by Katarina Trask (BS Biology 2021)
The bus ride from the Madrid airport to the city of Salamanca was quiet; the only sounds were snores. We had all been traveling for more than eighteen hours, and had little to no sleep. The “us” included myself and four other girls who attend Carroll University in Wisconsin. The five of us made up the Global Health Science (GHS) group, and we were together for the entire month. We arrived in Salamanca and were taken to our respective living arrangements. My “flat” came with three other students. As I walked in I was greeted with “Are you the American?” I was the only American in our apartment. Jacob was from the Netherlands, Alice from Taiwan, and Michelle from Germany. This was something I had not expected and I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed living in a multi-country flat. My roommates were very inviting, happy, and interested in American life.
My flat was in the middle of beautiful Salamanca. The city was filled with shuffling of shoes on the narrow winding roads, laughter and chatter, and kisses on both cheeks. The city was overflowing with restaurants, cafes, markets, cathedrals and shops. It was breathtaking with old architecture, stone roads, parks, and lively people. My schedule while in Salamanca was class every day (M-F) and other activities four days a week (MWFSat). Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday were our independent days, in which I typically spent doing school work, exploring the city, or spending time with my roommates.
Some of the many things I did in Spain included:
- Tour of tapas: we went to restaurants around Salamanca with a local and were given different tapas to experience Spanish food (one of the best things we did).
- Traveled to Segovia and Avila. Segovia had a castle where Queen Isabel and King Ferdinand lived and aqueducts that were built in the year 98! Avila was a city surrounded by a large stone wall.
- Learned Flamenco and Salsa dances.
- Visited la Clerecía church towers which overlooked all of Salamanca and contained many stork nests!
- Went to Málaga, Spain for a weekend visiting the beach on the Mediterranean Sea.
- Visited the Old University of Salamanca founded in 1218, in which Christopher Columbus attended. It is also one of the oldest universities in the world.
- Enjoyed churros with chocolate at Salamanca’s art deco museum.
- Went to Madrid for the day. While in Madrid we went to two museums and a park. I liked Salamanca way more than Madrid.
- Visited San Esteban Church as well as several other cathedrals.
- Celebrated the week of Salamanca with fireworks over their river, and a light show on their major buildings.
I did these activities with my GHS group and I became good friends with all the girls We did hang out outside of school and our activities. We went to shops, restaurants, cafes, nightclubs, the swimming pool, markets, and we would even hang out in my apartment. I was very thankful to have such supportive and fun girls to be with. My classes were Aspects of Public Health and Alternative Medicine. Both classes were taught by wonderful instructors and were very eye opening. Going to class while in Spain never felt like a chore, I was always very excited to learn something new. My time in Spain was quite lovely, and I will never forget this amazing experience.
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