In addition to a rich culture and fantastic food, I believe Spain has a superior educational experience waiting for me…
Join me as I take a closer look at the ISEP member universities in Spain and dive deeper into the application process.
Alfonso X is a relatively young university in Villanueva de la Cañada which is in close proximity with Madrid. The population of Villanueva de la Cañada is approximately 16-17,000 inhabitants compared with Madrid’s nearly 3 million inhabitants. The location of Alfonso X would be a prime one if you were desiring to live in a smaller town adjacent to a large city that would offer any type of recreational activity or cultural experience you could ever hope to find.
The ISEP website states that Complutense is closed for exchanges for 09-10 academic year. Complutense is a large university in Spain’s capital, Madrid. 135,000 students are enrolled at Complutense.
Almería is a city on the Costa del Sol on the Mediterranean Sea and is also in Spain’s Andalucía region. Apart from the beautiful climate and vibrant culture offered in this town, one might enjoy the rich history present here. To the left you can see one of the interesting pieces of history in Almería. The photo is of a Moorish fortress. Throughout Almería, Moorish influence can be found in different architecture. To read more history about Almería click here.
The Islas Baleares (Balearic Islands) off the Mediterranean coast of Spain might be one of the most interesting places to study abroad. Having spent my entire life in a land-locked state, the alter location of an island seems quite intriguing. Both Spanish and Catalan are taught at this university which might be a unique opportunity for someone who feels confident enough with their Spanish to attempt learning Catalan. Although living on an island might sound like it could make it difficult to travel there are ferries and planes leaving from the islands to the mainland regularly. After doing a bit of research I’ve found mixed results on how much it costs for a ferry or a plane to the mainland and the duration of the travel time. This site seems to be the most useful in my opinion. It states that the fee for airfare is around 65 Euros per person and a ferry is around 62 Euros (with almost certain additional fees). The plane ride lasts about an hour compared with 9 hours by ferry. It is easily noted that the best way to get to the mainland from the islands is by air.
The city of Málaga is quite famous for tourism. It too, is on the Costa del Sol in the region of Andalucía and also has a Mediterranean climate. It is the sixth largest city in Spain and its Moorish roots are reflected in the architecture that can be seen there. Although Pablo Picasso was born in the city of Málaga, he spent little of his life in this city, but there is a Pablo Picasso museum in Málaga that would be an interesting site to visit.
Murcia is another city in the Southern part of Spain near the Costa del Sol. It also has a Mediterranean climate. In addition to being an interesting city, Murcia seems to be a great location for traveling because it is in relatively close proximity to many bigger cities. Madrid and Barcelona can easily be reached by train or bus for around 40 and 25 Euros respectively. The train is a slightly faster route to Madrid; it takes about 4.5 hours and the bus will take about 6.
Santiago de Compostela is an enthralling city in the Northwestern part of Spain in the region of Galicia. It is the destination of the pilgrimage route known as el Camino de Santiago (or the way of St. James). The city’s main attraction is its beautiful basílica dedicated to St. James. Pilgrims from all over Europe walk “the way of St. James” ending in Santiago de Compostela, the supposed resting place of St. James. Whether a religious individual or not, Santiago de Compostela is undoubtedly an interesting place for all to see.
Check out what I have to say about the Universidad Pública de Navarra in my previous post titled Choosing the “Right” Place to Call Home for a Year.
Vigo is quite an interesting city also in the region of Galicia in Northwestern Spain. It is a port city with Celtic influences. It is truly a unique city, and not what would particularly come to mind when one thinks of Spain. This podcast by Ben and Marina from Notes from Spain can give you insight into what a day in Galicia might sound like. To understand the Celtic influence in this region skip ahead to minute 17 of the podcast.
I hope you enjoyed reading about the different ISEP member universities and their cities. Of course, this is a very incomplete description of these beautiful and interesting places. I look forward to relaying my thoughts to you while I’m visiting these cities in person in the next year!