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!


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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!

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