On May 29th our summer 2014 session 1 group arrived to Madrid Barajas airport without any kind of problems, except one student who did not take her flight on time and she arrived one day after all the students.
The group consists of 35 students: 11 from University of Iowa, 7 from University of Wisconsin Madison, 7 from University of Indiana, 2 from Texas Christian University, 2 from Denison University, 1 from Oklahoma City University, 2 from University of North Carolina at Wilmington, 1 from Bryn Mawr College, 1 from Fordham University, and 1 from Virginia Commonwealth.
The Orientation was very different that other summer times. It was the first time in my CIEE “life” than I was with two assistants from Madrid in two diferent days: Sonia Sales was with us the first and a half day, and Patricia Witzig, a half day.
None of the students seemed to be stressed or scared of the unknown. I know their advisors and directors from USA prepared carefully a pre-orientation.
All of the students in the orientation sessions at the Hotel CAMPANILE proved to be strong and resisted the “jet lag” very well, listening to all of the sessions regarding safety in Alcalá, safety for women, health insurance, pre-registration, trips, families, etc.
We didn’t get any phone calls from a parent asking about their sons or daughters, just one e-mail, because this group immediately got in contact with their relatives to tell them they were in the hotel or waiting in a flight connection thanks to their i-phones/android phones.
We went to Madrid on Sunday June 1st, a long walk that consisted of several kilometers as usual, but it was less than we used to walk, because it is difficult with a big group. I asked for help to Mercedes Conde, the Anthropology student who helped me on spring 2014.
We had a lunch together on an "All you can eat" restaurant.
Afterwards, we offered them three options, one of them was going to Alcalá with Patricia, and to show again that they had learned how to get around on the public transportation (one student wanted this option), the second one it was the walking tour second part with Mercedes and me (zero students), and the third option was free time and they could return to Alcalá by themselves.
On Monday June 2ndstarted with one day “shopping”. Only one course had to be cancelled because they had less than 5 students, but others had to be doubled because more than 20 students wanted to take them. In the afternoon, we had an UAH and Alcalá down town walking tour.
So, now it is time to study... and to enjoy Alcalá live!!!!!!