Because of spring term papers I have only recently been able to relax and enjoy my time here in Madrid. Madrid is a beautiful city with an atmosphere unlike anything I have experienced before. It is my first time outside North America and I am soaking in every second of it. One thing that has surprised me here in Europe is how expensive everything is. I thought that since the euro is so much stronger than the dollar that everything would only cost fewer euros, but that doesn’t seem to be the case. A bottle of water in the US costs about $1 and here in Madrid it costs 1 euro. Besides the ridiculous exchange rate, Madrid is a beautiful place and I am thrilled to be here. From my experiences in spain I hope to improve my proficiency in the spanish language and culture.