If you are learning Spanish, the best thing you can do to pick it up quickly is to immerse yourself in the language. And of course, the best way to immerse yourself is to be in a Spanish speaking country! Studying Spanish abroad gives you the best of everything; true Spanish immersion along with guidance from native speakers to perfect your grammar and vocabulary as you practice. But where should you choose to study? To help you make that decision, here are some reasons why Madrid is a great study destination.
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Photo via Flickr
Learn Spanish to unleash the traveler in you
Spanish is spoken by more than 483 million people around the world, and as an official language in 20 countries. So learning Spanish in the beautiful city of Madrid is really a stepping stone for your ongoing travel plans. Spain itself is a beautiful country to travel through, from its mountainous north on the border with France to the never-ending sunshine of its southern coast close to Morocco. And learning in Madrid puts you right in the middle of the country making it perfectly placed for onward travel. Once you've mastered the slight variations in Spanish in Spain, you will be ready to take on the challenge of speaking Spanish in the countries of South America!
The best city to immerse yourself in Spanish learning
So what makes Madrid such a great city for Spanish immersion? As the capital of Spain, Madrid is the hub of a vibrant art and culture scene. With famous art museums like the Museo Nacional del Prado, and Arco Madrid, one of the biggest international contemporary art festivals, you can put your Spanish skills to the test while looking at beautiful things! Madrid is well known for its nightlife too, and some of the best outdoor cafes to visit if you want to soak up some Spanish and sun at the same time. And with ready-made traveling companions in your fellow classmates, who knows what adventures you might find yourself on in Madrid!
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Photo via Wikimedia
Practicing your Spanish out and about in Madrid
Madrid is used to an international crowd, its Plaza Mayor regularly overflowing with visitors from across the world. Between tourists coming to see attractions like Sobrino de Botín, the world's oldest restaurant, and football fans packing into the Santiago Bernabéu stadium, home of Real Madrid, the city is used to hearing Spanish on a foreign tongue. Which means you shouldn't be afraid to practice your Spanish in Madrid! Locals are welcoming, and will happily chat to you in simple Spanish, or give you tips on the best things to see and do. Of course, the first time you try might be nerve-wracking, but with the confidence picked up in your language courses and native teachers ready to help you navigate any language faux pas, give it a couple of days; you'll forget you were even nervous about speaking Spanish!
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Photo via Pixabay
Time for sensible things; what is the cost of living in Madrid?
Your first priority when planning to study abroad should be to work out your budget. The last thing you need is to be going into your classroom hungry because you didn't budget enough for food, or having your sleep disturbed because you overspent on luxuries and as a result ended up in an apartment in the noisiest part of town. Be honest with yourself about your study and living needs before you even set off; your experience will be so much better for it! So let's give you some price comparisons to get you started. Firstly, with regard to the cost of living, according to Expatistan Madrid is 47 percent cheaper than New York, 31 percent cheaper than Chicago, and 34 percent cheaper than Los Angeles. Secondly, with day to day costs, here are some basics to help. The exchange rate between the U.S. dollar and the Euro is around $1 to €0.90. Numbeo says that a small bottle of water will set you back €1.29, a beer €3.00, a month travel pass €54.60, and a single-occupancy apartment between €700 and €900 depending on whether you centrally or outside of the city. If you don't mind sharing the cost of accommodation will significantly be reduced.
Thinking of studying Spanish in Madrid? Let us help! Our experts at Language Abroad will find you the perfect place to study and provide all the advice you need. Visit the Language Abroad website to see what we can do for you.