“The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.” (Saint Augustine of Hippo)
Studying abroad can be a life-changing experience for many people, opening their eyes to new ways of life, promoting understanding and tolerance among different cultures, and appreciating what it’s like to move out of their comfort zone.
In today’s global society, there is an ever-increasing need to have that cross-cultural understanding in order to succeed in the workplace. While many undergraduates spend their summers away from their textbooks working at summer jobs to earn some extra money, it’s becoming increasingly popular to take some time out to study at a Summer Schools abroad because of the opportunity to learn new skills and experience living in a foreign land, even for a short space of time.
So why not consider Madrid as your destination this summer? As the gateway between Europe and South America, Madrid is a truly diverse place. Some people say New York is the city that never sleeps. They probably haven't been to Madrid.
Let's look at the top 10 reasons why you should take the opportunity to participate in a one-of-a-kind Summer School program, that will give you the chance to live in Madrid for a few weeks as you study, explore, and enjoy everything the Spanish capital has to offer.
1. It's vibrant and lively
Madrid is the third largest city in Europe and as a result is always hustling and bustling at all hours. From dawn to dusk, and through the night, there is something going on no matter what your interests. From art museums to parks, restaurants to festivals, you will love the array of options you have available to you.
2. Overflowing with flavours
Spaniards take their eating seriously. And that includes Madrileños. Should you come to Madrid this year, you have to try un cocido madrileño, or head to Plaza Mayor for a bocadillo de calamares. Add to the local flavours the influences of other cultures from around the world and your taste buds will never tire.
3. On the move
Getting around Madrid is easy. The city has one of the best public transport networks in any major city in Europe. Buses, metro, trains...all are frequent and cheap to use. With the introduction of city bikes and new cycle lanes, it's even easier to get around.
4. Never ending nights
Madrid is famous for its nightlife. It's said there's one bar for every 132 people in the city, making it one of the highest ratios in Europe. Whatever music you are into the bar and club scene is vibrant, and Spaniards like to party. You have to come to Madrid and experience a night out, which usually ends with breakfast the next day!
5. Mighty mountains
For the more adventurous among you, the Sierra de Guadarrama mountain range is just a 40-minute drive away from Madrid. In the winter, you can actually go skiing there. Should you come to Madrid for IE's Summer School, the mountains are a great place to go for some excellent hikes and to escape the heat.
6. An artist's Paradise
With perhaps three of the most famous art museums in the world located just a few hundred metres from each other, Madrid is a must. The Prado Museum, Reina Sofia and Thyseen are jam-packed with works by the greatest Spanish and international artists of all time.
7. A sports lover's dream
Madrid is, of course, home to the most famous team in world football - Real Madrid. Their home stadium, the iconic Santiago Bernabeu, is one of the most visited tourist destinations in the Spanish capital. See for yourself the impressive display of trophies and the hallowed turf where the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, David Beckham, and Alfredo di Stefano have dazzled fans down the years.
8. Short hop to the rest of Europe
If you're coming from further afield and want to travel around Europe after the summer school, Madrid is an ideal location. All of the other major European capitals are just a couple of hours away by plane, and with budget airlines operating out of Madrid, it's a convenient base.
9. Fashion friendly
Spanish people dress well in general, and no more so than in Madrid. Designers and super models are drawn to the city every year for Madrid Fashion Week, while the Salamanca district of Madrid - where IE Business School is located - offers the very best of high-end shopping.
10. A professional step up
As the business and financial centre of Spain, many multinationals are based in Madrid. Studying at IE during the summer will open doors to the next step in your career, so why not come and start networking with people based in this wonderful city?