Preparing for My Trip to Comillas, Spain

May 13, 2014

I spent today beginning to prepare for my trip to Comillas, Spain. It is hard to believe that I’m leaving once again in less than a month, as it feels like just yesterday that I came home from MMLA Pomona.

I’m doubly excited for the trip to Spain as it will not only be the continuation of my MMLA learning experience but the first time I ever leave the country. As with many exciting things, there were some not-quite-as-exciting things that I had to do in order to prepare.

My first stop was the bank where I planned to exchange about $100 for an equivalent number of euros in order to have emergency spending money. I was already signed up as a user of one of my parents’ travel credit cards, one without fees. If you plan on bringing a credit card abroad on the program, make sure it is specifically a travel card with low to no fees. Many credit cards not designed for foreign use can incur exorbitant fees when used in Europe. My bank directed me to a smaller office down the street, which exchanged my dollars for euros with no fees. On a side note, euros are pretty cool looking.

Second, I went shopping. I bought a few pocketed undershirts. These shirts are designed with pockets so that any money or valuables are difficult for others to access. Yes, they are kind of dorky, but not being able to buy lunch because someone stole your euros is dorkier. Plus, the shirts are designed to be worn hidden under other clothing to conceal valuables.

Finally, I headed home and began (not quite) the most fun part of MMLA preparation: the placement exam. This exam takes a couple hours and I enjoyed seeing how far I’ve come since last year. I’m very excited for my trip to Comillas and I can’t wait to see where another year with the MMLA program will take me.

Maddox Kay is a high school junior from Los Angeles, California, who enjoys music, sports, especially basketball, and learning Spanish. In 2013, he attended the Spanish Academy at Pomona College, and this year will travel abroad to Comillas, Spain, for the new Spanish Academy abroad.