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IE Universidad, Spain

I have just started studying law at IE Universidad – Madrid campus and am loving it so far.

Life in Madrid is very laid back and it took a few days to adjust to a much slower paced lifestyle than Sydney. A typical day involves late starts, dinners between 10-11pm before heading out at 1am.

After a 7 week tour around Europe, I was so glad to settle in Madrid create a home out of my 4 bedroom apartment in Sol. My housemates are all from Italy so I get to practice my Italian at home and am slowly learning Spanish during everyday interactions with locals.

Sol is right in the centre of Madrid, with tapas bars, cafes and restaurants being at my doorstep. My balcony is above a small but lively square, so it has taken a bit of time to get used to sleeping through the chatter until 2am and young people coming out of the club at 6am, it is truly a city that never sleeps. The adjustment is definitely worth it and would recommend prioritising living in a student area brimming with life (such as Sol, Malasaña, La Latina or Chueca) than living next door to Uni (located in an upper class area) as transport in Madrid is very efficient anyway and it is only a short bus ride away.

I am only in week two of classes at IE but so far the teaching style has been quite different to UTS. There are no lectures and tutorials are structured in a small classroom with around 30 people. A large portion of our grades are attributed to participation, so doing the readings is important. In saying that I have a few law subjects that have no readings at all and are entirely practical based. For example, one of my subjects is called Law Unplugged – Negotiations and during our first class we had to role play a hypothetical scenario involving strategic negotiation on behalf of a company. Marks are based on how well we negotiate and whether we achieved the desired result. Something to keep  in mind is that being most known for its business school, I have found that the IE law courses offered are also heavily business influenced.

Being so central in Europe I am already planning weekends away to Morocco, Portugal, the South of France and have just booked tickets to Oktoberfest.

Cost of living in Madrid is ridiculously cheap, there is a tapas bar on my street that does 1.50 pints of beer and sangria and another student bar where you only pay 5 euro for a huge drink and they give you a large plate of tapas for free of their choice (this never disappoints when you can’t be bothered to cook). Below is a trendy place around the corner from me that is a deli during the day and wine bar by night. I have also just gotten a transport card for young people that costs 20 euro a month to take any form of transport.

It is impossible to get bored here, there is always something to do, whether it is wandering the streets and discovering hidden gems, playing 5 aside football in El Parque del Retiro or visiting the many museums and art galleries free for students.

Next week I am going to sign up to a free salsa class – something I never thought I’d do!

Emma McCarthy
Bachelor of Laws / Bachelor of Communications
IE Universidad
Spain

For more information about the UTS Global Exchange program please visit: www.global-exchange.uts.edu.au

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