A whole other way of living in Cadiz

A whole other way of living in Cadiz


by MacKenzie Lahren

I arrived in Malaga, Spain at around noon after about fourteen hours of flying. I felt a mixture of uneasiness and excitement with a slight tinge of confidence. I could do this. I could live in a foreign country where no one really spoke English and I knew no one.

I got in the taxi at the airport and rode the three hours to Cadiz with two girls, one of whom would end up being one of my best friends on this trip. After I arrived at my host apartment I was greeted with a warm welcome by my host mom who made me lunch and gave me a quick explanation of the rules. There was another international student, a boy from Dublin, staying at the house and after I crashed for a couple hours he showed me around the town. Everyone in Cadiz was celebrating the local football (soccer) team winning a game. They gathered at the main fountain proudly sporting their yellow and blue gear whilst singing and hollering.

Over the next couple of days I adjusted to life in Spain and began to fall into a routine:

Wake up around 8:30 and have breakfast

Class is at 9:15 with a pause from 10:55-11:25 during which my friends and I would go to a nearby bakery for sandwiches or pastries

Class was over at 1:05 and I would hang out at home until lunch at 2:00

Sometimes I’d go walk around the plazas before activity or just study at home

We had some really fun activities usually around 4:30 for a couple hours. We would meet up with people from the school and other students to go surfing, look at the sights, or play games at the beach. Plus after activity my friends and I would go around the plazas for dessert or shopping.

Dinner was at 9 and afterward I’d go out for gelato at my regular place with my friends or go to the beach at night.

Curfew was at 11:30 on weekdays and 12:30 on Friday and Saturday so if my friends and I wanted to go to dinner, usually to this really great Italian place, we’d go those nights.

On weekends we got to go to other towns like Vejer or Tarifa and visit gorgeous beaches like Palmar and shop in the little shops. Clic, the school in Cadiz, did a really good job with organizing activities like flamenco dancing or biking rides in the afternoon and really fun classes during the day. If we needed clarification on anything or didn’t understand a tense we had some really great teachers and if you didn’t like an activity or teacher they directors were really accommodating.

Overall, I loved this experience and am counting the days until next summer when I can go on another study abroad program. I think this really taught me how to be more self-sufficient, how to budget for trips or eating out, and increased my ability to find my way around in new places. I believe that if you really want a way to go outside your comfort zone of just chilling at home all summer and want to experience a whole other way of living then this program is a great way to spend your summer vacation.