Nathalie Lundqvist, Social Work programme, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Spain

Go exchange to Madrid

My name is Nathalie and I have done one semester in Madrid during the spring 2019.
I went to Madrid and the school for 5 month and the semester was between the 16th of January until the 3th of June.
I’m studying to become a social worker and this exchange was during my fourth semester. Witch was perfect timing during my education.

In Madrid, there is a lot of universities, but the one I belonged to was Universidad de Complutense. The University has two different campus, and my faculty, ‘’trabajo social’’ was in Somosaguas, 30 minutes with bus from the city centre.
The school have 90 000 students, but that is just one of many universities in Madrid. One of my roomies did her Erasmus on another university and then I know two other universities, where you can do Erasmus as well. For example, people that studying at HLK, they do there Erasmus in another university, so that maybe says a little bit about how big Madrid? Compare to Jönköping’s University with just 11 000 students.

When I got to know that we where able to study abroad, I knew from the beginning I wanted to study somewhere where they speak Spanish, because I have always want learn better Spanish, and Spain was the only option we had where they were Spanish speakers. So that’s why I chose Spain as my first option.
From the beginning I hoped I could go to Barcelona, but Madrid was the only option and I’m so happy that I got to Madrid instead. Madrid has everything you need!

About our living situation: We had to get our own apartments, which made us first very stressed, but we wrote in the Facebook group called ‘’Svenskar i Madrid’’ and some Swedish girls recommended us their old apartment, so we were so lucky that we got our apartment before we went to Madrid. Usually they recommend you go there and see the apartment first. Just because a lot of landlords is hard to trust, but we were super lucky! Unfortunately, it’s very expensive to rent apartments or rooms in Madrid... Maybe as every capital.
We lived in a three rooms apartment with 56 square meters. And we payed totally 1 800 euro/month divided at girls. Its very much money for students but we had the Erasmus, CSN and savings. We also lived in the city, city centre. The biggest shopping street was right around the corner and we could walk to almost everything! We thought it was better to live closer to the city where everything is happening, than close to school. In Madrid there is not that kind of student life that ‘’everyone lives together.’’ People rent a room in a 10 rooms apartment or have their own apartments. And just a room in a shared apartment is around 500 euro.

Over all there is very cheep to live in Madrid. Take a glass of wine is 2.5 euro and you could get a three-course dinner for 21 euro. A monthly card to go by metro is just 20 euro and to by food in the stores is quite the same as in Sweden. So, if I compare to Sweden I really miss the café con leche for 1 euro!

The best part with the opportunity to go abroad is that you also can travel easier, live a life in another city without any problem. Usually its hard to get a work and an apartment but when you do an exchange, everything becomes much easier. I mean, how often can you go to another city, live a normal life without working? – Never. To study abroad is the best way to move and live in another city without working.

I have learned so much during my semester. I have learned how it is to live in another country and with another culture. It has also been a pleasure to live with two other girls shared apartment and life experience with. I think its necessary to live with other people and learn from each other about life.
Academic and my language skills has also been better. Specially my Spanish, but I feel more comfortable to speak English as well. Before I travelled and lived in Madrid, I hated to have some courses in English. Now, it would not be any problem after having 5 courses and exams in the English language. I wanted to go to Spain to continue learning more Spanish, and so I did, and I already missing the Spanish language. But lucky me that will be buddy to a Spanish girl this up coming semester. That was something I missed in Madrid. To have a buddy that could recommend the places and areas to stay and live in.

The only recommend I have for you who is interesting in to go abroad but not sure where, when or if you are going. My suggestion is of course Madrid, but overall. You will enjoy wherever you would go. Just go abroad and you will thank yourself forever!

If you have any question about to do an exchange in Madrid. Feel free to contact me at facebook or write me an email at:

Enjoy your exchange!