The Master is Aprendizaje y Enseñanza del Español como Lengua Extranjera (Learning and Teaching Spanish as a Foreign Language) through the "Teach and Learn" program at Instituto Franklin. The positive is that everyone who gets in has a full tuition scholarship. (A free Master's degree! Impossible for me in the states...) Also, you work as an English language assistant in Madrid (what I do now) for either 18 or 26 hours a week. This teaching time counts as credits towards the Master, and you also get paid for doing so (though significantly less than I currently make, but still not a bad deal).
The downside to me realizing this program existed only a few weeks ago is that the deadline to apply was in January or February. So Gregorio and I had talked about going one of these days to see if it was possible to apply late and to learn more about the program. Although I wasn't really in the mood on Wednesday, I figured since I had the whole day free I might as well check it off of my to-do list. And who knows, maybe I'd end up eliminating another option by the end of the day.
Gregorio picked me up on his motorcycle around 3pm and we were off to Alcalá de Henares, which lies about 25 minutes east of Madrid.
The woman in charge of the Spanish as a Foreign Language Master was really nice and gave me lots of information. She said the program was currently full for the fall, but if I wanted to apply now I could try for a spot on the waiting list. Or I could apply in January for the 2013-14 school year.
It was nearly 5pm by the time we left the university (we'd had to wait for a while when we got there), and neither Gregorio nor I had eaten lunch yet. We walked to a nearby place and each got a plato combinado, since it was too late to order the menú del día.
|No more braces for Gregorio!|
But the house was closed again when we tried to visit on Wednesday. So to anyone visiting Alcalá de Henares: If you want to visit Cervantes's house, go before 17.30 because that's when it closes!
Right in front of Cervantes's house is a bench with seated statues of Sancho and Don Quijote. Since the house was closed, Gregorio and I took some obligatory photos with the writer's famous characters:
Then we walked to a nearby café for some post-lunch coffee/tea called Cafe Renacimiento.
The café is situated inside of an old church, which gives it a great atmosphere. The music was very calming as well.
We originally went so that Gregorio could have a coffee, but when they told us cocktails were 2 x 1 that afternoon we each ordered a cocktail instead (normally 6 euros each).
When we were ready to pay and leave, the woman told Gregorio that it was 2x1 per person. Es decir, we had to pay for both of the cocktails we'd each had, and now we could each get a free one.
I was ready to go and didn't think I could fit another drink in me, but you can't turn down a free cocktail. So we each ordered another and stayed a bit longer.
Like I said, I really enjoyed the mood of the café and would recommend stopping by for a coffee if you're in Alcalá de Henares. (But if they tell you cocktails are 2x1, know that it's per person!)
What: Cafe Renacimiento
Address: c/ Azucena 2, Alcalá de Henares
Note: This summer (2012) they're closed on Mondays. So check to make sure they're open before you make the short trip out to Alcalá de Henares!