#YOIMO: You’re Only In Málaga Once

Leah Miller is a student at Westminster College and an ISA Featured Blogger. Leah is currently studying abroad with ISA in Málaga, Spain.

miller malagueta
The infamous Malagueta sign in Málaga

The first couple days in Spain were spent in a daze of pure happiness. I literally could not believe I was actually here and about to embark on the adventure of a lifetime. You know, that out-of-body feeling where you just can’t believe that you are actually making your dreams come true? That was how I felt the first few days, and it was fantastic!

Once we arrived in Málaga, I heard people saying “I can’t believe we are actually here!” about a hundred times in just the first couple days. Hence, our new favorite saying was born — #YOIMO (You’re Only in Málaga Once). There is a good chance you will fall in love with the city and will possibly be back to visit, but I want to experience all that Málaga has to offer this time around.

miller plaza mayor
The start of our Spanglish tour of Madrid in La Plaza Mayor.

Our Spanglish Orientation – Madrid & Toledo Style

Orientation was in Madrid, and it was the perfect way to welcome us all to Spain. Our tour guides showed us around the city, and we even had the option to take the tour in Spanglish, which I did of course! Our group felt really good that we were able to understand almost everything they were saying too.

miller plaza cibeles aerial
View of Madrid’s Plaza Cibeles from the top of a building.


miller toledo
View of Toledo from our panoramic tour.

The last day of orientation was in Toledo, which is easily one of my new favorite places in the world! Based on these photos, I think you will be able to understand why I never want to leave this wonderful country!

miller alley
Walking through the streets of Toledo.

Meeting the Host Family

After a few days of exploring Madrid and Toledo it was finally time to go to Málaga! The excitement on the bus ride to Málaga could not be contained. Our group literally clapped and cheered when we pulled up to our meeting point and saw our host families waiting to pick us up.

My host family is so wonderful. My first night in their home they took my roommate and I on a tour of the city and showed us all the best restaurants and stores in town. Picking their favorites must have been difficult because I haven’t been anywhere in Málaga that I don’t like yet. My host family is amazing, but communicating with them at first was a bit of a shock. My host family only speaks Spanish. I assumed that would be the case, but when your only way to communicate is in Spanish, it can be a little intense at first. It took some adjusting, but now I love it! I am learning so much about the Spanish language, and I have my host family to thank.

miller palm trees
View of the beach in Málaga.

Overall, the first week in Málaga was a great way to start off my semester, and I can’t wait to see what other adventures this city has in store for me over the next three months!

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