Finally we are in Madrid and we would like to share some of our first experiences with you!
An important factor to be taken care of before your semester abroad is accommodation. Trying to figure out a way amidst new unknown streets and strangers is hard with the added pressure finding a new place to live. When I decided I was coming to Madrid, I started looking for housing via all online platforms. I decided I’d be living in an apartment because of the previous experiences of living in a host family and student hostel. There were two online portals specifically that helped me with this process and made finding an apartment much easier: ‘SpotAHome’ and ‘Housing Anywhere’. I also joined a few housing forums for students on Facebook; I got a lot of leads from there. A lot of people advise against this and say that it’s better if you land in Madrid and find housing, but I’m an exception to this safe stereotype. If you know what you’re looking for (the area you want to live in, your budget, and your needs), you can easily find a plethora of housing options to choose from. The representatives from ‘SpotAHome’ and ‘Housing Anywhere’ helped a lot too; they are readily available on live chat or via email. All that being said and done, I was worried about moving to a new place and a new apartment which looked amazing online, but anything could go wrong. It turned out to be beautiful though, with all the information I got online being accurate to the T and the company I ended up with being amazing. I currently live with the landlady and another housemate in an apartment of three bedrooms, which has all amenities and is quite close to my university. The rent is affordable too! My first day in Madrid was one of the best days of my life till date because I realized how warm and friendly the people here are. My landlady not only welcomed me into her home, but also took me shopping for groceries and helped me buy a new sim here, and my other housemate is like a sister to me. It’s funny how we all don’t understand each other’s language but we understand most conversations. It’s like I found a new family in stranger lands. Presently, we are teaching each other our languages, spending weekends together, and sharing our meals on a regular basis. I never realized a picture of a random room on the internet would lead to this beautiful experience I’ve had to start Madrid off with. I love my new home.
- Abhiti Anand
While Abhiti stays in an apartment during her semester abroad, I am staying with a host family. As far as I know, I am the first Macromedia student going to Madrid to choose this form of accommodation. I made this choice for different reasons. The first one is very obvious – I want to improve my Spanish. Before I came to Madrid, I had studied Spanish for three years at school.
Since I have started to study at university, I have had no opportunity to speak Spanish. Therefore, I was not very practiced at communicating in Spanish, and I wanted to change that. Since our courses at UFV are in English, and we are a big group of Macromedia students, I knew that I would not speak a lot of Spanish if I chose to live in an apartment.
Now, living with my host family, I speak Spanish every day, and I can already see huge improvements in vocabulary, grammar and fluency.
Another reason is that I want to get to know how life in Madrid really is. I am part of my host family, and experience and hear about their everyday life.
Additionally, I also get a lot of hints, advice and recommendations about what to do in Madrid and which other places I should visit that I would not if I chose to live by myself.
Already now, I can fully recommend this form of accommodation, especially to everyone who wants to improve their Spanish.
- Benita Dederichs
UFV – Universidad Francisco de Vitoria
Since a few weeks we’re already in Madrid. After an orientation day the week before, lessons started at 26th of September. We’re studying here at Universidad Francisco de Vitoria. It’s a private University in Madrid and it’s a bit outside of Madrid, in Pozuelo. The Campus itself is really nice. It is a bit like the Campuses you see in american movies, the students wear sweaters with the UFV logo, drink their coffee to go from Rodilla, the café on our campus, and welcome each other with cheek kisses. Our classes are from Monday till Thursday, so we have enough time on weekends to explore Madrid and other nice cities in Spain and Portugal. Most courses are just with the other international students and just a few are with Spanish students. Projects are a great part of our semester here and also part of our grades. Furthermore we’ll write midterms in November and our final exams in end of January. We were welcomed very friendly and I’m sure we will have a great time at UFV.
But as you all know, university is not the most important thing at a semester abroad ;)
- Irina Fomin
Nightlife in Madrid
Spain is known for it’s colorful nightlife, especially in Madrid.
There is a variety of places from bars to salsa clubs, but the favorite neighborhoods, “ barrios“, are Sol and La Latina.
Spaniards love a good meal and before going out it is tradition to enjoy some „tapas“. Bars like „El Tigre“, „La Esquina Eusebio“ or „Casa Paco“ are very famous among students. The ambience is flooded with people laughing and trying to get their „tapa“ before the plate is empty. Bars are normally cheap places that offer a great experience!
Before hitting the club students often organize the so called „botellón“. It is improvised in parks with music, beer and calimocho or tinto de verano( a mix of fanta and wine).
It is time to go to the club and there are many options:
For international students „Orange Club “ and „Teatro Barceló“ are very common. They are flooded with people all around the world with whom you can easily maje friends.
But to have a real madrileña experience you have to try ‚discos‘ like „Pachá“, „Mitty“, „Kapi“, „Bowi“, „Empire“ and many others.
Here you can enter for free until 1:30 am or by paying 10€ with 2 free drinks ( price depends on the night!).
Nightlife in Spain starts and ends very late. Sometimes you have to wait for the metro and while you are doing it, you can treat yourself with some churros in „San Gines“ or drink hot chocolate in „Malasaña“.
To enjoy Spain you just habe to let yourself go and move with the crowd.
- Daniela de Osma Arreciado
We hope you liked this post and we’ll get back to you soon!