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How many times had she been abroad before going to Madrid?
- A lot of times.
Interviewer: Welcome to our Interview Series. Today we have invited Kerry Ireland to our show and she will tell you what it’s like to live in Madrid. All tips and advice about life in Madrid are here for you. First of all, I’d like to ask you to introduce yourself!
Kerry: My name is Kerry Ireland. I absolutely fell in love with traveling after studying abroad in Madrid. I am an artist, and paint landscapes and portraits with oils and acrylics. I also love to sing, and I play the flute! I guess you could say I have a lot of passions. I lived in Madrid for six months, starting in early January 2017. Prior to moving here, I had only been out of the country once with my mom after I graduated from high school.
Interviewer: Why did you choose to live in Madrid?
Kerry: Primarily, I chose to study abroad in Madrid because I wanted to focus on studying the Spanish language. My mom is fluent, and I grew up listening to her speak it. It has always fascinated me, and since I was a little girl, I knew I wanted to learn to speak Spanish one day. I thought living in Spain would be a great opportunity to become immersed in the language and really get a strong base for it.
Interviewer: How did you prepare for moving to Madrid?
Kerry: Since I studied abroad through my school, my abroad advisor pretty much babied us before departure, going over all of the essential things we needed to do. So through my university, everything was taken care of. Knowing that I would only be living in Madrid short term, I just brought one large suitcase filled with my basic and essential belongings. Of course, I did some major shopping when I got there!
Interviewer: How did you overcome difficulties?
Kerry: The second I got off the plane, an overwhelming feeling of sadness rolled over me. I had never been away from home and my family for more than a month or so, and knowing that I would be gone for half a year kind of hit me all at once. I had spent the previous year preparing for the move, but the reality of it did not hit me until after I actually arrived at Madrid airport. I remember holding in tears as I got into the taxi, on the way to the hotel I stayed at for the first few nights. Luckily my amazing boyfriend traveled over with me and helped me get settled in the first week I was there. Once we arrived at the hotel, I immediately broke down and started sobbing. It was definitely one of the most overwhelming experiences I faced while living abroad! After a few days, I started to settle in, and things got a lot better.
Interviewer: How to deal with culture shock in Madrid?
Kerry: The first week I was there, I experienced pretty major culture shock. Like I said earlier, I had only been out of the country once prior, and I stayed in a tourist resort town. I was surrounded by a new language, new culture, and new people. It probably took around two weeks to a month to really become accustomed to my new surroundings. Then it just felt like home.
Interviewer: What do you like about Madrid?
Kerry: I adore Madrid! It is such a lively city and there are so many things to do. Every day is an adventure in this city. Being so huge, there was always something new to try, new places to explore, and more people to meet. I loved that you can just hop on a metro, and end up somewhere awesome within minutes.
Interviewer: What do you recommend to visit in Madrid?
Kerry: The Royal Palace is simply gorgeous! It is filled with period décor and original paintings. It is so elegant- one of the most beautiful places I have been to. I also would recommend visiting the Egyptian temple that was gifted to Madrid, Templo de Debod, at sunset. It is so magical. I would also go to all of Madrid’s famous art museums, such as El Prado, Reina Sofia, and the Sorolla museum. These museums are home to some of the most famous paintings in the world!