A Spanish Odyssey



Embarking on an exciting odyssey of cultural immersion and academic growth, Roy Kimani’s heart pounds with a potent blend of excitement, hesitation, and thrilling anticipation for the uncharted realm that awaits. The opportunity to participate in the student exchange program has presented him with an opportunity to embark on an educational journey to  Spain, a country that has bewitched his heart time and time again.

As they soar through the skies in an all-white aircraft, Roy is accompanied by his father and little brother, who have come along to help him settle in this foreign land. His mind dances with visions of sun-kissed streets resonating with melodies and tantalizing aromas, a resounding symphony of motivation as the plane soars through the sky carrying them towards their destination.

Impatiently, he yearns to immerse himself in the vibrant Spanish culture, succumbing to the magnetic allure of ancient architecture that seems to breathe life into the very soul of the nation. His mind thirsts for knowledge, his heart craves the bonds of friendship, and his soul yearns to be kindled with the fiery passion that only Spain can offer.

Roy, a student from the School of Law, has nurtured a lifelong dream of participating in the exchange programme, a transformative venture orchestrated by AIESEC in Strathmore. It grants final-year students like Roy the opportunity to hone their skills and embrace new experiences, serving as a preparatory canvas for the boundless world beyond. And now, Madrid, the heart of Spain, has become his home for the next six months as he digs into his final degree semester at the esteemed Universidad Pontificia Comillas [ICADE].

“Venturing to Spain has undoubtedly been the highlight of my academic journey this year,” Roy exclaims. “I have forged deep connections with new friends from diverse corners of the world, sharpened my Spanish skills through conversations with native speakers, and expanded my horizons in ways I never thought possible.”

Spain’s culinary delights, rich culture, warm-hearted people, captivating language, historical marvels, and the sprawling El Rastro flea market have overwhelmed Roy’s senses with a kaleidoscope of wonder. He excitedly ticked off activities from his bucket list; from savoring delectable dishes at the oldest restaurant to wandering the grand corridors of the royal palace, and even stepping foot in a café immortalized in a Jason Bourne movie.

Yet, Spain has not only lavished him with entertaining escapades but also nurtured his academic growth. Immersing himself in a diverse community of law students from various ethnic backgrounds became an enlightening revelation for Roy. The subjects he studied – International Law, International Protection of Human Rights, Spanish Culture, and the Spanish Language – have sculpted him, shaping his readiness for the world beyond academia.

The country’s remarkable weather mesmerizes Roy, as he bore witness to the transition between winter and spring. Arriving in Madrid on January 11th for orientation, he finds himself on the brink of winter, where temperatures hover around a chilly – 2 degrees Celsius. However, as spring approaches, a captivating transformation unfolds. The city bursts into vibrant life, adorned with blossoming flowers, lively festivals, and an effervescent atmosphere. Finally, Roy can revel in the warm embrace of the sun upon his skin after months of wintry solitude.

Endowed with a rich history, resplendent architecture, world-class museums, and vibrant street life, Madrid becomes a treasure trove of experiences for Roy. He explores the renowned Reina Sofia Museum, treads the very halls where Money Heist was filmed at The Royal Mint of Spain, embarks on a captivating journey to Toledo to witness ancient architectural wonders, and revels in the serenity of Madrid’s picturesque parks.

“The food? Absolutely divine. The people? Warm-hearted and full of life. I felt right at home, encountering no form of discrimination, and the friendships I forged continue to thrive,” Roy exclaims, bubbling with excitement. “But you know what truly stole my heart? The Madrid metro—it’s a marvel! Affordable and incredibly efficient, it whisked me away to every corner of the enchanting city.”

Beyond a mere cultural exploration, this extraordinary exchange program to Spain has become a transformative odyssey that promises to reshape Roy’s perspectives, enrich his understanding, and imprint an indelible mark upon his very soul. With its vibrant cities, breathtaking landscapes, passionate inhabitants, and captivating history, Spain has bestowed upon this young graduate the gift of lifelong connections and an expanse of horizons waiting to be explored.


This article was written by Faith Katumbi.


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