Study Abroad Spain: Living in Madrid
Here are some great insights from one of our current International Business students:
When living in Madrid it would be a plus if you spend a few weeks with a host family before finding your own place. This will force you to practice your Spanish while you’re at home and have traditional Spanish meals prepared right in your kitchen. It will also give you some time to learn which areas you should be looking into for your apartment instead of going for it blindfold.
Madrid is a big city which has so much to offer that it might seem impossible to do all the must-see sites and some exploring of your own without getting lost. This is where Madrid’s great transportation system comes in. I cannot stress how great the system truly is! It doesn’t even matter where you go, chances are there is a metro, bus, or train headed that way. Buses, trains, and metro cars are clean, safe and punctual. Even if you do not use public transportation back home it will take you very little time to get accustomed to this one. They are so practical, opening from 6am to 1:30am, which is a step up from the Barcelona metro which tends to end at midnight.
Although over 6 million tourists visit Madrid every year, the Madrileños are very keen on their language. This is why you should definitely plan on taking a few Spanish classes or brushing up on the ones you took in high school. Spanish is a fairly easy language to grasp, especially if you are out and about with friends, going to restaurants, the movies, bars and other places. Wherever you might be from, Madrid will be somewhat of a culture shock, but this is part of what makes this city such a great place – its unapologetically Spanish with deep cultural roots.
By Nada Hssain