Study Abroad Feature: Cat Campbell’s Spring Semester in Madrid

Hello everyone!

My name is Cat Campbell and I am a junior dual majoring in Spanish and Business Management. This semester I am studying in Madrid, Spain — the land of tapas — and attending Universidad Carlos III de Madrid. I have one month left before I head back home to the states and I am both equally excited and sad to be heading home. This semester has really pushed me outside of my comfort zone, made me more independent and I learned a lot about myself, the culture and the language.

My friend Meg and I at a bullfight a few weekends ago. I have mixed feelings about this tradition but I am glad I went to it so I could experience it for myself. It is definitely an interesting atmosphere and I was somewhat surprised to see how into it some people were.

HOMESTAY: I am living with a host mom and one roommate in an apartment about two blocks from the Real Madrid stadium. I love soccer so getting to walk past the stadium everyday is probably one of my favorite things about living here. On game days, the energy in the streets is insane and it is so neat to hear everyone chanting and singing. Living in a homestay has been great for practicing my Spanish because my host mom does not speak any English. Every day I learn a new word and I have loved getting to practice and learn Spanish outside of a classroom environment.

Granada, Spain: One of the prettiest sunsets I have ever seen! I loved visiting the Alhambra and getting to attend a traditional flamenco show.

CLASSES! At Carlos III I am taking 3 business courses in English and a Spanish class. I can say with all certainty that I definitely miss the way school is structured back home. I rarely have homework in any of my classes which is both a blessing and a curse. It’s been nice to have a lot of free time but because I don’t have any homework grades and somehow managed to not have a single midterm, my grade is basically dependent on my final exam. Also, our classes are one hour and a half which can be draining especially because the Spanish students tend to have conversations (and at a normal tone of voice) during the entire lecture which is not something that happens back home.

I remember learning about Segovia and the aqueduct in my SPAN 565 Spanish Civilization class at K-State and I thought it was cool -this semester I was actually able to visit it! It was a much more impressive structure than I had imagined it to be.

TRAVEL: The best part about studying abroad is getting to travel!! This semester I have been to Lisbon, Amsterdam, Paris, Morocco, Budapest, Granada, Salamanca, Toledo, Valencia, and Segovia. While I have loved every trip so far, my favorite was definitely Morocco! I went with my program (ISA) and it was the coolest thing I have ever done. We slept in the Sahara Desert for two nights, saw the prettiest stars, rode camels, and discovered the busy markets of Fez and Meknes. It was a trip I know I will never forget.

Riding camels through the Sahara Desert will always be my favorite thing I ever did abroad. I never would have thought I would have been able to have an experience as amazing as this!

If you are considering studying abroad, you definitely should! I am sure I am not the first person that will say it is one of the best experiences I have had. Being immersed in another culture is both challenging and rewarding at the same time. There are definitely tough times being away from everyone for so long (and I would be lying if I said there weren’t) but overall this experience has been so worth it!! Spain is such a great country and I would highly recommend coming here to practice your Spanish!


Contact your Spanish professor for information about semester and summer abroad opportunities, or visit the K-State Education Abroad offices.

For upcoming faculty-led programs in 2019, contact each of the following professors:

  • For a 2-week January trip to Atenas, COSTA RICA, earning 3 credits (MLANG 398), contact Angelique Courbou.
    (best for: freshman – sophomores – minors)
  • If you’re interested in a 6-week summer program in MEXICO in 2019, with an internship, earning 6-credits in Professional Spanish or Interpretation/Translation (500-level), contact Dr. Laura Valentin-Rivera or Dr. Mary Copple.
    (best for: sophomores – juniors – minors/majors)
  • If you’d like to spend 6-weeks of your summer of 2019 in SPAIN taking 6-credits at the 500- and 700-level on Spanish Culture and Civilization –  contact Dr. Rebecca Bender.
    (best for: juniors – seniors – minors/majors)

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