Do you like nightlife? Sports? Art? Travel? How about fun? If you answered yes to any of those questions, than Madrid is the place to do your study abroad! Study abroad is all about having an experience that you can’t have back home. Doing something different. Learning something new. Madrid, as a thriving metropolis offers all of the above and more.
After they ousted the repressive Franco regime, Spaniards embraced their newfound freedom—and Madrid is the embodiment of that freedom. If you like to have a good time, you’ll never want for something to do. With a vibrant nightlife, it’s not uncommon to see people out until five or six in the morning. And that lifestyle is not just for college students, not in Madrid.
Maybe you’re looking for a little less party and a little more culture. Madrid does that pretty splendidly, too. With world-renowned art galleries, you will be able to sample the works of some of Europe’s greatest painters—Van Gogh, Renoir, Monet, Picasso, and more. If dance is more your thing, no worries: the home of flamenco, many restaurants have amazing, high energy performances, and the city hosts a huge festival annually. Jardin Botanica, Madrid’s botanical gardens, are home to over 30,000 exotic and unusual species of plant life. Feel free to hang out in the shade on a warm day in this beautiful setting. And if you’re going to study abroad in Madrid, make sure you take some time to visit some of the local churches. Legends, statues, and devoted believers shroud the churches, so at the very least it will be an experience just to visit.
Like shopping? Madrid’s a major producer of shoes. Filled with outlet stores that offer factory samples, you’ve never had so much fun shoe shopping in your life. That not your thing? No worries. As much as Madrid loves its fashion, it boasts other unique shopping experiences as well—like handmade instrument shops or delectable food markets.
Of course, everyone knows Madrid loves soccer. With FIFA claiming Madrid has the best soccer team of the 20th century, you know the games will be good. Lesser known, though, is the fact that Madrid is home to major marathons and cycling. But with such beautiful weather, it’s hard not to want to play outdoors. Especially because Madrid has the most cloudless days in any major city in Europe, and is known internationally for its breath-taking sunsets.
Sound good so far? Not so fast—you need to make sure you’re prepared. Unlike a lot of other large European cities, Madrid colleges don’t offer a lot of classes taught in English. This means that most college programs require at least an intermediate proficiency in Spanish. It also means that you are nigh but guaranteed to expand your Spanish skills, and you’ll likely come home fluent! Couple that with opportunities to take classes on Spanish culture, like history and food, and you will no doubt be an expert by the time you get home.
While you’ve got your nose in your textbooks, though, don’t forget to do some traveling. Spain has a fantastic public transportation system. It won’t be hard for you to get to other major cities in Spain, and on the weekends, take advantage of opportunities to explore neighboring Portugal, France, and other European countries!
A study abroad experience in Madrid, Spain will provide you with exactly what you want out of your international experience—a chance to try new things while having an amazing time and learning loads!