everyday communication but I was able to improve throughout my time abroad. I think that this was critical to my growth because it humbled me and I also gained a tremendous amount of respect for those who drop everything and immigrate to the United States. In addition to these qualities, I think that my improved Spanish will translate well during the rest of my academic and professional careers.
Overall, I had an amazing time in Madrid and I am very grateful for the opportunity from the Pitt study abroad office and for the scholarship that I was fortunate enough to receive. I strongly recommend this program to any who are even slightly interested in traveling abroad in the future.
Typically, I conclude my blog posts with the Spanish phrase “hasta luego” which translates to “see you later”. However, this is my last blog post 🙁 I have enjoyed writing for you weekly and I hope that you have enjoyed learning about my experiences as I wrote about them.
¡Muchas gracias por todo y adios!