When thinking about studying abroad, one of the most difficult choices to make is which country, city, and university you’d like to study at. Here’s a quick summary of the reasons why I believe you should choose Madrid’s Universidad Pontificia Comillas ICADE over all the other choices.
The biggest barrier for most students studying abroad is the cost of the program. While you will be paying the same tuition, the cost of living is much cheaper in Spain. The average cost of rent is around 300 to 500€*. Clothes can be cheaper in Spain compared to the States. From December to March, most stores will have ‘rebajas’ or sales up to 80% off! I’ve seen stylish blazers being sold for 20€ in some stores. Dress shirts start from 5€ and average around 8€. Restaurants are cheaper as well. I can buy a large gyro for 5€, which I split into two meals, or go to a very fancy restaurant for 10€. Spain, in my opinion, is a very cost-efficient alternative to Prague, another highly coveted study abroad destination.
During my past two months here, I have grown very fond of the Spanish way of life. Here, many stores do not open to 10AM and they also take breaks in the afternoon (yes, siestas are real). Although this may sometimes be an inconvenience, siestas apply to your classes as well. I will often take a nap in the afternoon to wake up feeling refreshed and recharged. Spain has one of the largest amount of cervecerias or beer bars per capita in the world. This is great because you can hangout with your friends here, drink some beer, and eat some tapas. The selection of beer can sometimes be overwhelming.
If you’re not a fan of beer, no worries! Wine and liquor is also plentiful here, so are the clubs. You could probably check out a new club everyday during your time in Madrid and still not visit them all. However, I like to stick to the ones I know and like. It’s become a routine for me to go to Salsa Night at Le Boutique every Monday night.
The transportation system in Spain, and really in Europe in general, is fantastic. You will be able to explore every corner of Madrid, and its surrounding cities, by taking the metro. Buses and trains will connect you with the rest of Spain. Each city has its own charm and beauty. There’s plenty to experience in Spain alone that will keep you busy for several weekends.
Here are some pictures of the places I’ve visited so far:
Still not convinced yet? Over the next few months, check out the tag #WhySpain for more information about travel and living in Spain. I will try to attach a monetary value to everything I post to show you how inexpensive a semester abroad in Spain really is!
Til next time,
[*At the time of writing this, the exchange rate from USD to Euro is approximately $1.10 to 1€]