My semester in Madrid

So many people think that studying abroad is pretty much a myth for engineers. Well it’s definitely not. I spent about four months last semester living in Madrid, by taking part in the IES Madrid Engineering program. Last fall I began speaking to the study abroad office, as well as, the associate chair of mechanical engineering. The options they were giving me were Australia, England, Ireland, etc, basically all English speaking countries. I didn’t want to study in England or Ireland, because I had already been to a few different cities in England and when I was younger I spent about 2 weeks every summer in Ireland. I didn’t want to go to Australia because I wanted to go somewhere where I could have options to travel to other countries. So I basically wanted to go to Europe but not an English speaking country. I spoke to my advisor saying I wanted to study abroad and his response was, “How does Madrid sound?” Which at first I was shocked because the only Lehigh program we had in Madrid required students to be fluent, but it turned out he was talking about a different program. A program that didn’t require fluency, it didn’t require any knowledge of Spanish in fact. I had taken Spanish in high school so I thought this would be a perfect option. We talked about course options and laid out a schedule for how I would finish my degree. So if study abroad is important to you, it’s something you want to do, look into it as soon as you can and talk to your adviser. It definitely is possible, but you have to be the one to initiate the process, start planning early. It turned out that 3 of us from Lehigh went last semester to Madrid, two of us were mechanical engineers and one was an IDEAS major.

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