Since May 21st I've been in Madrid interning for a company called Fundacion Carolina! The Fundacion Carolina is an organization that is dedicated to promoting Spanish culture throughout Latin America and the United States, mainly by giving scholarships and grants to students to come to Spain to study.
I am here with 9 other people from Mason and have gotten to meet so many awesome people that I wouldn't have had the chance to meet otherwise! I have met people from all over Spain and Europe so this has been a very rich experience. I have absolutely fallen in love with Spain. Apart from Madrid, I've also had the opportunity to travel every weekend so I've gotten to see many parts of Spain including Malaga, Barcelona, Seville, Córdoba, and Toledo. While I've been here I've learned so much about different cultures throughout Spain and also other European countries. Some of my favorite experience while in Spain include being able to watch Real Madrid play Atletico Madrid in the champions league final my first weekend in Madrid. I got to see just how much the Spanish people love futbol. Real Madrid beat Atletico after two overtimes in penalty kicks. Even though I was rooting for Atletico Madrid it was still an awesome and exciting experience.
My favorite place in all of Madrid is Buen Retiro Park. It is a beautiful park located in the center of Madrid. I once spent about six hours inside the park and still had to go back another day because I wasn´t able to see all of it. In the middle of the park there is a small lake perfect for picnicking around or renting a row boat to relax on a sunny day.
One of my favorite things about Spanish cuisine is the tapas! Tapas are small plates of food that come with any drink that you order at certain restaurants. The tapas can be anything from ham and bread to patatas bravas (french fry wedges). Spain is all about socializing while you eat and their famous for their 2 hour long meals so tapas make it perfect to eat with a group of friends and socialize!
This morning I had the opportunity to meet Angel Cabrera, George Mason´s President, through my internship at the Fundacion Carolina. I was able to attend a breakfast with him at Esade, a business school here in Madrid, where he gave a presentation about the differences between universities in the United States and Spain from his perspective as a President. It was amazing to be able to meet and learn so much from our President!
I'm so thankful for everything that I've learned and experienced while in Spain. I feel so lucky to have been given the opportunity to intern in a foreign country to learn more about international business culture.