“Okay so how exactly do I say this in Spanish?” *picks up phone and google translates a word*
That was probably the first thing that comes to mind of every person, who visits a new country unless you have learned the language already or you were very well prepared. Well in some students’ cases it is not, so it is quite a struggle to travel from A to B without any miscommunication happening. Anyhow it is of course still an experience, not many people are able to get!
Our experience so far:
For me, when I hear Spain or any Spanish destination then the word ‚holiday‘ comes to mind, since most people, well at least the people from Germany often visit city/place in Spain and its strongest financial base is the tourism.
Moving to a new country means learning a new language, which is not easy in the beginning for everyone also Spanish people mostly the ladies here tend to speak very fast and it is quite hard to cope and understand. However, I still have to manage how to get used to it. Also not to mention they have different eating times than we do in Germany so I had to adjust my usual eating times and adapt to the Spanish one.
Moving on to the environment here, I think Spaniards are very friendly and try to help you whenever they can. Although most of them are non English speakers or are too shy to speak the language, they will try to give you answers to your questions in some way possible. Also worth mentioning, the architecture of the buildings are amazing, which completes the ideal of a lively city with old buildings. And of course the sunny weather completes the good vibes when strolling through Madrid.
All in all I can say, I’m very satisfied with this wonderful youthful city!
I arrived in Madrid on the 5th of September by plane and I was especially excitedabout my new home for the next months.
On my way to the flat, I remembered that I often heard people talking about the Metro when I told them I will spend my semester abroad in Madrid. And I can now confirm that Madrid definitely has one of the best public transports in Europe if not the best. It is super clean and most of the time you never need to wait for more than 3 minutes for your train. It took me about 20 minutes from the airport to the station Operá which is right in front of my house I live in. Operá is in the center of Madrid and from my balcony, I can look at the Operá of Madrid. I am more than satisfied with my room it is in an old typical Spanish building and my flatmates are super cool as well. The first night in the center was really noisy and loud. Spanish people are used to being up late and they are a pretty loud in general. I got used to it now but it can be really frustrating in the beginning. The university is completely different and huge compared to the Macromedia Campus, what I personally enjoy. It’s super big and if you want to you can really get to know a lot of people.We have different places to eat as well and there is a gym with a big swimming pool which is my personal highlight on the university ground. Since the university is a bit outside of Madrid the university has got its own private shuttles for the students to get there. The lessons have a big difference to German universities, if you compare it, the lessons are more like school lessons.You need to participate in class and show the professor that you are mentally and physically present. But in general, I’m really happy with my choice.At this moment I can really say I enjoy my time in Madrid. I made new friends and I eat a lot of good food here. One thing to mention there are parties in Madrid from Monday to Sunday.
It feels like starting University all over again but this time of course in a different country with a widespread of other opportunities. I must say Madrid has been treating me great so far, I am amazed by the architecture the buildings have and the variety of activities you can do as a student here. I’d say the city is ideal for a someone, who is quite new in travelling and doesn’t want to go for a big step but still try something new in life. Also just to put it out there I completely find the subway so easy to manage and tickets for people, who are under 25 years old cost 20 EUR for all the zones of Madrid for all of the transport vehicles. This way you are able to enjoy Madrid on a budget!
Moving on to the uni- versity itself, which is honest- ly huge com- pared to the campus we have in Germany and it reminds me of the universities in the United States. Since the University is in the outskirt of Madrid they pretty much have their own amenities, such as a café/restaurant, bank and a small chapel as well (for those who are catholic), I mean since it’s a catholic university. Also they have their own shuttle busses that the students can use to go the Madrid centre and it also picks up students from the centre going to the University, which is in my opinion pretty convenient.
The people at the UFV (Universidad Francisco de Vitoria) are very helpful and what I love is that they work with a StartUp company called “CityLife Madrid”, who really try to integrate the students into the city with all the activities they have prepared for us such as ‘Student Welcome Day Madrid’ or ‘Thursday MeetUp’. So you don’t have to worry about not knowing anyone and feeling like you’re the only person, who has no clue what to do in life. You’ll likely meet another person with the same problem.
Well, anyways coming to an end and oh parties? Madrid has a lot in store for you with amazing bars and clubs to hang out with friends on weekends so no doubt about that and it is pretty cheap as well!
Anyways, this is just a month and a half, let’s see how it goes in the next month. Until then, see you in the next blog post!
Philipp, Lenny & Alyssa