There are many things one needs to know about studying abroad in Spain. First, as a sunny country, Spain has around 3,000 hours of sunbeams. The chance to study abroad can be once in a lifetime, so having in mind essential things will keep you satisfied and not regretful.
The student lifestyle that Spain offers to every international student is quite attractive. Student housing is as important as finding the right bars to hang out with your new friends. That’s why exploring the types of student housing available in Spain will help you enjoy a smooth and comfortable study abroad experience.
Having a list of things you should know before moving to Spain will bring you a feeling of relief.
Here are the top things you should know while studying abroad in Spain:
Plan Your Finances
Going abroad for tertiary education can be exciting and fun, but that doesn’t mean you have to spend a lot of money. Take your time to plan your finances and make sure you make ends meet. The daily essentials will be affordable as long as you don’t add unnecessary and expensive products. It can be a bit hard to save up money while you’re studying in Spain.
However, you can come across a lot of saving tips. For example, decide on your study program before moving to Spain and see what’s left for the other essential expenses. In this way, you will automatically set the limit to your budget. If you are a full-time student studying abroad, you may be able to work part-time. Part-time jobs will make it easier for you to fund your trips around Spain.
Enjoy the Siesta Time
One of the most pleasurable things while studying abroad in Spain is experiencing siesta time. The post-lunch afternoon nap is relaxing and refreshing. You will see that all the small adventures will start in the afternoon. Cafés and restaurants will also take a break at this time, so don’t consider reservations in the period between 2 and 5 PM.
Enjoy the life of locals and take a nap, just because it is a traditional kind of thing. While people in some professions cannot fit into the schedule of “siesta time,” a considerable number of Spaniards still come across this cultural phenomenon. In fact, some people are integrating the benefits of siesta into their daily work as it brings more productivity. It all comes down to the question, “If people can smoke or have a coffee during their break time, why can’t they nap?”
Make Friends From Different Cultures
When studying abroad, it is essential to get out of your comfort zone. One of the best ways to let yourself meet different world perspectives is by trying new things, challenging yourself in inexperienced activities, and meeting new people. When we move to a country abroad, we get comfortable spending time with people from our home country. That’s because we are already exercising inherited knowledge and not being challenged.
It’s important to stay and hang out with people from different cultures and backgrounds. Try to consider these recommendations so that you can develop meaningful connections and get a global perspective. Furthermore, participating in social and cultural activities allows you to learn from people willing to share their knowledge and culture. In this way, you won’t stay inside a bubble and you will experience personal growth.
Embrace the Spanish Language
While you’re studying abroad in Spain, it is an excellent chance to start learning its language. In the beginning, it might require more effort to form proper sentences in Spanish, but gradually you will speak Spanish without hesitation. If your study abroad program offers to place you in accommodation with other international students and locals, it will be an incredible opportunity to improve your Spanish language skills.
However, in case your program doesn’t offer you shared accommodation with locals and international students, you can easily find an apartment on your own. It is important to note that rent is relatively inexpensive in Spain compared to other countries. Thus, sharing an apartment is always beneficial when you’re on a tight budget and want to socialize more.
Experience the Spanish Nightlife
The Spaniards are the kings and queens of nightlife, but that’s not all. There is one bar for every 165 people in Spain, the highest ratio in Europe. For example, the number of bars in Madrid exceeds the total number of bars in Norway. Spain’s bars are usually flashy and loud, with music playing and drinks flowing. In some places, sitting at the bar as opposed to a table will guarantee cheaper drinks, while sitting outside results in more expensive beverages.
On the other hand, if you want to try some traditional Spanish nightlife, experience an evening of flamenco. A flamenco show can be found in any part of Spain, but it can be difficult to tell what is a tourist trap and what isn’t. Head south to Andalusia, flamenco’s birthplace, for the best shows. Don’t look online for the most authentic performances. Instead, go out in the afternoon and look for flyers or ask around in local bars. They’ll know exactly where to send you.
Get To Know Your Host University and City
Spain is a dream country for studying abroad. There are many things you can find out while you study in Spain. But before you move to your host city, take some time to research so at least you can be able to navigate yourself through it. It will all be easy once you know the basics of your host university. In a rush to tick off too many countries and landmarks, many students fail to comprehend the country or city they are actually living in.
A basic understanding of your host country will enable you to interact with your local environment in a meaningful way. As you become better acquainted with the environment in which you will live and study, you will be able to challenge assumptions and misconceptions you may have about the people and place. The best part is that you will be able to understand and cope with the differences between your expectations and the reality you experience.