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Madrid: when it's good, it's really good; when it's bad, it's very bad.

Why did you choose to go to Madrid, Spain?

Because I wanted to improve my Spanish level, and because it was close to "home".

For how long lasts the scholarship? How much money do you receive to help you with living costs?

Doesn't last a bit! Dividing by months it would be about 250 euros per month... almost not enough to even pay for the room!

What is the student lifestyle like in Madrid?

It's great, no complaints here. Lots of parties and companionship, especially between Erasmus people. The Spanish tend to be closed to foreigners, but there are also plenty of friendly Latin-Americans with who you can practice the language!

Would you recommend the city and the University of Madrid to other students?

I recommend Madrid, but I don't recommend the "Universidad Autónoma de Madrid" (Autonomous University of Madrid). When you arrive in the beginning you almost go insane with all the bureaucracy and all the stuff you have to do to get everything in order. It's you that has to organize your schedules (and believe me, it ain't easy), arrange the equivalences of the subjects, contact and schedule meetings with the coordinators of each study area so that they'll let you in the subject classes, etc. IT'S MADNESS!

And then, most of the teachers has absolutely no consideration for the fact that you're an Erasmus student. You don't get any perks here, just pure hard work will get you through, and if you don't want it then sucks to be you. If you think Erasmus is all fun and games, you're gonna have a bad time. In the Autónoma is exactly the opposite.

And if you do come here, you better know how to talk and write in Spanish, because most teachers don't accept assignments/exams written in other idioms!

What is the food like?

I hate tapas, they're expensive and not worth it. Other than that, I'd say it doesn't differ much from the Portuguese food.

How did you find your accommodation?

Internet. And I almost went mad! I did it all in a single weekend, and I advise against it. Go to Madrid with enough time to spare, book an hotel room for a couple of weeks and go check out places during that time.

How are the prices in general?

Absurdly expensive. It's hard to find a room in Madrid for less than 300€. I advise getting a room in the "afueras", the suburbs near the Universities, which are usually pretty well served in terms of transportation and are a lot cheaper. The food is also expensive (eating out is a luxury, unless it's on a McDonald's, Burguer King or so on). Going out is also expensive (solution - having a "botellón" or drinking at home before going out! ). The supermarkets are more or less the same as in Portugal, and the museums in the Community of Madrid have free entrance for students until 25 years old.

Is the language easy to get to grips with? Are there language courses available at the University?

It's relatively similar to Portuguese, so it was fairly easy. I went to free language course (b2 level) and I'd say it was useful, and since it's free and helpful might as well take the chance.

What's the easiest or most economical way to travel to Madrid from your city?

Airplane - easyjet/ryanair

Where would you recommend to go on a night out in Madrid?

Chueca, La Latina, Plaza de España, Malaseña, Arguelles...

What good cultural sites are there to visit?

Go to Toledo and to El Escorial. In Madrid, besides the obvious places, you should definitely visit Templo de Debot.

Is there any other advice that you could give to students going to Madrid in the future?

DISFRUTAR CHICOS! Try to find a balance between Uni and social life. Go to the events organized by ESN, you'll have a lot of fun and you'll meet lots of new people!

Share your Erasmus Experience in Madrid!

If you know Madrid as native, traveler or as exchange student... share your opinion on Madrid! Rate different characteristics and share your experience.

Comments (1 comments)

  • Cristina Peña 4 years ago

    Im agree, Madrid is very expensive compares with Lisbon or other cities in Portugal but I always recomend to Take your time to find a place where you are going to live 4 months or 10 months... I have to say that I live near Alonso Martínez metro and I pay 220€ for the rent of the room... It took me two weeks to find it but is awesome!! I recomend to come before and spend time..Because some rooms are very expensive and shitty..but you can find, with time, some really nice places! Also Lavapies is cheaper than other áreas and its near from Sol.. Also a friend lives near Sol and pay 250€ all inclusive... So Dont get madness and take you time!! :)

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