- buzzy, lively, exciting, fun, culturalMadrid
is a fantastic city – the best city in Europe! There is an amazing variety of things to do, see and enjoy and excellent nightlife. The work I found was interesting but after 10 months of limited responsibility I was more than ready to leave, but I’d recommend that you stay in Europe instead of going to other Spanish-speaking countries and find work; the experience is unbeatable for the CV and the Erasmus Grant
and salary really help with the finances. I had to move house very quickly as I hadn't realised that the accommodation I had sorted before leaving England was a very long way out from the city centre but the most important thing is choosing the people you live with - they are crucial to your language development. Stay in a hostel (Red or Purple Nest are perfect) while you are ringing landlords and looking at rooms in flats. Only live with Spanish or Latin American people, preferably students who you can go out with etc. and you’ll be surprised how quickly you pick up their expressions and accent! Have a really open mind and do not be shy otherwise you will struggle.
Useful local words: ‘Hasta Luego’ (see you later/bye), ‘Chulo’ (cool), ‘tiene buena pinta’ (it looks good, when talking about something not yet experienced), ‘Fallero’ (someone who organises 'las fallas' which is a massive week-long street party in April), ‘mejorcito’ (the very best).
What not to pack: English books.
What to pack: A warm winter coat for the winter months and flip flops for the summer.
Couldn't have done without: My laptop.
Word of advice: It’s definitely worth visiting the city beforehand if you can, to choose where to live.
TM, Spanish, Bristol University
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