About Alex

Hi, my name is Alex Riedinger. I'm a third-year student at the University of Louisville, double-majoring in Marketing and Spanish with a triple-minor in Finance, International Business, and Latin American Studies. When I'm not studying or in class, you'll usually find me on the tennis court, composing music/playing piano and singing, hanging out with my family and friends, or participating in one of the many extracurricular activities that I'm involved in at UofL. This semester I am studying abroad in Madrid, Spain at St. Louis University Madrid Campus. I look forward to sharing my experience with you!

España #3

Pues…hace mucho tiempo desde el último “update.”  And it has been a crazy month and a half.  I haven’t updated because I always want to give thorough updates.  So here we go…lots to tell you.


As I alluded to in my last updated, I did go to León, Spain, to visit a good friend of mine and to see the city.  I really enjoyed it as it was a very relaxing weekend.  I really enjoyed seeing the beautiful cathedral and just walking around the city.  It was the perfect getaway!El león en León

I also took a day trip to Avila, Spain, which was a lot of fun.  I went with three of my friends from the University.  It also was relaxing.  We had a good Spanish-style lunch, saw the Avila wall, and the cathedral.  It is the smallest city in Spain I’ve visited, which gave me a different feel for Spain’s culture.

Avila’s Wall

Finally, just three weekends ago, I traveled to Lyon, France.  We then took a train and bus to Taizé, France, where I had the amazing opportunity to go on a Taizé retreat.  At that point, I was so overwhelmed- especially with school.  A relaxing weekend (are you catching the theme here haha) was exactly what I needed and exactly what I got.  I was able to clear my head and, thus, think more effectively.  As well, I was able to enjoy the beautiful nature trails on the Taizé grounds

.Taizé Retreat

My traveling is not finished either.  This coming weekend, I will be going to the south of Spain.  I’ll be sure to update you after.

Madrid life:

Life in Madrid is great.

I’ve been very busy with school.  I’m finally caught up with all of my school work…which I got majorly behind on because of having to return to the States.  So it is a nice feeling to be more caught up.  But unfortunately because I’ve been working so hard to get caught up, I haven’t worked much on many of my big end-of-the-semester research papers, projects, etc.  So I have to work extra hard to keep from falling behind again and missing deadlines!

I’ve been having a lot of fun too though.  Madrid is such a great city…I still have so much to do in these next three weeks before leaving.  But here’s what I’ve been up to since the last update- going: to tapas bars, for chocolate con churros, to bars/clubs, to malls, to El Rastro (the huge flea market in Madrid), ice skating, to plays (my school performed Rumors, which was hilarious!), to Retiro Park, etc.

Thanksgiving Abroad:

Additionally, I think I should mention a bit about my unique Thanksgiving experience.  I was fortunate enough to have my brother, Eric, and his friends, Jacob and Daniel, over here from last Sunday until yesterday.  I had fun showing them around Madrid and spending time with them.  Thanksgiving Day here was quite interesting.  First of all, this was my first Thanksgiving of not being off school…I had classes.  But my University made up for it by having a Thanksgiving lunch buffet with turkey, gravy, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, corn on the cob, cranberry sauce, etc.  It was super delicious and special to share it with family and friends.  But I think the funny thing is what we did for Thanksgiving dinner- we went to an all-you-can-eat Japonese restaurant.  hahaha  It was good, but I think I would have thought you were crazy if you had told me I’d be eating Japonese cuisine on Thanksgiving- it is hard to imagine any Thanksgiving meal without the American standards.  Eric, Jacob, and Daniel had a really great time in Madrid and really enjoyed the city.  I think they’ll be interested in studying abroad in college themselves.

Thanksgiving abroad with my brother, Eric!


As I mentioned before, next weekend marks my trip to the south of Spain.  Today, I’ll be working “muy duro” (very hard) on homework- an international finance project and my SPAN 416 international financial terminology dictionary.  This week I’ll be continuing with that Spanish project as well as tackling my two honors research papers…yikes!  The following week, I’ll continue working on the essays and study hard for exams.  My first exam is International Finance, which is on the 12th.  Then I have a little gap, where I’ll go visit some of the art museums-like El Prado-and see things in Madrid that are still on my To Do List.  Then on the 18th, I will have my International Business and Español para negocios exams.  And the morning thereafter, I’ll be on the airplane home to the States.  I can’t even believe how quickly things have gone…and how much quicker they’ll go!

I’m going to miss Spain so much, but I am excited to see my family and friends back home.  I know that it is important for me to be at home with my family at this time in life.  So as to be home more often if need be, I have scheduled all of my classes next semester for Monday and Wednesday.  Here’s my schedule:

MW 9:30-10:45 FIN 433-01 Preece
MW 11:00-12:15 CIS 300-03 Thatcher
MW 16:00-17:15 SPAN 524-01 Wagner
M 17:30-20:15 COMM 111-75 Barr
W 17:30-20:15 MGMT 301-77 Myers

Well take care, and I’ll look forward to updating you soon.  Also, I promise that I’ll be updating some more upon my return to the US.  I feel I can better highlight the culture shock and reverse culture shock of studying abroad.

¡Nos vemos!


España #2

This is going to be a purely English blog entry for the sake of time and sake of every detail being expressed correctly.  I want to explain why it has been so long since I last updated.

In short, my mom tragically died on Sunday, September 21, when she fell from our attic.  She was only 50 years old and was in perfect health.  It was a pure accident.  It’s been a very difficult time in my life as you might imagine.  It’s truly the hardest thing I’ve ever had to endure.  But my mom was a very positive person and always smiled…she taught me to do this well.  And so I am focusing on the happy memories and all the wonderful things she taught me.  I’m taking her with me everywhere I go.

I returned home to the US for a week and a half to be with my family and friends.  Eventually, my dad and my brothers encouraged me to return to Madrid to finish out my semester.  We decided as a family that it would be the best decision for me and that my mom would want me to finish out this experience, which took a lot of hard work to set up.  So I built up some courage to make the difficult move; and with the support of family, friends, and community on both sides of the Atlantic, I find myself now back in Madrid.

Having missed two weeks of classes, you can imagine how far behind I am.  But I am doing what I can to get caught up, while taking care of my other needs like hanging out with friends and having fun.  Balance is definitely KEY right now for me!  Next week is going to be crazy as I have a quiz, 3 midterms, and a 7-page paper…Yikes!  But I am confident that I can do ok and salvage my semester…I’m dedicating my academic experience to my mom!  So naturally I want to make her proud with my academic effort.

I’ve been in Madrid since Thursday, October 2, and mainly I’ve been doing homework, hanging out with friends, and chilling around the city.  It has been relatively relaxed, which I need since the stress of being behind is sometimes present.  After this crazy week, I am planning on traveling to Leon to see the city as well as visit a good friend of mine from the States who is studying at la Universidad de Leon.  It should be fun.

Got to go study now for International Finance…tough tough class!  I’ll update soon!


PS I’m attaching a picture of me when I was at hanging out with my friend Teresa in the park in front of the presidential palace last weekend.  It’s a good, happy picture…also proves am I doing more than just studying 🙂 + there was ice cream involved!!! Enjoy: Sunday at the Palace

España #1…

Pues…¡estoy muy bien!  Como se puede ver, a veces voy a escribir en español.  Claro yo lo traduciré a inglés también.  ¿Quién sabe?  Quizás que yo vaya a escribir en alemán. jeje  ¡Estoy gozando la experiencia de estar en Madrid!  Pero no he viajado desde el último blog.  Sólo me he quedado en Madrid a causa del comienzo de las clases.  Y me gustan mucho las clases; sin embargo, requieren mucho trabajo y tiempo para estudiar.  Claro que he sacado provecho de la capacidad de divertirme.  Yo he ido al Parque Retiro (la equivalente de Central Park en Madrid), un club de jazz, muchas restaurantes, las plazas, muchas bares de tapas, y todo eso.  He conocido mucha gente increíble de todas las partes del mundo.  Estoy trabajando muy duro ahora para terminar las tareas para la próxima semana para que puede pasar el fin de semana que viene sin estudiar.  Vamos a ver si mi plan funciona.  Pronto, yo les voy a poner al día a ustedes unas fotos y el proceso loco de preparar para este viaje.  Hasta luego.


So…I´m very well!  As you can see, sometimes I will write in Spanish.  Of course I will translate it into English too.  Who knows?  Perhaps I will write in German. haha  I am enjoying being in Madrid!  But I have not traveled since the last blog.  I have just stayed here in Madrid due to the beginning of classes.  And I like my classes a lot; however, they require a lot of work and study time.  Of course I have capitalized on the ability to have some fun.  I have gone to Retiro Park (Madrid´s equivalent to Central Park), a jazz bar, many restaurants, the plazas, many “tapas” bars, and the like.  I have met many incredible people from all parts of the world.  Now, I am working very hard to finish my homework, which is due next week, so that I can spend the coming weekend without having to study.  We will see if my plan works.  Soon, I will update you all with some pics and the crazy process of preparing for this trip.  See you later.


Buenas de Madrid: Introduction

Buenas de Madrid:

My name is Alex Riedinger, and I am studying this semester in Madrid, Spain, at Saint Louis University Madrid Campus.  I am a third year student at UofL and feel so blessed to have this awesome opportunity.  I have been here for one week, but already so much has happened.  I am living with a host family, so my Spanish is becoming more natural and fluid.  I am trying so many new foods…all of which I’ve liked so far- especially Paella (a mixture of rice and mariscos- shrimp, crap, clams, etc.).  The food here is very healthy and filling.  Moreover, we walk everywhere, so it is constant exercise and I’ll probably come home in good form.

I love Madrid!  Plaza Mayor, the main plaza in the city, is gorgeous and so relaxing.  The weather is amazing here.  It only gets hot around the noon hour, and there is never any humidity.  I have also visited two towns so far: Segovia and Toledo.  Segovia is popular because of the aqueduct, which was built by the Romans nearly 2000 years ago.  Toledo was the former capital of Spain and boasts a beautiful castle & Gothic cathedral.

It has been a blast meeting incredible people from all over the world- Germany, Turkey, Morocco, Spain, Switzerland, Bulgaria, the States (of course), and so on.  I have enjoyed hanging out with all of them- traveling, going out to “Tapas” Bars (Tapas- are basically Spanish appetizers, and very popular during the dinner hour- which is 22:00 here!), and just hanging out in general.

This semester, I will be taking International Finance, German I, Honors Great Books (we’re studying Homer, Virgil, and Dante), International Business, and Business & Professional Speaking in Spanish.  I am very excited to see what this semester holds for me!  I start class here at 10:00, so I must get some sleep, but I will be updating you all soon!

I also will update you on what it was like to prepare for this trip at some point…it is most certainly an interesting story to tell!

Hasta luego,