Shannen Eshelman
Shannen Eshelman


Comp was open to students who wanted to study at college abroad.

$2,000 cash prize

Write a 150-250 word essay on this round’s theme: Why That City?

Comp deadline: Nov 1, 2020

The Center of All Things

☆☆☆ by Shannen Eshelman, from Houston, USA to Madrid, Spain ☆☆☆

You stand at ‘Kilometre Zero’ where all the roads of the country originate – or converge, depending on your perspective. Madrid lies at the center of Spain and is the center of all things lively and trendy.

Madrid is a place where modern meets centuries of historical architecture, where timeless meets beautiful art museum after art museum, and where global fusion meets local cuisine. From open markets and tapas bars to sprightly night life, Madrid is a city that thrives on extroversion and cultural pride.

Compared to the land space of Houston, the fourth-largest city in the US, everything in Madrid seems much more personal and within arm’s reach when it comes to experience and discovery. Madrid also functions at a more leisurely pace. Where time is money and every second counts in the US, separating work and personal activities are more valued in Madrid.

And yet, just like Houston, Madrid is a center of education and an economic powerhouse with many valuable opportunities in the business and engineering fields. In seeking a memorable, unique, and entirely new experience, I chose Madrid as the center of my study abroad adventure.