Name: Ezgi Yıldız
Country of origin: Turkey
Erasmus destination: Madrid, Spain
Length: 6 months
I was standing with my mom at Ataturk International Airport at 4am waiting for my flight to Madrid from Istanbul. I was overexcited since I was travelling to my dream country to live for 6 months! I love Spain, Spanish culture, language, Spanish men, and the architecture, that’s why I chose Madrid for my Erasmus experience. However, I was a bit nervous because of my inadequate Spanish. I was wondering how the locals would talk to me and how I was going to handle my everyday life.
I arrived in Madrid and went to the apartment. I rented the room online while I was still back in Turkey. I went to Sol and Plaza Mayor on my second day. I saw those places a lot of times on the internet so I got overexcited when I saw them by myself. The feeling of being alone in a foreign country where no one knows you was just amazing to me.
Since Madrid is the capital of Spain, the transportation facilities are great. I was surprised how metro and Renfe were organized, because in Turkey the transportation is not that well organized in the big cities. I also did not have any problem talking to locals. They were eager to help me and they were patient while waiting for me to form sentences in Spanish.
Thanks to cheap flights and bus prices, I had the chance to travel to other countries such as the UK, France and Portugal. I also travelled within Spain to Seville, Barcelona, Toledo, Valencia, Salamanca and some other small cities. Hostels were very clean and it was easy to find cheap rooms.
The nightlife in Madrid was also very attractive! Nightclubs stay open till the morning lights and alcohol is cheaper compared to other parts in Europe. I’d recommend you Joy Eslava if you want to meet other Erasmus students and Kapital, which is the best club in Madrid (my own personal opinion, of course!). You should also try Rooftop Bars from where you can see the nice streets of Madrid better. I’d recommend you to go to the one in Círculo de Bellas Artes where you can see the famous “Metropolitan” building.
Besides nightlife, the food is extremely delicious in Spain! Tapas, churros, tortillas, different types of paella… Simply delicious! You can also try Asian food which is very cheap in Spain. I recommend 100 Montaditos to all Erasmus students because they sell cheap and delicious sandwiches and tapas.
If you are interested in arts, there are lots of museums you can visit. I personally like Museo Del Prado the most, to be honest. If you want to have a lazy Sunday, you can go to Parque del Retiro. Finally, don’t miss the chance to see Ronaldo, Marcelo and Ramos and buy a ticket for a game at Santiago Bernabeu!
My Spanish life taught me a lot of things. I learnt to take care of myself. I learnt to interact with people from various backgrounds, cultures and religions. I also learnt how to cook to take care of myself. I improved my Spanish, thanks to my friends, teachers, the guy working in the market, and kind people on the streets. I enjoyed my life in Spain very much. I regard the time spent in Madrid as a precious experience. It gave me the opportunity to meet people from different parts of the world, to get to know their opinions, views, and thoughts.