My semester abroad at the Universidad de Nebrija in Madrid was super nice and I had a great four months there. In September I decided to do a semester abroad and then sent my application to the Universidad de Nebrija via MicroEDU. The application process was easy and Tatjana was always on hand to answer any questions! During my stay, too, she asked if I liked it and was able to answer any remaining questions. I felt very well looked after with MicroEDU !
The support at the university here in Madrid was also great. Nebrija is a small university, which I found very pleasant. The courses were all on campus in the city (Calle de Santa Cruz de Marcenado), so easy to reach. There is really a family atmosphere and after a few weeks the professors know the names. I first had to get used to the fact that professors are addressed by their first names and that there is a personal, relaxed relationship with them. And homework! We always had a (small) homework assignment in most subjects. Before Easter, mid-terms were written in some subjects or we had to give a presentation. It felt a bit like school to me, as a lot of emphasis is placed on participation, presence and group work during the course.
According to Andyeducation, the first days are used to organize and organize the language courses and to compile the timetable. It is quite normal for a few courses to be selected again. A friend and I then had a business course with other Spanish students, as the courses for the internationals were probably full. So if you don’t get the previously selected courses right away, no problem, there are other options and the supervisors at Nebrija will advise and help you.
I had booked a hostel for the first few nights and then looked for apartments on site. I am happy with my decision because I was able to look at the rooms / apartments on site. You can make appointments via websites such as idealista or easypiso (the best thing to do is call, most of them either do not respond to e-mails at all or very late) and visit them on the same day. Everything is rented out in Madrid, so take your time and look at the apartments beforehand. So you can see whether there is a window (sometimes rooms are rented without or only with a very small window) or heating (very useful, February / March was still fresh) and you can also get to know the roommates. And be careful with possible fees (commission, even with idealista there are always apartments that an agency rents and then commission costs are incurred).
It worked out well for me and I was lucky and found my great flat on the second day, right in the center of Sol. The location was just perfect: the metro station Sol could be reached in 5 minutes (from there it is about 15 minutes to the university) and everything else could be explored on foot (in a radius of 20 minutes on foot you could get really far;))! I thought that was great because it gave you a quick overview of the city.
A subway subscription is worthwhile for getting around Madrid: 20 euros per month for everyone under 26 years of age. The metro runs until 1:30 a.m. and really regularly (every 5 minutes during the day, then every 15 minutes at night). And as I said, everything from Sol to Malasaña or La Latina is on foot.
A flat share is highly recommended, because you have a few people from whom you can get tips or do something together, especially if the university has not yet started (after that it is super fast and you can find a lot of new people at the university). And not despairing and impatient that I had found an apartment so quickly was really lucky and I was super happy, but I also heard from others who had been looking for longer.
When it comes to nightlife and other activities, Madrid has endless possibilities to offer: during the day from sightseeing (Palacio Real, museums) to relaxation in the Retiro Park or the Casa de Campo to various festivals and parades (in the week before Easter, 2nd May, San Isidro). Madrid is also great for sports enthusiasts: whether football or tennis, there is always something going on! Tickets for a Real or Atletico game can usually be bought a week before the game (also for the Champions League). The Salamanca district is also super beautiful and has a great flair (there is a café here that lives up to its name: La mejor tarta de chocolate del mundo;)).
Madrid is also famous for its nightlife. You can easily find a location to celebrate every evening ! Monday to Friday there are also many offers for cocktails (especially mojitos).
The meal times were a change at the beginning, but you get used to it super quickly. Lunch is usually eaten between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. and in the evening between 8 p.m. and 11 p.m. When you go out, 1:30 am is a normal time to arrive at the club and few people go home before 6am. Admission to clubs in Madrid is relatively high, but usually includes a drink or two; you can also write yourself on a list in advance on the Internet (Facebook), then you can save the entrance fee.
There is always a lot going on in the evening, the streets are full of young people and women don’t really have to worry at night. Of course, you should be vigilant and watch out for your bag, especially at tourist spots, pickpockets are on the way.
Malasaña is a super nice neighborhood ! Countless cafes and bars, so an absolute must both during the day and in the evening! During my time, I have always discovered new cafes and bars and simply enjoyed strolling through the small streets and enjoying Spanish life for hours in the squares on warm summer nights. And of course tapas;) in La Latina there are two streets where one tapas bar is the next.
We also recommend the great roof terrace at the Circulo de las Bellas Artes, from where you can enjoy a wonderful view over the city. You will definitely never get bored in Madrid and the Spaniards are always up for fun.
On the weekends I took day trips, for example to Segovia or Toledo, and also weekend trips, for example to Granada, Seville or Barcelona. We either booked it here through one of the many organizations (be madrid, citylife madrid, smart insider…) or organized it ourselves. Taking the bus or blablacar.es to Granada, for example, was super pleasant, easy and cheap. Madrid is a great starting point to travel! There are also many cheap offers to Portugal or Morocco. Some Americans who used Madrid for their Eurotrips studied with me;) Over Easter we also had a week off, which can be used for visitors or excursions:)
Even if it may be difficult at the beginning, dare to speak Spanish. Most Spaniards thank you for not starting out in English and are understanding if you don’t understand something or if they repeat something. The main thing is that you’ve tried.
Madrid was the perfect city for me to visit and I can only recommend it. Have fun and if you have any questions you can write to me again. Hasta la proxima, Madrid!