There is no question that 2020 has been a troubling year for world travel. As we are reaching the middle of the year, many students have been left to wonder, “What do I do now?”. The Summer travel season, often the only time some choose to, or can, travel, has been dramatically shortened by Covid-19.
Candidate Blog: Madrid in Times of Covid
Meet Lulu R., our Adelante Official Blogger, as she gears up to start her Journalism internship in Madrid, Spain! She’s already begun her Spanish classes and is exploring the city as we speak. Hear what she has to say about her first few weeks adjusting to and indulging in all Madrid has to offer.
My name is Lulu Rehman, and I am a gap year student from London; I plan to study English Lit at university next year. I decided to sign up for the Adelante Abroad Internship program in Madrid for 3 months. I chose this programme largely because I knew how invaluable it would be in improving my Spanish, which I had been trying to learn over the course of my gap year.
Before beginning my programme, I had never been to Madrid, or even Spain; it is safe to say that I was filled with a lot of anticipation in the run up to my arrival. I didn’t know what to expect, and I was frantically trying to pack and get everything ready for my first time travelling and living alone. I was also nervous about my Spanish, which was far from proficient. Although I knew that I would be undertaking intensive classes when I arrived, I wanted to make sure I had enough to get me around when I arrived. My impending trip was made more stressful as well by the complications of travelling during COVID – but I was hopeful that having received my negative test result before flying, and having acquired the certificate of study, the journey would pass without problems.
Iglesia de los Jerónimos
So far, I have had an interesting experience! I spent my first few days meeting my roommates and getting to know the city – I had two days before starting my language classes on Monday at Eureka. I tried to get a sense of my surroundings, as well as needing to do some more practical things, like buy groceries! I quickly realised how central my accommodation was, a breath away from Plaza Mayor and Puerta del Sol. On my first Sunday in Madrid, I tried to experience a typical Madrilenian Sunday, starting at the famous weekly El Rastro Market where I tentatively employed my Spanish, asking “¿cuánto cuesta?” of everything I saw. Then, I spent my afternoon walking through the wildly expansive and never-ending Parque del Retiro, and enjoying the sun – a lovely change from typical British climates.
After a few days of relaxation, I started class at 9 am on Monday, and spent my mornings at the school for the rest of the week; after even one day I could tell how much I was going to improve, having to communicate solely in Spanish within the classroom. My afternoons were free to continue exploring the city. I stumbled across all the amazing second-hand clothes stores, and even took a trip to the Malasaña district, the hub of vintage shopping in Madrid, as well as being a lively neighbourhood with lots of young people and great restaurants. In Madrid’s numerous bars and restaurants, I discovered classic Madrilenian dishes and drinks; I soon joined the ranks of Madrileños indulging in a glass of sangría or tinto de verano in the afternoon sun. Walking through Madrid, every time you turn a corner you are likely to find a plaza, bright and hot in the sun, overspilling with outdoor seating from the surrounding cafes and restaurants. The weeks have passed quickly and effortlessly, and I am already worried my 3 months in Madrid will fly by before I know it.
2021 Journalism Intern in Madrid, Spain
Stay tuned for Lulu’s next blog to follow her journey in Madrid for the next three months!
Ready to embark on an internship abroad? Apply today!
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What a weird time to travel. This year will be remembered for centuries, and not for good things. However, despite being in such a dramatic world situation, things are evolving, slowly and unevenly in all countries of the world, but progress is being made, and that also means that the very severe restrictions to which