Welcome to Madrid

ESN hiking in Toledo

Hi! I am a Software Engineering student, and this semester I went on an exchange to Madrid, Spain. There, I have been studying at the Polytechnic University of Madrid, or UPM for short.
Studying in Madrid has been an amazing experience! My campus is located in the southern part of the city and is a bit isolated from the busy center, which gives it the unique feel of a small town for students. The campus includes a few buildings, such as the library, gym, auditoriums, and an open space outside full of trees and flowers. Most of the time, we have lessons in the big auditorium-like classrooms or laboratories filled with the equipment we require. My favorite part of the study day is grabbing lunch with new friends on the outside terrace of one of the canteens. The weather in Madrid has been very pleasant, and we try to spend time outside as much as possible!

After classes, I prefer not to waste time and go explore the city with friends. Madrid has so much to offer, from numerous sights to endless celebrations and festivals. My favorite so far has been the San Isidro festival. It’s a week-long celebration full of open-air concerts and dancing in the streets. Feel free to check out the traditional dancing of San_Isidro .
Additionally, our ESN volunteers have been going above and beyond, organizing student events every week that you don’t want to miss. Some of the most fun events were the Guide Dogs visit, Toledo trip, ESN Ibiza trip, city tours, and so much more.

In my opinion, the biggest difference between my time in Spain and Finland is the education system. Being a student at a university of applied sciences in Finland, I get most of my studies done through practice, and the final evaluation usually requires a project implementation. However, education in Spain heavily relies on theory and exams, which we take several times throughout a course. I feel happy that, through my study path, I get to experience both learning techniques. Another big difference is the lifestyle. Unlike my time in Finland, I spend a lot of time outside in Madrid as the weather is almost always fine and the city has a lot to see.

Overall, my time in Madrid has been absolutely incredible, and I would recommend everyone to visit this wonderful city!


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