When talking about Madrid, parties, culture, fun, art and history come to mind. To talk about the city is to talk about going for some cañas with your friends, walking along the Gran Via, running through El Retiro, and arriving home when the sun is rising after an epic night out.
Madrid is a city full of life, where thousands of Erasmus students come with the aim of making the best out of their experience. It’s a big city, with many opportunities and things to do. At first, it’s normal to feel a little lost. All sorts of doubts come up: “which neighbourhood is the best to live in?”, “where do I buy my transport card?”, “How and where do I meet people?”. This is why the ESN philosophy was born – to help any international students arriving at their new university.
Madrid has many universities, both public and private, and six of them have their own ESN section: UC3M, UAM, UCM, URJC, Alcalá and UAX. But remember, you don’t have to be a university student to be part of ESN, everybody is welcome to become part of the ESN community!
The Carlos III University of Madrid is one of the six unis with their own ESN section: ESN UC3M. Formed by voluntary UC3M students, who had also done an Erasmus abroad, their goal is that your experience becomes the best one of your life! Here are their 5 reasons as to why ESN will be ever-present during your Erasmus in Madrid.
One of the most important things while staying in Madrid, is… to get comfortable with the language! Soon after you arrive, you will notice that outside of universities and downtown Madrid, the Spanish have quite limited English! Hence it will be helpful if you try to learn the local language as soon as possible.
Despite the courses offered by the university, at ESN UC3M we offer some spaces where you can learn our easygoing language. On our web page, you can sign up for the Tandem Programme (Programa Tándem) and we will assign you a partner to help you practice the languages you’d like to learn.
Every two weeks, we organise a “Spanish Tapas” night where we have “cañas” and “tapas” with friends and all take part in activities to practice Spanish and get to know people. Be aware! Tickets for this event usually sell out very quickly!
The great Ernest Hemingway once said
“To go to bed at night in Madrid marks you as a little queer. For a long time your friends will be a little uncomfortable about it. Nobody goes to bed in Madrid until they have killed the night. Appointments with a friend are habitually made for after midnight at the cafe.”
And he could not have said it better! Madrid is alive at night, as it is during the day, too! If you like partying, you’ve come to the right city, since you will not be home earlier than 6am if you go out!
You may take your first party steps with ESN. It doesn’t matter which semester you arrive for, we will always have welcome parties for you to find out what Ernest Hemingway meant.
Kapital, the biggest club in town, has 7 floors and different styles of music and may well become your second home; although with time you will discover that Madrid has a wide range of styles and places when going out for a party. Each neighbourhood is different.
Once a week, we hope that you will join us on our craziest night – “ESNoche Loca”. On this night, you can get to know other students and everyone at ESN UC3M while you drink and dance!
Not everything is related to partying, my dear Erasmus. Spain is a rich country culture-wise. At ESN, we will help you get to know our traditions through different activities, so you come closer to our history and culture.
We’ve got all kinds of activities. Have you ever seen a flamenco show? It will be an unforgettable experience! If you like art, then don’t miss our Gymkhana, which we organise at the Prado Museum. If you are crazy about football, come and visit the biggest stadium of Madrid, the Santiago Bernabéu!
“Leave your mark” is the theme of our project (Proyecto SocialErasmus). What does this mean? That despite living your experience at university to the max, you can also get socially involved as a Volunteer, helping others out, and leaving your mark in Madrid! From ESN, we promote different volunteering activities, which will give you a great sense of accomplishment and personal satisfaction.
One common activity is our “Erasmus in Schools”, where you go to Spanish schools and tell them about your exchange experience, talk about your country, and encourage them to do the same in the future!
Being an Erasmus student in the capital of Spain is quite cool. In case you weren’t aware, 65 million international tourists visit Spain annually. Why? Because our country has the best beaches, mountains, and weather! Some way or another, you WILL fall in love with Spain.
Every semester at ESN UC3M, we organise all sorts of trips to some of the main Spanish cities, such as Barcelona, Valencia, Toledo, Granada, Sevilla, etc.
At a national level, ESN also organises three annual events where thousands of Erasmus students gather in one city. The Ibiza trip in Spring is usually the most popular event for students! Can you imagine an event with over 2000 Erasmus students on such a paradisiacal island, partying and having the time of their lives on the beach?
If this plan sounds good and you’re going to be doing your Erasmus in Madrid, all you need to do is to find us or any other section of ESN in Madrid, which offer similar activities. We will do our best to help you from the beginning, answering all sorts of questions that you may have!
In our survival guide (Guía de Supervivencia) you will find all the necessary information in order to start moving around the city, and on our website and social media you’ll find more info about us, our activities, trips and all the people who will become your friends! When you arrive in Madrid, come to our office, get your ESN Card, and get ready to have the time of your life.
Fanpage on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/esn.uc3m/
Facebook group 2015/2016: https://www.facebook.com/groups/esnuc3m20152016/?fref=ts
Thanks for reading this post! We hope to see you soon, coming back for more.