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Embarking on a journey as a boarding student in a foreign country can be both exciting and daunting. For those who find themselves heading to The Global College in Madrid for their studies, the vibrant Spanish capital offers a unique blend of history, culture, and opportunity.

As a college, our job is to ensure you are equipped with the skills to succeed at university and beyond. Of course, the IB programme is an important aspect of why you are coming to Madrid, but we want to ensure you also get the very best experience and enjoy living in this vibrant city. In this post, we’ll look at some key tips to help you settle once you arrive in Madrid.

Learn basic Spanish phrases

While English is widely spoken in Madrid, having a basic grasp of Spanish will greatly enhance your experience. Greeting locals in their language and being able to order food or ask for directions will not only be practical but will also show your willingness to embrace the local culture. Don’t worry, our campus is vibrant and multicultural and you’ll be able to practise and improve your Spanish with your classmates too.

Familiarise Yourself with Public Transport

Madrid boasts an extensive and efficient public transportation system, including buses and a comprehensive metro network. Familiarise yourself with the routes, schedules, and ticketing options to navigate the city effortlessly. A Madrid metro map will soon become your best friend!

Explore Your Neighbourhood

Take time to explore your immediate surroundings. Wander the streets, locate nearby supermarkets, pharmacies, and essential services. Becoming familiar with your neighbourhood will help you feel more at home and confident as you venture out. Our school is located in the Salamanca district of Madrid, an area of the city famous for its stores, museums and the world famous Retiro Park, so there is plenty to explore nearby.

Immerse Yourself in Local Cuisine

Spanish cuisine is a treat for the senses. Indulge in traditional dishes like paella, tapas, and churros. Don’t hesitate to step into local eateries; they often offer a glimpse into authentic Spanish life. Also, remember that mealtimes in Spain tend to be later than in many other countries – be prepared for a late dinner!

Join Clubs and Societies

One of the best ways to settle into a new environment is to engage in activities that interest you. At TGC, we offer a variety of clubs, societies, and sports activities. Take part in Music Monday, or make the most of the sports facilities on offer at the IE Tower.  Joining these groups not only helps you make friends but also offers a sense of belonging.

Explore Cultural Sites

Madrid is rich in cultural landmarks, from the stunning Royal Palace to the world-renowned Prado Museum. Take advantage of your time here to visit these iconic sites. Many museums also offer student discounts, so keep an eye out for those.

While it can take time to adjust, the best thing you can do to settle is get involved in all aspects of life at TGC. As well as the IB programme, we offer a wide variety of ways for you to develop your interests whether that be music, sport, the arts, and more. As a boarder, we encourage you to get out and explore this wonderful city and all it has to offer. Most of all, enjoy!