¡Hola! ¿Qué tal?
For a bit of background, I’ve been in Madrid for just over two weeks studying law at IE Universidad.
Madrid as a city
Madrid is an incredibly vibrant city and I found an apartment right in the heart of it all, a short walk from Sol. Madrid certainly lives up to its reputation as the city that never sleeps – the streets are always bustling with people enjoying a cerveza or tinto de verano (the better version of sangria). While Sol can be a bit touristy, it is super convenient and in 5 minutes you can walk to some of the coolest barrios in Madrid, like: Lavapies, whose immigrant influences are full of Middle Eastern/Indian culinary delights; La Latina, famous for the biggest Sunday flea market, El Rastro; Chueca, the lively gay capital; Malasana, a trendy student barrio; and of course, Retiro, home to the biggest park in Madrid.
From the few classes I’ve had already, I can say IE is substantially different to UTS. The classes are made up of around 30-40 students and are all taught in our ‘tutorial’ style (that is, no lectures). The classes are taught in a very collaborative and interactive way, so you definitely need to keep up with the readings to make sure you can participate and answer questions the tutor directs at you. The workload is slightly more than at UTS (I’m studying 6 subjects to make up enough credit points), but so far the classes have been really interesting.
While I was restricted to only doing law subjects, the law subjects have been quite business focused. Studying Law/Business at UTS, I’ve found this quite useful.
Some practical advice
For anyone studying at IE – or anywhere in Spain for that matter – make sure you apply for your Spanish visa as soon as possible, especially if you’re planning on travelling beforehand. The process took around 2-3 weeks for me but caused a fair deal more stress than it should have because of how late I left it. I managed to fit in 7 weeks of travel before starting uni.
I found a room in an apartment using Uniplaces, but there are also plenty of other websites that IE recommends. While you don’t actually get to see the apartment or meet the people you’ll be living with, it saves the stress of getting to Madrid early to find a suitable place to stay. From my experience, it was definitely worth the slight risk and I get along really well with my housemates, so I’d highly recommend finding a place before arriving in Madrid!
Bachelor of Business / Bachelor of Laws
For more information about the UTS Global Exchange program please visit: www.global-exchange.uts.edu.au