Living and going to school in Europe
Replies: 6 - Last Post: Apr 26, 2013 4:55 AM Last Post By: updownallaround7
Feb 22, 2013 1:33 AM
Living and going to school in EuropeHey everyone, its been awhile since I last posted on here mainly because of the site going down for awhile, but have now returned, hopefully for the long term.
Anyways, I am exploring the opportunity at doing a semester abroad in Europe (Jan-April), and staying an additional 4 or so months throughout the summer after the semester ends before returning to Canada. I'll be going in January of 2014, by then I will be in my 3rd year of a Business degree.
I've chosen 3 Universities that appeal to me, from the list of partner Universities at my school. I am looking to learn a new culture as well as a new language(s) and totally immerse myself in the city and country I decide on. I'll rank the 3 Universities in the order I wish to go to.
1. Universidad Carlos III de Madrid, Madrid
2. Berlin School of Economics and Law, Berlin
3. University of Hertfordshire, Hatfield
Living in Madrid seems very appealing to me, food, culture, and the cost of living is much cheaper then the UK. Advisers at my school have told me that, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid is the best Business school in Spain. They also told me that the Berlin School of Economics and Law is one of the best Business schools in Europe. Does anyone know if this is true to any extent? I will be able to sort out my visa through my school, as they will work with the people on the other side who will arrange it, so the whole, 3 month max stay at one given time won't apply to me as I will get a Temporary Residence Visa. Berlin is also very intriguing to me as well, for the same reasons that Madrid is, but Madrid gets the edge in my books.
What is the typical rent prices in Madrid and Berlin for just a simple studio apartment, furnished? Cost of food and entertainment? I would probably only be eating out a few times a week, so I am looking to cook for most of my meals. I'd preferably like to live near the city center but don't mind living 10 or 15 minutes outside the city if its significantly cheaper. I won't be living extravagantly either, will stick to a tight budget while I am studying. I rarely drink so that will cut out a lot of expenses, however I like to party and would like to explore Madrid after classes daily, and I am trying to schedule my classes so I get all my classes early in the week, and then I get a 4 day weekends to travel around Spain. I probably won't be venturing out of the country much until after the semester is over when I plan to travel all around Europe on a much more generous budget.
Based on the information I have provided can anyone offer me any advice on anything? I would like to find a local soccer team to play on once or twice a week, are there competitive amateur leagues happening in these cities? I also play poker frequently, its actually my current 'job' at the moment while I am going to school. Are the poker scenes in Berlin, London and Madrid any good?
Feb 22, 2013 3:45 AM
1If I dont make a mistake your school in Berlin ist situated in the Badensche Street, city quater called Schöneberg. Not for from here - walking distance maybe 10 minutes - you have offers like this:
http://www.quoka.de/vermietungen/wohnungstausch-haustausch-wohnen-auf-zeit/c2290a98573575/schoeneberg-62m2-altbauwohnung-voll-moebliert.html - more or less 20€ per day. And for longer stay you can discuss the price of course. If you will have a look by yourself via Google.de put in "Langzeit moeblierte Wohnung Berlin Schoeneberg"
One negative point concerning Berlin: Your time is not the best concerning the weather there in the first month of a year.
Feb 22, 2013 4:20 AM
2Are all the classes in the Spanish and German schools taught in English? Have you studied either Spanish or German?
Madrid is cold in January too, but probably gets more sun than Berlin. I, personally, prefer Berlin but it's up to you to decide, not a bunch of strangers on an internet forum. I think you can find cheaper than the apartment regards links to in #1 -- there are certainly flat-shares too that would provide some company, and 62 sq m is big for one person -- at least by European student standards.
I also have the impression Berlin is cheaper to live in than Madrid -- at least for food. But if you want to go to Spain, go to Spain.
You do realize that you are considering two large interesting cities compared with a place that has less than 30,000 people in England? Even though it's not that far from London.
Feb 22, 2013 7:33 AM
3If the degree you plan to study in the Carlos III University is the Grado en Economía or the Grado en Finanzas y Contabilidad, be aware you won't be studying in the city of Madrid but in Getafe. It would be a good idea to know what grado would you be studying as that would be the only way to know in what campus you would be studying (Carlos III University has campus at several towns).
Feb 23, 2013 12:50 AM
4#2 asks a very valid question about the language. Also, did you have a look at the classes that are offered? Are they similar to classes your home university offers or does one of them offer classes that you can't take in Canada or are otherwise very interesting?
Note that the Berlin school of sconomics and law is not a university but a so-called Hochschule. In Germany, but also in the Netherlands and Belgium for instance, there is a clear distinction between those two types of schools and the level of education they offer. Check with your home university to be sure that any credit you would receive in Berlin is accepted and they don't tell you afterwards that the level was actually too low for you. I have heard such stories about foreign students in the Netherlands, who believed a Hogeschool (in Dutch) was actually a university and then found out their year abroad was a waste, in terms of credits.
As you already have decided on a number of cities you would like to live in, these questions would now be the most relevant to me. After all, a great time is almost guaranteed when studying abroad, no matter where you decide to go.
Apr 26, 2013 3:30 AM
5Hey everyone, sorry for the late reply, for some reason I couldn't get into my account, found out it was deactivated after not being on it for a week, so I just reactivated it. I don't know if this was a glitch or something, wasn't a password or username thing.
Anyways, I have submitted my application at my school to the Universidad Carlos III de Madrid for the Winter Semester in 2014 (end of January until beginning of June) afterwards I will travel around Europe for 3 months or so before returning back to Canada, or doing an additional Semester in Germany at the Berlin School of Economics and Law in October until March.
I have asked my adviser at school, and I will be able to transfer credits accomplished at both schools to my school back in Canada. One of the advisers said that the Berlin School of Economics and Law is a very good school (according to her) Is this true?
About the language, I am taking a Spanish course this fall to somewhat prep me for January, and I have learned that the school in Berlin offers a 2 week intensive German course before classes start. Also all my classes will be taught in English, I have checked that out and there is no problem with that.
Thanks for the feedback, and sorry again for the delayed response!
Apr 26, 2013 4:55 AM
6Another option I have is instead of doing the semester in Berlin, I could do one in Paris. I can speak semi-fluent French so the language barrier shouldn't be too bad. INSEEC, Paris is the University I am interested in, they offer courses in English, have any of you heard good/bad things about this school?
Ideally I want to go to Europe in January for start of 1st semester, travel for 3 months and then complete my 2nd semester before Christmas and head home to start my final semester of school in January before completely my degree. Choosing the University in Paris allows me to do this. While if I choose the school in Berlin, I would be pushing back my graduation by a year just for 2 extra months in Europe.
(4 star Hotel)
From US$134.33 per night
(3 star Hotel)
From US$101.20 per night
(4 star Hotel)
From US$171.47 per night