Arrival to the Madrid and first days of the university:
Arriving to Madrid was both stressful and exciting at the same time. It was stressful because I needed to find a place to stay and therefore it meant lot of room hunting through various websites which I found idealista.com best out of them. Scrolling through countless ads to find a clean, safe and also affordable and central place was not a very easy task. Finally, after couple of visits to the ones I picked, I found a nice room with the perfect location in a very traditional suburb called La Latina. It was suggested by the local students that staying in centre is much better than on-campus accommodation even though it takes some time to get to campus by train (about 45 minutes to an hour for me), there is nothing better walking back home at 6 am after a crazy night out. Also, you are in the middle of everything Madrid offers, from exceptional tapas bars in La Latina to the hippest cafes in Malasaña. I spent most of time before the orientation days exploring the city, marking the spots I found interesting and trying various foods Spain has to offer.
Being an engineering and business student I went to the orientation days at both campuses of Carlos 3 de Madrid which are 40 minutes away from each other by public transportation. Being on both campuses during the semester, I found both campuses have different things to offer but enjoyed my time at Getafe (Business) campus more than the Leganes (Engineering) campus. I met a lot people during these days which turned out to be my best friends at my time in Spain. My suggestion for the students going to Carlos 3 would be to not to miss the orientation day and also to attend many of the activities as possible, organised by the exchange student network in the first weeks. There won’t be many after since classes get more real and you actually have to attend them!
How to balance studying and partying:
There are parties every day in Madrid. Most of them are organised by party promoters who will send you friend request as soon as you like the exchange incoming page of your home university on Facebook. I suggest adding couple of them as friends since you will know what is happening in where all the time! I definitely suggest taking afternoon classes if possible or maybe couple of late morning classes, because trust me, you will definitely skip those 9 am classes when you get back home at 6 am. If possible, try to fit all your classes into mid-week so that you can use that long weekends travelling to amazing cities of Spain. At the end do not worry if you cannot do that, it does not hurt to miss 1 or 2 classes in some weeks, right?
Madrid was my only preference for the exchange because … come on, it is Madrid! Spain has beautiful cities to travel, great food and culture and it is also the hub for exchange students from all around the world. You are in the middle of Europe which makes it incredibly easy to travel cheap anywhere in it.
I tried to give some insights for what you expect as a student in Madrid because anything else I write would not top the other blog post written about Madrid so definitely check them out!
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