Alumni Spotlight: Madeleine Madronich

Maddi is an energetic and friendly person who loves new and crazy expieriences. She loves making new friends and making new memories with them.

Why did you choose this program?

When I was looking through the Blythe website at their long list of programs, I was stuck between Costa Rica and Cozumel. I took days trying to decide which program was better for me by searching through the courses and excursions available and, in the end, I chose Cozumel because of how clear and pretty the ocean was supposed to be. At the end of my trip, I knew i had made the right decision, and not just because of how amazing the ocean was.

What did your program provider assist you with, and what did you have to organize on your own?

Blythe provided me with a daily schedule, breakfast and dinner, excursions, and making sure I was safe. Everything else such as what to do in my free time, laundry, lunch and making sure I got enough sleep, was up to me. This was a great way to learn how to be more independent at the perfect time because I'm turning 18 this year and I would have been so confused and clueless going into adulthood without the experience from this trip.

What is one piece of advice you'd give to someone going on your program?

My advice would be to live in the moment. As long or short as the trip may seem at the beginning, everyone found that time seemed to go by so fast, but we felt as thought we had been there for months. In the last 2 weeks of my trip, I realized that it was coming to an end and I began to stop every once and awhile and take things in. These are the moments I remember most and will have with me always.

What does an average day/week look like as a participant of this program?

Blythe put together a pretty standard schedule for us, which gave us plenty of time to be in class and study, but also enough free time to explore and have fun. Week days we would have morning and afternoon class with lunch in between and then a couple hours after before dinner and then a couples hours before curfew.

Going into your experience abroad, what was your biggest fear, and how did you overcome it? How did your views on the issue change?

I am a very social and friendly person, but going into this trip I was very nervous about the new people I was going to meet and be living with. At first, I assumed there would be cliches and groups and I had a fear of being excluded, but I soon learned that that was not the case and I grew very close with almost everyone on that trip and we because a big family. I am still very close with some of these people and consider them my best friends.

What was your favorite part about this trip?

I have many memories that I hope I never forget, but one of my favorite parts was during one of the excursions. We went out on a boat to swim with whale sharks which was absolutely breathtaking, but on our way home we drove up alongside some dolphins. I was sitting at the very front of the boat with my legs hanging on both sides facing forwards and the captain slowed down enough for the dolphins to swim alongside the bow right under my feet, they were only about half a meter away from touching my toes for about ten minuets. I was in heaven and will never forget that moment.