Studying abroad is an enriching and stimulating experience for students when done right. When it goes wrong, it can be a nightmare. One of the most popular destinations for British students going abroad is Spain. It is an affordable destination, the country offers something for everyone, and you’ll learn a language spoken in much of the world. Here are the do’s and don’ts of studying in Spain.
Don’t Stay in a Bubble
A common mistake people make when traveling abroad is staying in a bubble. They’re surrounded by people from the same country and speaking the same language. This could end up being counterproductive.
You won’t improve your Spanish language skills if you’re never forced to use them. And you won’t learn much of the culture if you’re touring the architectural sites but rarely interact with the people. Visit social events in addition to going to the beach. Go to local cultural events in addition to an English language tour group at the museum.
One way to get out of your bubble is to stay somewhere that hosts a mix of locals and people from around the world instead of staying with a group of British students in the same building. Services like Collegiate will allow you to find fine student accommodation Madrid and take advantage of the country’s affordability. Check out some of their locations to find luxury accommodation close to whatever school you’re attending. You could end up staying with a truly international crowd.
Do Learn Castilian Spanish
One of the best ways to break out of your bubble and get the most out of your study-abroad session in Spain is to learn some Spanish before you go. Then you won’t face an impenetrable language barrier when you’re there. You’ll be able to ask basic questions or interact with people socially. This will force you to upgrade your language skills. Make certain you learn some Castilian Spanish slang as well, especially references to places, so it’ll be easier to navigate.
Don’t Expect Life to Be the Same
Spain is a modern European country, so you’ll find a number of similarities in terms of infrastructure. However, there are differences in the social, political, and economic landscape that affect you in a variety of ways. They have a more relaxed view of time, though timeliness still matters if you’re staring at the train schedule or visiting the doctor. Restaurants do take their time, so only go if you have the time.
For the English, the inconsistent opening and start times are frustrating, and matters are only made worse by the variation in when they take a siesta or a mid-day break. You can go shopping, but it will be in a series of small shops instead of a large retail outlet. Know that most establishments are closed roughly 12 to 3, and it is hard to find a place that serves food or snacks after midnight, as well.
Spain is one of the best places if you want to study abroad, get a top-class education, and immerse yourself in a rich and vibrant culture. Make sure that you follow our tips if you want to enjoy your stay and feel right at home.