Jan. 30, 2012
MADRID, Spain -
Lindsay Dickerson of Stanford's national championship soccer team is spending the winter quarter in Spain: Here is her report from Europe:
So you think you like soccer?
Come visit me in Madrid and you’ll realize that what you felt for the sport in the States pales in comparison to the loyalty, excitement, and passion that overwhelms you when surrounded by an entire country of people who live and breathe for the beautiful game of fútbol. One of the main objectives of the Stanford study abroad programs is to immerse yourself in the culture of the place you’re living, and I’ve really taken that to heart — I tend to arrange my days and my weeks around the important games, I throw sidelong glances at anyone in the bar who cheers for the opponent, I sing the Real Madrid songs and yell “Vamos! Vamos!” just as loudly as all the other fans, and I make sure that when anyone asks me what the name is on the back of my new jersey, I say “Casillas! El mejor portero en el mundo! (The best goalkeeper in the world!)”
When I’m not watching soccer, there are plenty of other things to do in this beautiful city — I love to run by the river next to my home-stay, visit los Museos del Prado y Reina Sofia, practice my flamenco dance moves in preparation for our big show at the end of the quarter, and get to know my host mamá, Marisa, who happens to be the sweetest woman I’ve ever met and can cook a mean paella. So far, the most challenging (but also an extremely rewarding) part of my experience has been taking all of my classes in Spanish, and trying my best to follow our program rule of only speaking in Spanish, but it’s been amazing how much my conversational skills have improved in only three weeks.
I’m off to Barcelona tonight to meet up with Annie and Maddie, and then will be flying to Berlin next weekend to see Mariah, so I’m looking forward to the Stanford soccer reunions in my future.