Ernesto & María – One Couple, Two Continents

January 13, 2020

Ernesto and María, both from Central Spain, met in a research lab in Madrid, where they were carrying out their studies for their respective PhDs. In 2009, they were granted a scholarship to continue their studies at UC Berkeley. They packed their bags and off they went on their adventure together!

As Spaniards living in the States, they talk us through their experiences adjusting to this new culture that they were discovering. They lived in Berkeley for three years and eventually moved to Baltimore, MD, following the research project they were immersed in. There, they discovered that wealth and poverty can be just one street away.

When they had their first child in the USA, however, they stumbled upon one of the main reasons they ultimately returned to Spain: the private health care system. People from Spain are definitely not used to being handed an invoice on their way out of the hospital, after all…

When you receive the bill, you think:  “Oh, God… How much is it going to be?” (María, 38:50)

Ernesto and María explain their experience, not only with health care, but also with the work culture in the USA and with other aspects of residency. Tune in to their interview to learn more.


María Ángeles Recuero Checa and Ernesto Arias Palomo were born and raised in central Spain, and met during their PhD studies in Madrid. They decided to continue their research in the US, which led them to work at UC Berkeley (CA) and then at Johns Hopkins University (MD). In 2017, they returned to Madrid, where Maria is working as a high-school biology teacher and Ernesto as the head of a research lab at the Spanish Scientific Research Council (CSIC).


Ernesto & María – One Couple, Two Continents