By: Matthew Secrest
My first choice for a study abroad program was the Munster Program in Germany, but as fate would have that program fell through. Instead, I choose the William and Mary Law School Madrid program in Spain and I am glad I did. The program had classes Monday through Thursday from 9am till 1pm, and it ended the last week of July. Thus, I had plenty of time to explore. I used that time to explore Spain and Europe.
While I was in Madrid, I went to the Prado Art Museum where paintings from Francisco Goya and other famous artist were on display. I also visited the Royal Palace, where the Spanish Monarch’s royal jewels are housed and the Spanish National Cathedral. On the weekends, I visited other Spanish cities such as Sevilla and Granada, Barcelona, and Valencia. Valencia in particular was special because the city held a festival with events all around the city including flamingo dancing which I particularly enjoyed. The city also had great restaurants offering amazing paella dishes that included such things as rabbit, octopus, calms, and other mouthwatering delicacies. After the program ended, I went on to explore the rest of Europe.
My first stop was Paris where I saw the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame, and other sights. Then I went to Vienna where I visited Mozart’s apartment which held pieces of his original work. I also went to the world famous Vienna Opera House and was able to go back stage which was amazing. Then I visited Munich, Germany where I saw the family palace of the Wittelsbachs. Finally, I visited Berlin where I saw pieces of the Berlin wall as well as the headquarters of the Nazi SS. I enjoyed all these cities and would highly recommend them to any student doing study abroad next term.
I hope this article gives those doing study abroad next term ideas on where to explore, and that it encourages those that are thinking about doing study abroad in the future to take the leap of faith and do it. I believe that study abroad helped me understand the world better and gave me greater appreciation for other cultures. I also believe that it will help me not only in my legal career, but in life as well. Thus, I encourage everyone to do study abroad in their lifetime.