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Living and studying abroad in Madrid, Spain, can be an incredibly beneficial experience. Madrid has just so much to offer, from educational opportunities, world-class universities, outdoor activities, explore-worthy landmarks, friendly and welcoming people, and a diverse community of international students you can join! Life as an international student in Madrid can be hectic. Madrid buzzes with enthusiasm, tourists, fascinating monuments and activities, and bustling nightlife. 

Reasons to Study Abroad in Madrid

As the capital of Spain, Madrid is a hub for international students and visitors alike. Located in the heart of the country, Madrid is a great city to live in, pursue studies, socialize, and simply thrive. This Spanish metropolis sees an average of over 250 days of sunshine per year, which means people who enjoy the sun can find their niche in Madrid. 

Here are the top 4 reasons to consider Madrid as your study abroad destination:

Study at Top Universities

Madrid is home to some of the top universities in Spain, like the Autonomous University of Madrid, Complutense University of Madrid, Polytechnic University of Madrid, etc. Universities in Madrid offer quality education in all fields of study, from the humanities to engineering. You can find anything you are looking for in Madrid. The universities are committed to giving students exceptional professional skills and career development opportunities. 

Join an Immense International Community

Madrid is one of the most preferred student cities in the world. Students from all over the world come to Madrid to pursue their studies. Whichever university you choose to study in Madrid, you will get to meet a diverse and international community of students. For example, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid hosts around 4,500 international students each year, making up around 22% of the whole student population at UC3M.

Enjoy a Fascinating Lifestyle 

Besides the outstanding cultural diversity, Madrid also boasts a fascinating lifestyle. The variety of cultural events, museums, and art galleries in Madrid make it pretty difficult to get bored. As an international student in Madrid, you can spend your leisure time exploring, pretty much, something new each day. Whether you want to visit one of the most popular art museums in the world, the Prado, walk along the buzzing streets of the Gran Vía, or visit one of the largest flea markets in Madrid, El Rastro, there is something for everyone.

Create Your Future Career

Once you find yourself in one of the exceptional Madrid universities, you will see that your future career is not as far away as you might have imagined. Madrid is one of the leading financial centers in Spain and Europe, where international students can gain a handful of experience, establish professional connections, and even complete internships with leading local companies. All these contribute to students earning the essential skills they need to succeed, achieve their professional goals, and gain strong employment prospects. 

Coming from outside of the EU/EEA? You might need a student visa to study in Madrid. Find everything you need to know about Spanish student visa types here.

Top Universities in Madrid

Madrid is home to numerous universities, all exceptional in their expertise. Some of them are consistently ranked in major national and international university ranking lists. Find some of the top universities in Madrid listed below: 

The Autonomous University of Madrid

The Autonomous University of Madrid, often referred to as la Autónoma, is a public university in Madrid, recognized for its world-class education. This university organizes a variety of cultural activities, including summer courses. La Autónoma is considered to be an entrepreneurial university, especially in business creation. The employability satisfaction is also relatively high, with 90% of graduates looking for a job, finding it in an average of 4-5 months.

Complutense University of Madrid

The Complutense University of Madrid is a public research university founded in Alcalá in 1293, making it one of the world’s oldest universities. You can find a wide range of courses taught in other languages apart from Spanish at this university. As an international student, you will have a variety of opportunities to participate in groundbreaking research, learn from distinguished professors, and receive extensive professional training in a multicultural environment.

University Carlos III of Madrid (UC3M)

University Carlos III of Madrid, also a public university, was established in 1989. Its international profile attracts students from all over the world to pursue their studies here. Almost 22% of the whole student population at this university is international, contributing to its bilingual and multicultural environment. UC3M actively encourages students to strive towards personal and professional development by providing an efficient, transparent, and equal environment. 

The Technical University of Madrid (UPM)

Also known as the Polytechnic University of Madrid, this university is recognized for its expertise in Engineering and Technology. UPM was founded in 1971 by merging numerous Technical Schools of Engineering and Architecture. While its foundation makes it a relatively young university, its schools date back to the 18th century. This university is at the forefront of technical research, and it comprises 21 separate schools on four campuses across Madrid.

Cost of Studying in Madrid

The cost of living in Madrid, compared to other popular international student cities, e.g., London, is cheap and affordable. Within Spain, on the other hand, Madrid is among the most expensive cities in terms of rent. However, this does not keep international students from pursuing their dream education in Madrid. As one of the major expenses, rent often comes in pretty affordable forms for international students, including the likes of flatshares or rented rooms. 

Some of the everyday costs in Madrid include: 

Food and Groceries 
Meal (Low-Cost Restaurant)12.00 €
A Loaf of White Bread (500g)0.90 €
A Dozen Eggs 1.98 €
Chicken Fillets (1kg)6.44 €
Apples (1kg)2.13 €
Tomato (1kg)1.89 €
Water (1.5-liter bottle)0.69 €
Domestic Beer (0.5-liter bottle)1.03 €
Cappuccino1.98 €
Coke/Pepsi (0.33-liter bottle)1.99 €
Other Costs
Local Transport Ticket1.50 €
Cinema Ticket9.00 €
Fitness Club (Monthly Fee)40.00 €

The average cost of rent in Madrid: 

Apartment TypeAverage Monthly Rent
1-Bedroom Apartment (Center)750-1,200 €
1-Bedroom Apartment (Outside of Center)550-900 €
3-Bedroom Apartment (Center)1,300-2,200 €
3-Bedroom Apartment (Outside of Center)900-1,500 €

Student Accommodation in Madrid

Student accommodation in Madrid comes in a few different types, from the most affordable to the least. International students in Madrid usually choose to live in shared spaces, like student halls of residence, shared apartments, or even shared rooms. This way, they get to share the cost of rent plus utilities and make friends along the way. 

Different types of accommodation options for international students in Spain include: 

  • Single Room: This is a common form of accommodation among international students. You can basically rent a single room and share the bathroom with a few other people, depending on the size of the apartment. The average monthly cost of a single room in Madrid is about 500€.
  • Shared Room: Renting a shared room in Madrid is an even cheaper option than renting a single room. You can share a room with any of your friends, or an assigned roommate. The monthly cost of a shared room in Madrid is approximately 350€.
  • Shared Apartments: Shared apartments are also a common form of accommodation for international students in Madrid. You will have your own room and privacy, but you will share different parts of the apartment, such as the kitchen, living room, and bathroom, with your flatmates. It is a great way to make friends and socialize. The average cost is 500€ per month, depending on the size of the apartment. 
  • Residence Halls: Residence halls provide international students in Madrid with all the necessary facilities, such as laundry, restaurant, or sports/gym facilities, but they are more costly than the formerly mentioned accommodation types. 
  • Private Apartments: Another less-affordable option is renting a private apartment. You will get to pay the total cost of rent and utilities on your own, the cost of which can be pretty expensive, depending on the apartment’s location and size.

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