Spain is one of the most sought out destinations for students looking to study abroad. Throughout the entire country, you can find gorgeous landscapes, superb cuisine and fascinating cities and villages. With so much to offer, deciding to study abroad in Spain isn’t the hard part, it’s deciding where in Spain will be best for you. Spain is an extremely diverse country and each region and city offers something completely different. Below are three reasons why you should consider studying abroad in either Madrid, Malaga or Barcelona.
You should abroad in Madrid if…
- You like a big city feel. With over 3 million inhabitants, Madrid is the largest city in Spain and the 3rd largest city in the European Union. It is simply impossible to get bored in Madrid. But like any big city, navigating the city is simple if you know the neighborhoods. You can go shopping in the posh Salamanca district, spend a night out in hip Malasaña, taste some tapas in historic La Latina and so much more!
- You want to visit other parts of Spain. Madrid is located in the very center of Spain which makes it really easy to travel to other parts of the city. With just a short bus ride you can visit fantastic cities like Toledo, Segovia or Salamanca. Spain also has a world-class high-speed train network and in under three hours, you can travel to cities as far away as Barcelona, Seville, Valencia and more!
- You love museums. Madrid is the cultural center of Spain and is home to hundreds of art and history museums. On just one the street, you can visit 3 of the most important art museums in the world: the Thyssen the Reina Sofia and the Prado. Be sure to bring your student ID to get in free to the latter two!
You should study abroad in Malaga if…
- You want a mid-size city. Malaga is considerably smaller than Madrid with a population of just over half a million. But just because it is calmer than the buzzing Madrid metropolis, doesn’t mean you will get bored. The city center is still a filled with delicious restaurants, designer shops and bustling city squares.
- You love the beach. Malaga is located right on the southern coast of Spain and is home to some of the country’s most beautiful beaches. It’s just a short walk from the city center to go for a swim at one of the city’s beaches. With over 300 days of sun a year, you’ll have plenty of chances!
- You are interested in history. Malaga is one of the oldest cities the world, having been found over 3,000 years ago. Throughout its history it has been under Roman, Moorish and Christian rule, giving it a unique cultural blend. Be sure to visit the “Alcazaba” fortress, Castle of Gibralfaro, and the city’s main cathedral to get a feel for Malaga’s rich history.
You should study abroad in Barcelona if…
- You are fascinated by architecture. Barcelona is home to some of the world’s most beautiful buildings. Architect Antonio Gaudi left his mark on city with iconic structures such as Park Guell, La Casa Batllo and the astounding Sagrada Familia. But Barcelona isn’t just home to Gaudi’s buildings, modern towers such as Torre Glories and Hotel Vela have enhanced the city’s modern flair.
- You love beaches. Like Malaga, living in Barcelona gives you great access to some beautiful beaches. While the beaches of La Barceloneta are convenient go get to from the city center, the truly gorgeous beaches are only a short train away just north of the city in La Costa Brava. There are sandy beaches like those of Malaga but also unique cove style beaches known as “calas”
- You want a unique cultural blend. Barcelona is the capital of the autonomous region of Catalonia. While Barcelona is still part of Spain and the majority of its inhabitants speak Spanish as their first language, the Catalan language and culture certainly influences the city’s feel. The result is a truly unique cultural diversity that had made Barcelona one of the most cosmopolitan cities not just in Europe, but in the whole world.
It is undeniable that each of these cities offer so much for a study abroad experience. Even though you want the big city feel of Madrid, you may be craving the beaches of Malaga or the cosmopolitan feel of Barcelona. My solution? Study in all three, there’s too much to see in Spain to stay in one place!