Nowadays, most students decide to consolidate their language skills and discover other ways of working and learning in their respective domains by going on an exchange program or by signing up for Erasmus. Spain is one of the most popular destinations. This country seduces many young people for its universities but also for its cultural activities and they lifestyle it offers. We’ll give you today 10 good reasons to choose Barcelona or Madrid to pass this unforgettable year in your life as a student. 

Since a successful stay begins with a pleasant trip, our Renfe-SNCF in Cooperation trains are by far the best option to go to Barcelona or Madrid. So don’t wait any longer to book your tickets!

Why choose Madrid for your Erasmus Experience

1. The beauty of the city

Madrid is an incredibly beautiful city where strolling is always pleasant. You will never get tired of walking through its streets while appreciating the architecture of its buildings, of passing through or lingering in its squares, but also strolling through its parks and gardens. The Plaza Mayor, the Royal Palace, the Debod Temple, the Almudena Cathedral, the San Miguel Market, the Retiro Park... The city is full of treasures to see and admire.

Enjoy the architectural beauty and discover the secrets of Madrid

2. Its universities

Madrid's universities are renowned and open to the world. They welcome thousands of students every year, who after a while go back home with a diploma. Universities do their utmost to ensure that students, whatever the university they come from, benefit from courses adapted to their level and curriculum and thus enjoy their year to their fullest.

3. Its language

Choosing to go on Erasmus or exchange in Madrid means making sure that you are immersed in a Spanish-speaking environment and that you progress in Spanish, since the Spanish capital does not have a co-official language.

4. Its culture

Madrid is famous for several of its museums that house some of the most famous works of art in the world. So, don't forget to visit the Prado, the Reina Sofia Art Centre, the Thyssen Museum and many others; the cultural offer also extends to theatre, opera, dance, concerts and festivals... Even football fans will not be disappointed thanks to the Atlético Real Madrid... There is something for every taste and every budget!

5. Activities

It will be impossible for you to get bored in the Spanish capital because, as we have just said, its cultural offer is very rich and varied. You can also participate in many events and enjoy many leisure activities (sports, relaxation, discovery...) without spending too much.

Let yourself go and enjoy the life and pleasures of Madrid life

6. The locals’ hospitality

The inhabitants of the capital have a strong sense of hospitality, so you won’t remain alone during your studies. You will quickly notice that it is common to invite newcomers to have a drink and participate in activities!

7. Its climate

Going to Spain is synonymous with good weather, and even if the summers are particularly hot there, it is still a pleasure to spend the rest of the year without suffering too much from the cold.

8. Its geographical location

If you are studying in a foreign country, you will want to visit as many places as possible. Madrid is ideally placed! Since it’s located in the centre of the country, Madrid connects to all other regions quickly and efficiently. Moreover, it has a mountain nearby which will allow you to go skiing or take a stroll if you simply want to change your scenery whenever you feel like it!

9. Gastronomy

How can we talk about Spain without mentioning its gastronomy? Indeed, travelling and knowing a new place also entails tasting its cuisine. Madrid will not disappoint you if you love eating!

10. La vida loca

Some cities have a reputation for never sleeping, and Madrid is one of them! Regardless of the time of day or night, the city is active. You will enjoy discovering the nightlife in Gran Vía, Chueca, Princesa, the Latina, Lavapiés....

Why choose Barcelona for your Erasmus Experience

1. The City’s Beauty

Barcelona is a city whose beauty is absolutely undeniable. Its modernist buildings are well-known, and simply walking through its streets and looking up will make you feel the soul of the city and admire all the genius of Catalan architects. It will be impossible for you not to fall under its spell.

Hundreds of activities, thousands of things to discover, local hospitality. Barcelona is a destination of reference throughout the Iberian Peninsula

2. A city of perfect size for students

The size of the city is absolutely perfect: it is neither too small (making boredom virtually impossible in Barcelona, even on Sunday afternoons) nor too big (you can meet people there quite quickly without getting lost among thousands of indifferent inhabitants), which will make you feel at home very quickly. Getting around is simple and the city is very well connected, which will allow you to get away easily!

3. The Mediterranean climate

Barcelona’s magnificence is increased by its Mediterranean climate. The annual temperature, between 15ºC and 17ºC, will allow you to enjoy a relatively mild winter at 5ºC and a reasonably warm summer. Getting around on a bike is a real pleasure!

4. Its geographical location: beaches and mountains

Admiring the facade of the nativity of the Sagrada Familia, you will notice that Antoni Gaudí symbolized the city's special situation by placing a sea turtle on the left and a land turtle on the right. The Catalan capital has the advantage of being a stone's throw from the sea and the mountains, which means you can go swimming at the beach after your hike!

5. The alternative culture

Barcelona has many alternative establishments including bars, restaurants, bars-libraries, unusual museums, V.O. cinemas, but also exhibition halls (Sardinuka, the Montana Gallery, the Catascopio for example), which offer the opportunity for little-known artists to showcase their talents.

The city is perfect for lovers of the mountains and the coast

6. The city’s mixed culture

Barcelona is a multicultural city that has always and still welcomes many people from other countries, which makes its atmosphere very pleasant and lively. It will be easy for you to find foreign businesses and all kind of products!

7. Its history and cultural offer

The city's cultural heritage is absolutely extraordinary. You can travel back in time by discovering the remains of Barcino (its name in Roman times), modernism, but also many contemporary works.

8. Partying

Barcelona is, without a doubt, the city of parties. Not only because it offers many international concerts and music festivals, but also because its discos such as Razzmatazz or Pasha attract thousands of people from all over the world to discover their incredible atmosphere!

9. Gastronomy

There are many options: the Mediterranean diet, tapas, good Catalan dishes but also ethnic restaurants. The city's gastronomic offer is enormous and you will have plenty of time to discover and appreciate its specialties.

10 A city where you can practice many sports

Whether it is to eliminate calories or for pure pleasure, you can practice many sports in the Catalan capital. Many facilities are planned and many activities at affordable prices are available. The only problem is that you’ll have a hard time choosing what to do!

After a year in Barcelona or Madrid full of emotions, the best way to visit France, with a head full of memories, is by train with Renfe-SNCF in Cooperation, watching the magnificent landscapes pass before your eyes.

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