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Study year abroad Madrid

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    Hi everyone,

    I'm currently at university in Bristol, England and am thinking about doing a study year abroad in Madrid.

    Is anyone currently/going to do a study year abroad here? What are your reccommendations? Is it expensive? What is the life like?

    Anything you can tell me would be really appreciated.

    Thanks!

    Krista
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    Cheaper than Bristol
    Much better nightlife
    Better weather
    Much friendlier people
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    I have lived in Bristol and Madrid. They both have merits and demerits.

    A lot of things are very subjective. For example, what does "better weather" mean? Compared with heavy drizzle, fog and wind, a hot day in Madrid can seem like bliss.

    But not if you have to spend a summer in Madrid and don't want to leave home in the daytime because the heat, pollution and still air make you feel like collapsing. And in winter heavy snow and ice are common in Madrid.

    The nightlife is quite good in Madrid in many ways. For example, there are places to go more or less nonstop every day of the week. On the other hand, you need to know the bouncers. Otherwise you are paying €10 or €20 just to enter a place, which normally covers a drink, and then roughly the same for another.

    As for music, Bristol is way ahead of Madrid. Live performances in Spain's capital are rare and usually very poor covers. Nothing new at all. Bristol has, for example, a thriving psytrance scene and many pubs that support new bands. I can't think of a musical scene in Madrid that has emerged or thrived since about 1980.

    I'd agree that people in Madrid are friendlier than in Bristol. There is a slight swagger that some mistake for arrogance but the trick is to swagger along too. Preferably with a nice smile on your face.

    Madrid is not much cheaper than Bristol to live in and in some ways is more expensive. You can save money by sticking to Spanish produce. One local supermarket of mine sells drinkable Spanish vodka at slightly less than £4 for a 750-ml bottle. Another sells edible Montgomery's Cheddar cheese at around £70 a kilo, compared with about £18 in the UK.

    What exactly are you looking for? I am currently in Madrid and can perhaps help with suggestions.
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    It's nice to hear that people are friendly in Madrid and that it is cheaper than Bristol - good news! £4 for a bottle of vodka... insane.

    What about accommodation? where are you staying and was it easy to find a place to stay?

    Thanks for your help
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    I didn't say it was much cheaper than Bristol, unless you are living on vodka alone. The costs are quite similar. Public transport is pretty inexpensive and reliable. Food is generally about the same cost or more. Madrid is NOT a cheap place to live in.

    If you are looking for somewhere cheap to live, go outside the euro zone. Romania, Bulgaria or Albania all spring to mind.

    I am staying in the Goya district of Madrid, in the Salamanca quarter, near the Palace of Sports. My flatmate, who is Spanish, found the place through an internet ad. We are paying €850 a month for a two-bedroom flat.

    It is no easier to find a place to stay here than in Bristol. Speaking Spanish helps. I think more people advertise privately (not through an estate agent) in Madrid than in Bristol.
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    (Original post by sohoscribbler)
    I didn't say it was much cheaper than Bristol, unless you are living on vodka alone. The costs are quite similar. Public transport is pretty inexpensive and reliable. Food is generally about the same cost or more. Madrid is NOT a cheap place to live in.

    If you are looking for somewhere cheap to live, go outside the euro zone. Romania, Bulgaria or Albania all spring to mind.

    I am staying in the Goya district of Madrid, in the Salamanca quarter, near the Palace of Sports. My flatmate, who is Spanish, found the place through an internet ad. We are paying €850 a month for a two-bedroom flat.

    It is no easier to find a place to stay here than in Bristol. Speaking Spanish helps. I think more people advertise privately (not through an estate agent) in Madrid than in Bristol.
    Hi sohoscribbler,

    I have a choice between applying to study at Madrid or at places in Belgium/Netherlands. Overall, would you recommend Madrid or do you wish you'd gone to another city?

    thanks
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    Hi bittersweet

    It's hard to say. Which place appeals to you the most?
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    (Original post by sohoscribbler)
    Hi bittersweet

    It's hard to say. Which place appeals to you the most?
    Well, Madrid because I like large cities. I live in London and I don't want to live in some small town... But I was wondering if you personally would recommend Madrid, or if you wish you'd tried some other destination.
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    Hi bittersweet

    Madrid is a big city and living there is not too bad. For me the main problems are the weather and the air contamination.

    It is usually either too hot or too cold in Madrid. There is rarely a happy medium.

    Some days the pollution is so bad I feel I am about to suffocate.

    For me the best aspects of Madrid are the late-night culture, which arguably beats London's, the cheap booze and fags and the architecture.

    The last of these, at least in a few select central areas, is what most wows me.

    PM me if you want to discuss living in Madrid further.

    But follow your heart. If you really want to live in Madrid, I doubt you will regret it. I have been to about 50 countries and there are very few I would not want to revisit.
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    Hi!

    I'm glad you're thinking about choosing Madrid for your year abroad, because it's such an amazing city. I'm Spanish myself, not from Madrid, but I've lived there for a year and totally loved it, since the first week I felt like at home.

    Sohoscribbler has already given you some advice about the zones where to stay, but I cant give you some more ideas so you can choose. For sure Goya is really nice, actually I think it's one of the nicer places around Madrid but sometimes it can be a bit expensive (850 euros, you've been so lucky!). I was living for a while in Argüelles, it's really nice too, full of students, near the city centre (a 20 minutes walk aprox from Plaza de España) and affordable, you have to be lucky but you can find really good flats. Also, I lived on Tetuán/Cuatro caminos which can be fine or not at all, there are some good places and others than seem not so nice, but anything close to Bravo Murillo will do. Well, in fact I think that if you avoid the south (sorry for that, there are some nice places but still...) you will be ok!

    If you have any question just ask or pm' me! I'm sure you will do great in Madrid and please don't forget to visit Templo de Debod by sunset because it's amazing and totally my favourite place in all the city.
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    I've never lived in Bristol, but I live in Edinburgh atm and I find it more expensive than Madrid in general terms. As for the accommodation, nobody will consider Madrid is a cheap place to live in if your accommodation is in such a posh area as Goya is . But if you live in a suburb like Tetuan or Usera im sure you can find cheaper flats. And its probably a better option cause these are quieter areas and it will only take you 15 mins or so to get into the city centre.

    Madrid has a vibrant night-life and I highly disagree with sohoscribbler about it being expensive. I usually go partying from 10.30 pm until 6am or so and I never spend more than 15€ even though I get loads of drinks. If there's something I love about Madrid, is that you can get free drinks everywhere (and you don't need to know the bouncers!), which allows me to drink for free until about 1.30am, after that time its up to you how much money you want to spend and whether you want to go somewhere where you have to pay for the entry or not. However, there are many drinks offers. Oh, and I dont know what is it like in Bristol but in Edinburgh the drinks are tiny, while the drinks in Madrid are proper ones

    What else... Spanish people in general are veeery friendly, maybe we the Madridians aren't the friendliest people in Spain but yet our temperament and character is warmer and friendlier,and we're very extrovert and quite open-minded. However this doesn't apply to every single person in the city, it depends on how lucky you are when meeting people.


    It's true that the weather in Madrid goes from one extreme to another. It can get very cold in the winter although we don't get snow that often. Summers in madrid are reaaally hot, with temperatures reaching 40º. However, I think temperatures in Madrid this week reached the 20º which isnt too different to the UK.


    If you have any other question just ask and Ill try to give you my Madridian point of view :P I'd just add that even though I dont think Madrid is the best city to live in for a long period of time cause it's to big and too crowded, I think its one of the best options (Not just Madrid but Spain in general) to go on your year abroad.
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    Madrid is not a bad place to live. There are worse punishments. Not much work, though.
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    I've lived in Madrid and Barcelona (albeit only for a few months) and I'd definitely advise you to consider Barcelona rather than Madrid. In general, for both cities, accommodation is of a relatively low standard and expensive for what you get (at least if you live in the city centre), the night life is great, you can get drunk for very little money (especially in Madrid with the abundance of bars) although clubs can be very expensive, and it gets painfully hot in summer.
    Other than that, I *really* didn't like Madrid, I found it really difficult to get by without speaking Spanish, I didn't find the people very friendly and in general I found it to be a cold city, if you know what I mean. I lived in a flatshare with a bunch of other internationals and the general impression was that people got really fed up with the city after a while and wanted to go back home. Barcelona, on the other hand, is much friendlier, it's a lot easier getting by there speaking just English, people are much nicer than in Madrid, it's nice being right by the sea and it's generally a nicer city, in my opinion.
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    (Original post by linda helena)
    I've lived in Madrid and Barcelona (albeit only for a few months) and I'd definitely advise you to consider Barcelona rather than Madrid. In general, for both cities, accommodation is of a relatively low standard and expensive for what you get (at least if you live in the city centre), the night life is great, you can get drunk for very little money (especially in Madrid with the abundance of bars) although clubs can be very expensive, and it gets painfully hot in summer.
    Other than that, I *really* didn't like Madrid, I found it really difficult to get by without speaking Spanish, I didn't find the people very friendly and in general I found it to be a cold city, if you know what I mean. I lived in a flatshare with a bunch of other internationals and the general impression was that people got really fed up with the city after a while and wanted to go back home. Barcelona, on the other hand, is much friendlier, it's a lot easier getting by there speaking just English, people are much nicer than in Madrid, it's nice being right by the sea and it's generally a nicer city, in my opinion.
    Did you study in Barcelona or Madrid?

    What schools teach in English in those cities? I'm from canada and would love to study in Spain


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