A Summer of Becoming Madrileñas

By Mathilde Ooi

In the short six weeks with Duke in Spain, I know that I have made some of the best memories I will have throughout Duke. From cities to grand cathedrals, Mallorcan beaches, the Picos de Europa mountain range, and not to mention the best gazpacho I will ever taste prepared by my host family, I experienced Spain like I have never experienced any country. 

Nevertheless, the highlight of my experience was the moment my rooommate and I became part of our homestay’s family. We weren’t just visiting students anymore, we had a home in Madrid, we felt like madrileñas. 

I have been learning the Spanish language for 12 years yet I have never used it outside the classroom. Duke in Spain gave me the opportunity to not only become more comfortable with the language but achieve fluency. 

I can’t wait to incorporate more Spanish into my everyday life whether it be academically, professionally or leisurely. To future students considering study abroad, open up your mind and integrate yourself into the new culture the country has to offer.

Mathilde Ooi 
Duke in Spain, Summer 2016