By Abbie Paloucek
Hola from SLU Madrid!
Another eventful week here in Madrid. On Monday SLU Madrid welcomed guest speaker Leland Brett Ware from the University of Delaware to lecture on “Colorblind Racism in France: Conflicts with Ethnic Minority Immigrants." I was fortunate to be able to attend and hear an enlightening perspective on a very important topic that I was not all that familiar with prior to the lecture. The lecture touched on some things I have been studying in European Human Rights the past two weeks. It was nice to see how truly relevant and important these international courses are.
On Wednesday my classmates and I dressed in our business attire and visited one of Spain’s leading law firms, Cuatrecasas, where two abogados (lawyers) led a conversation about the nuances of being a lawyer in Europe and some of the differences in the systems. Such a cool thing Cuartrecases did for us by inviting us to their office and volunteering their time, and we cannot thank them enough!
Thursday Professor Jordan had a get-together at Casa Mingo with his Cross Border Litigation students to wrap up their three-week course. Though I am not a student in that class, my three roommates are, and I have heard nothing but good things. You really can’t go wrong with any of the courses that are offered in this summer session. Thursday also meant the last day of the week for Intro to Spanish, my favorite class. All week we practice a Spanish song and then on Thursday we sing it in full. This week’s song was "En La Gran Ciudad" by Luciana Wolf. Professor Lasarte always picks the catchiest songs that I find myself humming all week.
I was able to travel beyond Madrid for the first time since arriving in Madrid on May 20. I explored Barcelona with seven of my classmates. (pictured to the left) We were able to spend three full days there (Friday through Sunday) as Friday was a reading and review day, which meant no classes. It’s hard to believe we are at the halfway point. In Barcelona we stayed at a hostel called Garden House Hostel Barcelona. It was my first time staying in a hostel. It brought back memories of living in the dorms freshman year of undergrad.
On Saturday we visited Park Guell and the infamous Basilica de la Sagrada Familia. The photos I took do not do the basilica justice; it is the most beautiful place in the world and was truly breathtaking! It has been under construction since 1882 and is to be completed by 2026. I will have to plan a return trip to Barcelona to see the completed project. Sunday we enjoyed a beach day before getting on our train back to our home away from home in Madrid. It's nice to be able to reflect back on all I've gotten to do but there is so much more to get done. And just like that another week has come and gone.