Hola a tod@s!
My name is Ellie and I am studying Translation Studies with French and Spanish here at Aston. I am currently in my third year, and therefore am on placement. Obviously, taking joint honours, I have to split my year in two halves and I am currently doing the Spanish half of my placement working for the translation company CPSL in Madrid.
When I first arrived, like many people, I was so nervous. It was my first time being abroad on my own and I was absolutely terrified. After a teary goodbye from London airport, it was all a bit of a blur getting to my flat and settling in for the first few days. Starting work was even more nerve racking, since I had no idea what to expect. However, I was pleasantly surprised. I honestly couldn’t have hoped for a better place to work. Everyone is so friendly in the office and no one falls back to the ‘I’ll just speak English if she doesn’t understand’ which is something I thought might happen. Another good thing is that I really feel like part of the team, since I’m really involved in the work that goes on. Beforehand I thought they would see me as ‘just a placement student’, but it doesn’t feel like that at all! In all honesty, it was a little hard to adjust to being surrounded by Spanish at first, since I’m one of those people who lacks confidence, but I think I’ve adjusted well (so don’t worry, you will too!). I just seem to absorb everything that’s going on around me.
As for Madrid itself, I can honestly say it is one of the most beautiful, vibrant cities I have ever visited. Even though it’s the capital, it certainly doesn’t disappoint on the Spanish lifestyle – everything is still lovely and laid back. There really is nothing better than chilling out with a caña and some tapas, even if it is with your landlady (as has been the case for me sometimes!). Obviously, being a capital city, there are a million and one things to do. Since I’ve had some visitors whilst I’ve been here, I’ve become something of a Madrid tour guide, visiting places such as el Museo del Prado, el Parque de Buen Retiro, el Palacio Real, la Plaza Mayor, Sol… Even if you’re not planning on doing your placement here in Madrid, I would definitely recommend coming to visit, it’s such a wonderful city!
These past 5 months have gone so quickly, and it’s not long now until January when I move onto the next part of my adventure in France! I can only hope that I have such a good experience during my next placement.