I have been in Spain for close to a month and I can honestly say this has been the best month of my life. I have met many students that are in the same situation as me, figuring out the city of Madrid and making many mistakes along the way (and learning from them, of course). I was lucky enough to come with four other aggies on this amazing journey, and even though we did not know each other before we came, it feels like we have been friends for a long time because of the experiences we have had here.
From my first few weeks I can say that my only regret was not getting my apartment sooner. I have family here in Madrid so they allowed me to stay with them for a couple of weeks until I found a place to stay. By the time I got here most apartments were already booked so finding a good place to stay was hard for me and really stressing. If I could do something all over again about this trip would be getting a place to stay a couple of months before.
Now, after getting the negative out of the way, let me get to the good stuff. Madrid has a lot of different things to discover, and I am still just starting to do that. There are many museums to which we get access for free for being students, including El Palacio Real, which is a castle where the Spanish Royalty used to live and is still used for special events. Another great thing here is the public transportation, students get a monthly pass for 20 Euros with access to all public transportation in the city. This has given me the chance to go around the city without worrying about having to pay anything else for transportation.
As for our school, UC3M has a great environment. There are many international students in the same position as me, they are looking to meet new people and travel around Spain and Europe. Classes are very different here, there are 2 meetings per week. One consists of a big lecture with around 60 students and the other one is a small group class with around 25 students, in this class most professors give small projects for the semester. School will definitely challenge me this semester but I hope to find a good balance between school work and getting to know Madrid.