Stuart in Madrid, Spain

Stuart in MadridHello! My name is Stuart Robbins and I am an American Studies major at Amherst. This semester, I will be seeking to develop a more nuanced and global perspective through my studies at Syracuse University in Madrid, Spain. I am most excited to increase my Spanish language skills and immerse myself in Spanish culture. During the semester I will be navigating the roller coaster of emotions that comes from living in a new culture. I love cooking, exploring the outdoors, and making new connections. During the months away from home, I will be integrating into a new community and a foreign culture. On this blog you will be able to get a sense of how I begin to shift my own assumptions and perspective.

Stuart’s Posts

  • Expectations and First Impressions

    Expectations and First Impressions

    I would like to say that I arrived in Spain without fully-formed expectations, but that would not be entirely honest. Before arriving in Madrid I spent hours imagining what it would be like to walk down picturesque streets (such as the ones pictured below) and to eat traditional Spanish dishes like croquetas and paella. Once I decided to spend a semester in Spain, I began to feel a hunger: the need to make a checklist of “must-have” experiences that if …
  • Gayborhoods of Madrid

    Gayborhoods of Madrid

    Spain is well-known for being one of the most accepting countries for LGBT+ people. In fact, Madrid hosted World Pride in 2017. As an openly gay man, choosing an accepting study abroad location was a key deciding factor in my choice of locations. Since arriving in Madrid in early January, I have found several occasions to visit the major gayborhood of Madrid. The neighborhood or barrio, is located a short fifteen-minute walk from the city center and is located just …
  • Public Parks in Madrid

    Public Parks in Madrid

    Parks provide a haven for wildlife and allow people to connect with nature. They perform an essential role in both our ecosystems and our communities. During my semester in Spain I sought to expand my perspective on public parks in the United States through a comparison between parks in Spain and parks in the United States. My hope was that experiences abroad would inform my understanding of the creation, use, and management of parks. This coming fall, I will be …
  • Home


    It is hard to put into words the many changes I have gone through since the start of my semester in Madrid. I do feel that leaving the Amherst “bubble” has been good for my own personal growth. I was constantly challenged to adapt and step outside of my comfort zone. After two years at Amherst, I am guilty of falling into a predictable routine. The semester in Madrid gave me a chance to shake things up and live more …

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