Massimo Tager on Life in Madrid

Posted by Monica Hoel

Massimo Tager was the first person to go to Spain.

Well, he was the first E&H student to take advantage of a 6-month study abroad program in Spain.

His second semester of his sophomore year he spent 6 months in Toledo, Spain. He was the only E&H student in the program that year. Although he considered himself fairly fluent in Spanish, it was a challenge for all his classes to be taught in Spanish. “Fortunately some others were struggling, too, so we worked together.”

While he was there, he “did excursions everywhere: Italy, France, Morocco, Amsterdam, Portugal, Africa, Berlin. I tried to go as many places as I could because I didn’t know if I’d be back!”

But he did go back. In fact he’s living in Madrid now teaching English through a government agency.

Massimo admits that moving to Madrid was a little overwhelming. Until moving to Spain he had never spent any length of time away from his home in Asheville or his grandparents’ home in Chattanooga. His study abroad experience gave him a little self-confidence, and he quickly made friends through sports. “On Fridays I play soccer or baseball or volleyball. Soccer has been an amazing way to meet people.”

He says Madrid is an interesting melting pot of cultures. “Madrid is a placed filled with people from so many different cultures, and I not only learn about their cultures, but also get to hear their impressions of my culture.” And he often bumps into people speaking English. But the city is so huge that “If you meet someone and don’t get their contact information, you’ll never see them again.”

Massimo may have been the first E&H student to go to Spain for this program, but he wasn’t the last. And he recently he met with other students who have followed in his footsteps. In 2022, several students took up the challenge to study in Spain – and imagine how excited they must have been to have an E&H grad travel from Madrid to Toledo to say hello.

You can enjoy a conversation with Massimo Tager on The Duck Pond Wall podcast.

  • Massimo Tager
    E&H Class of 2020

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  • <div class="lw_news_image"><span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/news/1542-jelani-pattersons-business-expansion-is-a-puzzle"><picture class="lw_image"> <source type="image/webp" srcset="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/339,243,2227,2131/9070_PXL_20201026_194234472.PORTRAIT-01.COVER.rev.1606915319.webp 1x, /live/image/scale/2x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/339,243,2227,2131/9070_PXL_20201026_194234472.PORTRAIT-01.COVER.rev.1606915319.webp 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/339,243,2227,2131/9070_PXL_20201026_194234472.PORTRAIT-01.COVER.rev.1606915319.webp 3x"/> <source type="image/jpeg" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/339,243,2227,2131/9070_PXL_20201026_194234472.PORTRAIT-01.COVER.rev.1606915319.jpg 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/339,243,2227,2131/9070_PXL_20201026_194234472.PORTRAIT-01.COVER.rev.1606915319.jpg 3x"/> <img src="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/339,243,2227,2131/9070_PXL_20201026_194234472.PORTRAIT-01.COVER.rev.1606915319.jpg" alt="Jelani Patterson, Emory & Henry Class of 2003, and his wife Mylene. They created a new entert..." width="345" height="225" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/339,243,2227,2131/9070_PXL_20201026_194234472.PORTRAIT-01.COVER.rev.1606915319.jpg 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/339,243,2227,2131/9070_PXL_20201026_194234472.PORTRAIT-01.COVER.rev.1606915319.jpg 3x" data-max-w="1888" data-max-h="1888" loading="lazy"/> </picture> </a></span></div><div class="lw_widget_text"><h4 class="lw_news_headline"><a href="/live/news/1542-jelani-pattersons-business-expansion-is-a-puzzle">Jelani Patterson’s Business Expansion is a Puzzle: and That Was Exactly the Plan</a></h4><div class="lw_news_summary"><p> Not all who wander are lost:<br/> they might be exploring <a href="https://district57.com/">District 57.</a></p><a href="/live/news/1542-jelani-pattersons-business-expansion-is-a-puzzle" class="link-with-arrow gold">Keep reading</a></div></div>
  • <div class="lw_news_image"><span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/news/1679-the-trap-of-nostalgia"><picture class="lw_image"> <source type="image/webp" srcset="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,2094,2055/9554_The_Spine_Of_Night_Filmmaker_Morgan_Galen_King.rev.1615991868.webp 1x, /live/image/scale/2x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,2094,2055/9554_The_Spine_Of_Night_Filmmaker_Morgan_Galen_King.rev.1615991868.webp 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,2094,2055/9554_The_Spine_Of_Night_Filmmaker_Morgan_Galen_King.rev.1615991868.webp 3x"/> <source type="image/jpeg" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,2094,2055/9554_The_Spine_Of_Night_Filmmaker_Morgan_Galen_King.rev.1615991868.jpg 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,2094,2055/9554_The_Spine_Of_Night_Filmmaker_Morgan_Galen_King.rev.1615991868.jpg 3x"/> <img src="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,2094,2055/9554_The_Spine_Of_Night_Filmmaker_Morgan_Galen_King.rev.1615991868.jpg" alt="Morgan Galen King, E&H Class of 2001" width="345" height="225" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,2094,2055/9554_The_Spine_Of_Night_Filmmaker_Morgan_Galen_King.rev.1615991868.jpg 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,2094,2055/9554_The_Spine_Of_Night_Filmmaker_Morgan_Galen_King.rev.1615991868.jpg 3x" data-max-w="2094" data-max-h="2055" loading="lazy"/> </picture> </a></span></div><div class="lw_widget_text"><h4 class="lw_news_headline"><a href="/live/news/1679-the-trap-of-nostalgia">“The Trap of Nostalgia”</a></h4><div class="lw_news_summary"> Morgan King’s new full-length animated feature is a throw-back to a popular 1980’s classic, but he was careful not to be limited by the past as he created something he wanted to stand up in the present. <a href="/live/news/1679-the-trap-of-nostalgia" class="link-with-arrow gold">Keep reading</a></div></div>
  • <div class="lw_news_image"><span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/news/2350-cleo-cooper-has-traded-helmet-for-hard-drives"><picture class="lw_image"> <source type="image/webp" srcset="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/204,105,598,499/11297_Cleo_Cooper.rev.1652734547.webp 1x"/> <source type="image/jpeg" srcset="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/204,105,598,499/11297_Cleo_Cooper.rev.1652734547.jpg 1x"/> <img src="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/204,105,598,499/11297_Cleo_Cooper.rev.1652734547.jpg" alt="Cleo Cooper E&H Class of 2014" width="345" height="225" data-max-w="394" data-max-h="394" loading="lazy"/> </picture> </a></span></div><div class="lw_widget_text"><h4 class="lw_news_headline"><a href="/live/news/2350-cleo-cooper-has-traded-helmet-for-hard-drives">Cleo Cooper Has Traded Helmet for Hard Drives</a></h4><div class="lw_news_summary"> Cleo Cooper has made a big career shift – but he’s finding that his ties to Arena Football are helpful in the business sector. <a href="/live/news/2350-cleo-cooper-has-traded-helmet-for-hard-drives" class="link-with-arrow gold">Keep reading</a></div></div>