In addition to being a standout Senior majoring in International Business at Saint Louis University, Terra Randolph was one of our See the World, BE the Future scholarship recipients for the 2017 Fall semester.
Please enjoy this single blog post in which Terra recounts her time at the Saint Louis University satellite campus in Madrid amongst her other adventures abroad:
I’ve always been fascinated by the existence of cultures, places, and people outside my own environment. Traveling the world was something I always dreamed of but never quite envisioned myself doing. Aside from the common fear of leaving home and exploring something completely new, the cost to do so can be pretty absurd for the average American (even more so for the average Black or Latino American). Luckily, with the support from my university and outside organizations (like Black Entrepreneurs,Inc.), I was able to study for a semester in the culturally-layered city of Madrid, Spain. As I am an International Business major, getting this opportunity was beneficial to my career AND overall life experience.
Madrid is an interesting city. As Spain has extensive history of different ethnic groups ruling and the recent waves of Latin American/African immigration, Madrid’s population reflects that. Neighborhoods like Lavapies boast a mezcla or mix of residents from Senegal, Colombia, Morocco, and the Philippines. Aside, neighborhoods Chueca and Malasana demonstrate the progressive youth and LGBTQ- supportive communities present in modern Madrid. Uptown, you can find the upscale neighborhood Salamanca that rivals a shopping and restaurant district similar to what may be seen in Los Angeles area’s Melrose Avenue and Rodeo Drive.
Outside of one of my favorite Madrid restaurants, Rosi La Loca
During my school week, I took the time to explore Madrid’s winding streets and large plazas. My school, Saint Louis University – Madrid, was located only 20 minutes by metro from the city center of Sol. Often, my friends and I would take the metro after school and walk around until it was time for dinner served by our Señora. I definitely brushed up on my Spanish as she was only fluent in Spanish and French.
After dinner, my roommates and I developed this little routine of going to get gelato and sitting around talking. Some of the best conversations came from these little talks. I loved comparing our life experiences, and learning new things about each other. I have to say, I met some of the most interesting people while abroad. My roommates and classmates were from all across the United States and world. My roommates hailed from California, Texas, Missouri, and Illinois. All of whom I still keep in contact with and plan to visit very soon! I also had classes with students from Egypt, Venezuela, France and Italy.
On the weekends, I had the opportunity to take trips to different countries in Europe…
I sun-bathed on the beaches of Portugal and also learned about the unfortunate history of Lagos as a prominent slave port in post-medieval Europe.
Under The Eiffel Tower!
I also got a chance to tour the Louvre and try escargot (snails– surprisingly yummy!) in Paris.
I walked where the Romans once gathered in Rome along the ancient streets.
Outside of Saint Peter’s Basilica
I froze trugging along the canals of Amsterdam, but was blessed to visit the infamous Anne Frank House which left a heavy impression on me.
The Anne Frank House
I devoured Belgian waffles in the centre, La Grand-Place, of Brussels.
A happy Terra with her waffle
I ate chips n’ fish near the Thames River with our English-speaking counterparts in London.
Outside of the glorious Buckingham Palace
In summary, I experienced cultures I had always read about in books or seen on TV. They became realities for me. Thank you for supporting me, Black Entrepreneurs, Inc.!