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in     by Sophie Patman 10-05-2018
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When deciding where to do my Spanish side of the year abroad, I had always wanted to do it in Madrid. Having never been before and having been told such amazing things, I felt like I had to try it out, and it’s safe to say it has not disappointed at all. So here I will briefly explain to you some of the reasons why you should choose Madrid as your year abroad destination: 

1)     The size of the city

Despite having spent 5 months living in Italy, I was still rather nervous about embarking upon my adventure in Madrid. I have grown up in the English countryside, attending a small city university in England and Pisa itself is not the biggest of towns, so for me, a capital city was something I had never experienced before, thus I felt quite nervous about how I would cope. However, ironically, this has proved to be one of the things I have loved most about being in Madrid, it is the perfect sized city as it is not quite as big as London or Paris which takes away the daunting edge a little bit. I had never appreciated before how fun and exciting being in a big city could be; there are unlimited things to do here in Madrid, from exhibitions, to museums to salsa classes to sightseeing, the list is endless. So much so that the thought of me going back home to my little village in England leaves me wondering what I can fill my time with.

2)     Value for money

When one thinks of capital cities, what often comes straight into people’s heads is money and how expensive it is going to be. Yet Madrid has surprised me massively on this front; apart from the rent which is averagely priced for capital cities, everything else in the city is incredibly cheap. With your average beer and glass of wine costing around €2.50 what more could you want! In addition to this, one thing which is incredible value for money is transport for 18-26 years old. My monthly transport card costs €20 a month, which includes endless use of the metro, bus and train network not only in the city center, but within the region of Madrid and surrounding towns which is amazing value!

3)     Language

As I’ve mentioned before in these blogs, it is so easy to forget the principle reason as to why we are abroad, to learn the lingo! Thus, this is another reason as to why Madrid is a really good place to spend your Spanish semester. In fact, out of a lot of the larger cities in Spain, Madrid is probably one of the few where they speak Castellano Spanish. For example, in Barcelona, Valencia and Seville, three of the main Spanish cities, they either speak Catalan or have a strong dialect making the language barrier even greater than it needs to be. Therefore, this is one thing I have really enjoyed about Madrid, how easy it is for me to understand the Spanish here and hence I feel like I have improved a lot consequently.

So to conclude, if you’re looking for a vibrant, busy and not super expensive city, Madrid is what you’re looking for. It is so easy to put together a fun itinerary for everyone no matter what your interests; from artistic exhibitions and galleries, touristic sights, the nightlife barrios of Malsaña and Chueca, to snazzy cafes and bars, this doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface. And last but not least, your Spanish will improve! 

Thanks for reading,

Sophie

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