Since your arrival in Madrid is about to come, we thought it would be useful to help you out with eight main tips that will make you feel as we would like you to feel, like you are at home.
1. Research your destination
It´s going to be a long way abroad that will bring you a unique experience in your life, so make sure you do the proper research prior to come. Keep in touch with your study abroad advisor and ask them everything you need. They are experts of your host country and they will be fully delighted to help you! Explore cool blogs and read about the culture, main events in the city, weather, traditions and habits.
2. Print some copies of your main documents*
Make some copies of your passport or ID card. You can keep the at your place or in your purse/wallet for the hypothetical case you unfortunately lose your official one. If something happens, you can easily access to your information.
* Make sure all your documents are not expired!
3. Develop your packing strategy
Don’t over pack. I know it’s tempting for some people, but you’ll eventually realize you’re creating unnecessary, excessive luggage. Madrid is full of shops and you will find pretty good sales! Check out these cool streets to go shopping:
- Calle Fuencarral https://goo.gl/xf03Tx
- Calle Gran Vía https://goo.gl/acH47i
- Calle Serrano https://goo.gl/6azW1r
4. Write down your important contacts
Bring your important contacts and email addresses you want to notify in case of emergency. Keep them on your phone or maybe write them down in a little card so they will always be with you.
Ask for an international phone plan to your carrier (could be very expensive), or wait to hire a national plan in your hosting country. Having a national phone number and plan will allow you to keep in touch with the local people you meet and also to call/text back home using your data plan (set up your Skype, Facebook or Whatsapp account for your international calls!)
5. Visit your doctor
In case you need some medication, we recommend you to pack as much as possible for your entire time abroad. In case you run out of it, no problem, use this pharmacy locator to find the closest one:
* Don´t worry if you have any kind of food intolerance. The majority of supermarkets and restaurants in Madrid indicates perfectly what ingredients have been used.
6. Call your bank
Tell your bank you are going to study abroad for X months, and ensure your debit/credit cards are ready and activated for the trip. Study in depth all the commissions that the bank could charge you: credit card uses, money transfers, currency exchanges. To avoid all this, we strongly recommend you to open a Spanish bank account.
7. Start being a native speaker
Don´t wait until your arrival to learn the first words! It would be very useful for the very first days: airport arrival, ask for some directions, first time in the supermarket…
In case you want to practice, have a look at this apps:
8. Create your abroad whistlist
Take advantage of you being in Madrid and write down all the trips you want to do. All Europe is at a hand: France, Germany, England, Italy, Belgium, Denmark, Hungary, Croatia, Greece…
Explore Madrid and its neighborhoods, catch a bus and visit the main Spanish cities. The adventure is about to start, and the first page of your traveling book has already been opened.
See you in Madrid!!