Surving Classes Abroad in Spain

Traveling and touring Madrid aside, the other aspect of my life here is purely academic. As I’ve said before, I’m studying at the University of Carlos III, and I’m taking pretty much all of my classes in Spanish.

Advanced Spanish?

For anyone who has been with me from the beginning, you will have known my panic and fears about studying abroad in Spain. My main and perhaps only fear was how well I would succeed here academically, since everything was in Spanish, even my classes. I didn’t know how well my Spanish was compared to fellow students, or how my classes would be and if I could understand my professors or people in general. Before coming here, my perception of my Spanish was intermediate, less than average, if that.

The third day of the Madrid Orientation, we had to take a placement exam to assess our abilities of the language. Two and a half hours later, I was done. A few days later I got my results. I think I died when I saw I had been placed into Advanced Lengua. Ranging from Intermediate through Superior. I was so surprised and pleased. I thought it would be a lot harder to communicate, and while things are still difficult, I’m not drowning:D

Syllabus Classes – So Far, So Good

Today, I have taken all the classes I will take. So far so good. All my professors are nice, and because I’m in a program with other international students (the majority from the US) although there are other ERASMUS students from Europe and Asia. The professors know to slow things down a bit though, which is wonderful. Some even pause to explain difficult words or definitions. There are professors that are difficult to understand. One goes fast-slow-fast-slow, slamming some words together in a tumble of nonsensical words, enunciating every other word slowly. Another talks so fast, and then looks confused at us when she noticed our wide-eyed expressions. Other than that, things look good after the week day of classes.

My Schedule

Similar to my average college schedule at home, have two classes a day, back to back, so I get out by 14:00 (2:00 pm) almost every day! I have to get up early, but it leaves my afternoons free… to do homework. And explore the city and hang out. Also, the way the program is set up, no one has class on Fridays! YEAHHH! Best schedule ever.


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