After the confusion of the first day of classes, the rest of the week flew by very quickly. We had most of our classes, but were unable to go to Operations or Mercantile Law since we still had our Immersion Language & Culture classes in the afternoon. It was kind of frustrating to miss the first few days of those classes, but the Jefa de Estudios deemed our Immersion classes more important, so it was out of our control.
Comillas is the epitome of Spanish culture, as I see it. It portrays itself as a traditional, Spanish Catholic university. It’s very small, and the advisors, professors, and deans are there to answer any questions from international students (of which there are a lot!). Behind the beautiful facade of inner courtyards, blue-tiled walls, and smartly dressed students, it is just as Spanish as ever. All of the offices are closed from two to five, which is inconveniently the only break that we have during classes, as well… but everyone is at home for lunch and siesta. Classes were cancelled on Wednesday from ten to three because of some welcoming ceremony that students were not required to attend. I’m still confused about the point of that. There is also a mild sense of confusion, at least among our classes, as our immersion classes were scheduled during the same time as our business classes during this first week. But no pasa nada. It has been a wonderful experience so far; we are certainly being immersed in the culture.
Last night, the E4U student group threw a Welcome Party at La Sal, a discoteca just a few blocks from my apartment. The degree program that we are enrolled in is called E4 at ICADE, explaining the pun. There were so many international students there; it was a lot of fun! I think a large majority of the students in our year, as well as the students who stayed for the second year of the program were there. I also found out that students from some European universities have the opportunity to do their exchange during the first two years of their studies, instead of the last two, which I thought was an interesting alternative. I met quite a few people, but it wasn’t the ideal setting to be meeting anyone with the loud music and dim lighting. Nevertheless, it was a lot of fun, and it was nice to see and talk to our classmates outside of school.
We’ll just say that I went to bed at slightly less than a reasonable hour, accounting for the fact that I had a Spanish quiz at 10am this morning. Fortunately, my Spanish minor is already fulfilled, but I still wanted to take the quiz. After waking up in virtually the middle of my sleep cycle, I swept through the quiz, bought fresh bread and cheese on my way home, and took a much-needed four-hour nap.
The afternoon was met with a Spanish take on grilled cheese and tomato soup (read: heaven). Dan & I shared a bocadillo (fancy word for baguette sandwich) of three different cheeses and a bowl of salmorejo. That’s right, Spain has more to offer than just gazpacho in the cold tomato soup category. In fact, I prefer salmorejo. It’s simply made of blended tomatoes, olive oil, garlic, and bread. It sounds weird, but I tell you it is DELICIOUS!
After a few more hours of sleep, I determined my ill-feeling was not completely the result of my immersion in the Spanish discoteca culture followed by an early morning culture & language immersion test. Thus, I’ll be staying in tonight drinking tea, eating ice cream, reading, and taking a hot bath, with the hopes that I’ll feel better in the morning. Tomorrow afternoon, some friends and I are heading to El Escorial, a must-see day trip for anyone visiting Madrid. Look for a post on Sunday!
Buenas noches, amores:)