Massimo Tager on Life in Madrid

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.

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  • <div class="lw_news_image"><span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/news/2106-family-traditions"><picture class="lw_image"> <source type="image/webp" srcset="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,92,243,335/10510_IMG-2694.rev.1637190198.webp 1x"/> <source type="image/jpeg" srcset="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,92,243,335/10510_IMG-2694.rev.1637190198.jpg 1x"/> <img src="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,92,243,335/10510_IMG-2694.rev.1637190198.jpg" alt="Erika Wright (left, Emory & Henry Class of 2011) with her father and sister in traditional regalia." width="345" height="225" data-max-w="243" data-max-h="243" loading="lazy"/> </picture> </a></span></div><div class="lw_widget_text"><h4 class="lw_news_headline"><a href="/live/news/2106-family-traditions">Family Traditions</a></h4><div class="lw_news_summary"> Traditions are important for most families. But family traditions might be just a little more crucial to Erika Wright. As a member of the Virginia indigenous tribe Cheroenhaka (Nottoway), Erika understands that traditions are more than just something to share with other family members: traditions are a matter of cultural survival. <a href="/live/news/2106-family-traditions" class="link-with-arrow gold">Keep reading</a></div></div>
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  • <div class="lw_news_image"><span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/news/156-eamph-alumnus-gary-reedy-named-ceo-of-american"><picture class="lw_image"> <source type="image/webp" srcset="/live/image/gid/83/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,1000,666/851_alumni-gary-reedy.rev.1507730801.webp 1x, /live/image/scale/2x/gid/83/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,1000,666/851_alumni-gary-reedy.rev.1507730801.webp 2x"/> <source type="image/jpeg" srcset="/live/image/gid/83/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,1000,666/851_alumni-gary-reedy.rev.1507730801.jpg 1x, /live/image/scale/2x/gid/83/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,1000,666/851_alumni-gary-reedy.rev.1507730801.jpg 2x"/> <img src="/live/image/gid/83/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,1000,666/851_alumni-gary-reedy.rev.1507730801.jpg" alt="Reedy, class of 78, speaks on campus." width="345" height="225" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/83/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,1000,666/851_alumni-gary-reedy.rev.1507730801.jpg 2x" data-max-w="1000" data-max-h="666" loading="lazy"/> </picture> </a></span></div><div class="lw_widget_text"><h4 class="lw_news_headline"><a href="/live/news/156-eamph-alumnus-gary-reedy-named-ceo-of-american">E&H Alumnus Gary Reedy Is CEO of American Cancer Society</a></h4><div class="lw_news_summary"> Gary M. Reedy serves as the chief executive officer of the <a title="American Cancer Society Homepage" href="http://www.cancer.org/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">American Cancer Society</a>, placing the 1978 Emory & Henry graduate atop one of the most influential non-profit organizations in the nation. <a href="/live/news/156-eamph-alumnus-gary-reedy-named-ceo-of-american" class="link-with-arrow gold">Keep reading</a></div></div>
  • <div class="lw_news_image"><span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/news/1203-tempting-god"><picture class="lw_image"> <source type="image/webp" srcset="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,500,499/8025_george_stuart.rev.1586791776.webp 1x"/> <source type="image/jpeg" srcset="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,500,499/8025_george_stuart.rev.1586791776.jpg 1x"/> <img src="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,500,499/8025_george_stuart.rev.1586791776.jpg" alt="Rev. George R. Stuart, E&H Class of 1882" width="345" height="225" data-max-w="500" data-max-h="499" loading="lazy"/> </picture> </a></span></div><div class="lw_widget_text"><h4 class="lw_news_headline"><a href="/live/news/1203-tempting-god">“Tempting God”</a></h4><div class="lw_news_summary"> Rev. David St. Clair shares an interesting bit of insight from a former E&H alumnus that he ran across in <em>The Christian Century.</em><a href="/live/news/1203-tempting-god" class="link-with-arrow gold">Keep reading</a></div></div>