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A market stall in Madrid
Image courtesy of Christina Tsima

History of Art – MA (Hons) student Christina Tsima went to Universidad Autonoma de Madrid in Spain for her 3rd year of study during the 2016/17 academic year.

What were some of your first impressions when you started your time studying abroad?

One of the first positive surprises was that I could completely understand my Spanish-speaking professors. The programme of study is very different because there are multiple (smaller) written works for each course. Considering that we have to take five courses, the workload did increase a bit, but at least it was equally distributed.

What activities outside of your studies have you been involved in?

I haven’t got involved in extracurricular activities within my host University so far. However, I’ve tried many things in the city — from yoga classes to artsy studios in an auto-gestionado art centre.

What places nearby have you visited during your time there?

I’ve been to Toledo, which is ridiculously close to Madrid and easily accessible on public transport. I was really glad to visit El Greco’s house when I was there. I’m planning to visit some more places in the north during the Easter holidays (like Bilbao and San Sebastian), and I’m also planning on a road trip down to the south after the end of the second semester.

How has your experience of studying abroad changed from your first impressions as time has gone on?

The first semester was far more hectic because I had to get used to studying in a new system and in a different language. Currently in semester 2, I’ve settled in and definitely feel more on top of things this time.

Tell us about some of the people you met during your studies

I’ve made friends with quite a few people from my host university. Most of them are Erasmus students, and I’ll definitely keep in touch with them. I’ve even made a new “best friend” who I hope to go and visit in Munich. I’ve met and made loads of friends in the city as well. Madrid’s people are very friendly, kind, fun and sociable and it’s very easy to make new friends here.

Studying abroad wisdom

Just do it. It will open your eyes to a new world, and everything new is worth seeing.

History of Art – MA (Hons) student Christina Tsima went to Universidad Autonoma de Madrid in Spain for her 3rd year of study during the 2016/17 academic year.

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Image courtesy of Christina Tsima