Choosing Your Accommodation Abroad
Hala Madrid! The Spanish Capital is arguably one of the most compelling cities in Europe. The municipality comprises a mix of modernism sitting side-by-side with art and culture from the times past.
For students pursuing degrees in Universities in this city, where to stay features at the top of the list of major concerns. If you are going to study here in Madrid, let these considerations guide your final selection of a living space:
Must you stay near the University or are you open to the idea of traveling? Would you have a high coefficient of happiness living in the lights and sounds of Madrid or would the tranquility of the city's suburbs suit you better? Giving true answers to these questions will get you started on choosing the most appropriate accommodation as a student.
Are you the life of the party or do you like spending time in your own company. Deciphering your position on the social interaction scale impacts on your accommodation choice. Not only should you choose the right lodgings but you should also consider who you'd be willing to share spaces with, in the event that you opt for shared accommodation.
This city offers a wide array of options. More often than not, the budget proves to be a significant factor in deciding the kind of accommodation you wish to opt for, mainly because student funds are never enough (if you get the drift). Therefore, it is paramount you weigh your options against the available financing at your disposal.
Are you looking to acing your study years and graduating summa cum laude? Or are your goals centered on immersing yourself in the ways and nuances of life in Madrid? If the first goal fits your description, you should opt for accommodation such as On-campus housing, that saves on travel time and allows maximum time/fewer distractions for self-study. However, if the latter goal tickles your fancy, gunning for a homestay would probably be the best option for you.
Now that we have the annoying (yet essential) points out of the way (but hopefully rooted in mind), let's examine the types of accommodation available to you students looking to move here to study:
Student’s residences in Madrid universities set out to foster the spirit of the interaction of cultures and ways of life. These residences provide a multicultural environment and engender critical thinking in learning and respect and consideration towards the values and beliefs of other races as well as partaking in responsible recreational activities.
Under this accommodation scheme, you can opt for catered residences. These residencies serve meals (which could range from dinner to 3 full meals per day, if you have deep pockets). In non-catered homes, students self-prepare their meals, which is less expensive than catered halls.
So what are the kicks with staying in a student residence in the city? They include the following:
- Think of warm meals and having your laundry done. (It does sound like heaven if you ask me.
- You can access support services such as internet facilities, reading rooms and other amenities that support student life.
- Living on the campus saves you transportation, time and costs.
And the things that suck about student residences that you should know about:
- Prepare to pay premium rates for the coziness and comfort; it does not come cheap.
- Early bird applications are necessary if you want a place to stay.
Flatshares (Shared Apartments)
Madrid also offers students, the opportunity to live in flatshares or shared apartments. As its name implies, students can band together and occupy the rooms in the flat. Often, this move centers on reducing expenses, where people split the rent and other incident expenses.
- You can stay together with friends
- The rent is shared, which reduces living expenses in the city.
- You can find this accommodation type online, recommended student bulletins and university housing services.
- Note that shared apartment are often devoid of furnishing.
- Many such facilities require the advance payment of rental and security deposit for securing the flat.
- Some flats may be a distance from the University grounds.
Single Flats for the Lone Ranger
Being a student in this city does not mean you have to put up with friends and people you do not know. While interacting with large numbers may form a part of the exciting Madrid school experience, you might be wired to retiring to your own space and some privacy at the day's end. If that's you, there are suitable housing alternatives for you.
You could look at taking residence in a studio. Studios are small apartments with 1 room, and sometimes a bathroom. Many of them will have a kitchenette, with ample space to get your cooking done.
If you desire more room, for your books and stereo systems (if you are the party-type), there are 1-room apartments. These apartments have a larger bedroom, a kitchen and in some cases, a living room area.
- You can keep your place as tidy or as untidy as you deem fit.
- You do not have to share amenities with anyone.
- This option might be the most expensive option for being a student in Madrid.
- You might incur substantial transportation costs getting to and from school.
Homestays for the Adventurer
A homestay is when a student stays with a family in Madrid, almost like being a member of the family. Universities in the city often maintain a register with essential information about approved homestay options. At its most basic, a homestay is the most preferred option for international students who wish to learn and imbibe Spanish culture.
- There is no better way to learn the language and the ways of life than staying with a Spanish-speaking family.
- You can be assured of warm and nutritious meals, which are usually included in the rent.
- You may find that your liberties are limited with little room for inviting friends or throwing parties.
- Your homestay may be far from the school grounds.
There you have it. After breaking down the options, you should know what your dream accommodation looks like. Good luck!