My Erasmus studies came to its end in Madrid a while ago. I studied for the duration of the spring semester, a little over 4 months in Madrid at the Universidad Rey Juan Carlos. The university is located outside of the centre of Madrid, in Vicálvaro. For me it took about 50 min to get to school with the metro. It is a lot of time to travel one-way but in my opinion it wasn’t too bad, especially since I didn’t have school every day. I also knew that I wanted to live closer to the city centre than the university. I lived in south from the centre of Madrid, close to the Madrid Río. I think the area where I lived in was peaceful and nice, 15-20 min metro ride or about 30 min walk away from the centre.
The university campus was little old-fashioned in my opinion but it had all of the necessary features you needed. It had a quite large library, where you could go to study. The library even had some computers at the students’ disposal. I used the library a lot since I had a course that required doing a lot of homework with a computer. I had mostly business courses but I also had some studies in tourism and international relations. There was some variance in the level of teaching, which I wasn’t too happy with. Luckily there were a couple of good teachers on the courses that I chose.
In my opinion the teaching in Finland is at top level. It was interesting to hear that Erasmus students from other countries had also heard or read about the level of the education in my home country.
I travelled quite a lot in Spain while living in Madrid. My favourite trip was to Andalucía which was very beautiful. It was easy to travel from Madrid to other cities and that was actually one of the reasons I chose the capital of Spain for my Erasmus destination.
I had not been to Madrid before my Erasmus, so it was a completely new experience for me to explore the city. It came as a surprise for me how large the city actually is. The population of the metropolitan area of Madrid is about 6,5 million. In comparison the total population of Finland is 5,5 million. My favourite areas in Madrid were the trendy neighbourhood of Malasaña and La Latina. I enjoyed the good restaurants and terraces in those areas. I also loved the area of Madrid Río a lot.
Although Madrid did not live up to my initial expectations, I still feel that all in all my Erasmus experience was great! I met a lot of new people, and made new friends which when I think about it, makes Madrid actually very special for me.
I would encourage anyone who has the opportunity to go to Erasmus exchange. It will give you countless unforgettable experiences and friendships that hopefully lasts for a long time.