An Erasmus + or Turing stay in Spain, that means new people, a new attitude towards life, new food, new language. In addition, Spain is an incredibly diverse country, both culturally and scenically. Which city is the best for an Erasmus + or Turing intern to do an Erasmus + or Turing project in Spain depends on various factors. Do you prefer when it is a little quieter or do you prefer a party atmosphere and long days on the beach?
The most popular Erasmus + and Turing city is the capital Madrid. In the 2013/14 university year alone, four of the eight Erasmus + and Turing universities in Madrid had more than 4.000 foreign students.
The Universidad Complutense de Madrid is the second most popular university of all Erasmus + and Turing stays in Europe. With over 90.000 students, it is not only the largest university in Spain, but also one of the largest in the world.
But of course, it is above all the city itself that attracts so many Erasmus + and Turing students and trainees every year. Even if the rental prices of the Erasmus + and Turing accommodations in Madrid are higher than in the smaller Spanish cities (a room in a shared apartment costs around € 350), the prices are still many times cheaper than in some other European countries. You can find free tapas with cheap drinks as well as free entry to clubs (at least up to certain times). The variety of nightlife ranges from classic techno clubs to flamenco concerts and of course the inevitable Erasmus + and Turing parties.
Madrid also has a lot to offer during the day with an Erasmus + or Turing stay. For art lovers, visits to the Prado or the Reina Sofia Museum are of course a must. But also those who want to enjoy the sun in the park will get their money's worth in Madrid. The Retiro Park is considered to be Madrid's most beautiful resort and green oasis in the city. Erasmus + and Turing students not only come here to relax, but also to read in the shade of the centuries-old trees.
If you want to leave the capital behind you can do so easily and inexpensively. Excursions in the area, e.g. to the coast, are offered by various organizations at student-friendly prices. If you want to go on an Erasmus + or Turing discovery tour yourself, there are inexpensive bus tickets as well as inexpensive domestic flights.
The Universidad de Valencia and the Universidad Politécnica de Valencia are the third and fifth most popular Erasmus + and Turing universities in Europe. Valencia is rightly the second most popular Erasmus city in Spain with over 3.000 Erasmus students each year.
The city is located about 300 kilometres southeast of Madrid and 350 kilometres south of Barcelona directly at the sea. Swimming, sailing and surfing is possible in Valencia until late summer. A highlight of an Erasmus + or Turing stay are surf courses, which the university offers for a mere € 30 per semester. You just have to register early enough.
The city also has a lot to offer for sports enthusiasts. Whether beach volleyball on the city beach or football in the drained riverbed of the Turia, exercise is not neglected in Valencia. For football fans, a visit to the well-known Estadio Mestalla is also worthwhile.
And for culture lovers? First of all, the Ciudad de Ciencias e Artes should be mentioned. The large and modern building complex was built by the architect Santiago Calatrava and is located in the riverbed of the Turia. In addition to various museums, it houses a botanical garden and the largest aquarium in Europe (l’Oceanogràfic).
The old town itself is just as worth seeing. The cathedral, built on the foundation walls of a mosque, and the silk exchange, which is considered the most important building of civil Gothic Europe, shape the cityscape.
The nightlife is not neglected in Valencia either. Tapas, beer and live music are part of a traditional Spanish evening. There are enough bars and clubs for this. If you want to shake off the dance floor after a cosy get-together, there are Erasmus parties or insider clubs that take place almost every day.
Granada is in third place. As a single university, the Universidad de Granada is even the most popular destination in Europe with a total of almost 2.000 foreign students. In 2007 it was awarded the Gold Star of the Erasmus program.Internationality, history, culture - these keywords describe the attraction of Granada. The Alhambra, the finest example of Moorish architecture, is internationally known. A visit there is a must. But even on a stroll through the old town you can be inspired by the oriental flair and the Arabic architecture. Finally, the path leads through the Arab quarter to the Mirador de San Nicolas, from which one has an impressive view of the Alhambra and the Sierra Nevada.But the nightlife in Granada should not be underestimated either. The city is teeming with cafes, clubs and bars. Tapas are free. Flamenco shows and live music are also part of the cultural program. There's something for everyone.What if you've had enough of Granada? The possibilities for excursions in the surrounding area, e.g. to the sea or in the mountains, are varied.
Carlos Ruiz Zafón and Woody Allan are just two examples of famous artists who have memorialized Barcelona in their work. With over 1.000 students, the Universidad de Barcelona is the fourth most popular Erasmus + destination in Spain. Along with the Universidad de Madrid with 87.000 students, it is one of the largest universities in Spain and offers a wide range of subjects.A specialty in Barcelona is their language, Catalán, which contains elements from Spanish, French and Italian. Catalán is not only the official language, it is also used at the university. Depending on the subject, there are courses that are offered in Spanish and Catalán or just in Catalán. It may therefore be worthwhile to take an introductory course at the beginning of the semester. But still - you shouldn't be put off by that! Both the study and normal everyday life can be mastered without knowing Catalán.Anyone who has seen Woody Allan's film “Vicky, Christina Barcelona” knows: Antoni Gaudí, one of the greatest architects of all time, is everywhere. The Sagrada Familia and Park Güell are among the best-known examples of his work that have shaped the cityscape of Barcelona.And in the evening? As in almost all Spanish cities, the numerous tapas bars are particularly popular. You can get an overview and variety, for example, by taking part in one of the annual Rutas de Tapas, in which over 100 bars take part.
Are you interested in an Erasmus + or Turing stay in Spain? Then you can benefit from Erasmus + or Turing funding. If you have any questions about Erasmus + or Turing, please do not hesitate to contact us (contact form). We recommend reading our article about Work and Study in Valencia to get idea of what it’s like to live and work in Spain.