The Nebrija is a small, very beautiful university with two locations. All my courses took place in the “La Berzosa” campus in Hoyo de Manzanares, 30 minutes outside of Madrid. I chose the integration program in Spanish and was able to study with the locals. Good knowledge of Spanish is required (possibly choose the preparatory language course). The university is great for foreign students and has a huge range on offer. I was able to choose five subjects from various courses (international relations, journalism, advertising, audiovisual communication), which was not easy for me. I have myself decided to choose subjects that I don’t have at my home university. They were the following:
- Periodismo internacional: very exciting subject with a competent lecturer who is a TV journalist with a focus on international reporting. We discussed current issues, which was very exciting. Thanks to the contacts of our lecturer, we were able to make various excursions (see above) that were very exciting. In this subject I learned a lot about current world affairs.
- Edición y Montaje: We learned to judge videos and to cut and edit them ourselves. The lecturer was very competent, but a little unreliable and he was often absent. However, if you tried hard and practiced from time to time in your free time, you could easily make your own video at the end of the semester – which was ultimately your thesis. All in all, I learned a lot, but also had to teach myself a lot (reading, video tutorials,…)
- Producción cinematográfica y audiovisual: Production of cinema films and TV formats from an economic point of view, including marketing. The lecturer was a well-known Spanish director and often talked about the sewing process. For me as a non-expert, however, a bit difficult because I don’t know the Spanish TV and cinema world well and I also knew little about general film history.
- Nuevas tecnologías y sociedad del la información: The history of technology and the future in the digitized world. A bit technical at first, but gradually a very interesting subject. Some external people came and introduced us to innovative companies, and we also had to set up our own internet project as a semester paper (theoretically). The lecturer was very competent and passionate, but also a bit radical (“Journalism will die, you have to look for your niche on the Internet, otherwise you are lost”).
- Estructuras de la Publicidad: Basics of advertising, very theory-heavy.
In all subjects, we had an intermediate exam in October, a final exam in January and in almost all of them we also had to write a term paper. The effort was limited in the first month, but I had a lot to do from the intermediate exams to the end. Nevertheless, the free time was not neglected, because the courses were so divided (or rather I had chosen them) that I had enough time for excursions and trips. At first it was a little difficult to make contact with fellow students, as almost all of my courses were with students from the 4th year and these have been “welded” groups for years. Nevertheless, they were very nice and open, and gradually I made friends. With the exception of a few South Americans, I had no contact with other exchange students, as almost no one had chosen the same program. But that was okay for me, because in the end I wanted to get to know the local culture better.
I really liked Madrid as a place to study, as there is a lot to do and the city offers a huge range of culture. Madrid is also an ideal starting point for excursions, both by bus, train and by plane.
I looked for my accommodation online (www.idealista.es, www.segundamano.es) and moved in with a single woman in the village next to the university. We made friends straight away, often going out and doing things together. I recommend looking for accommodation yourself and not booking it through the university, as these offers are very expensive. I paid 300 euros + ancillary costs (approx. 100 euros) per month. Outside of the city, the flat shares are cheaper, so I was closer to the university and had a short way to school. The disadvantage is that you are a bit far away for leisure activities. However, the public transport connections are very good.
The Spanish mentality – like all cultures – has positive and negative sides: on the one hand, people are open, direct and very amiable, enjoy life and take everything a little more relaxed than we are. On the other hand, it was sometimes a bit nerve-wracking, as they are sometimes very unreliable and above all unpunctual – you have to get used to that. But if you adjust to it and don’t take everything so seriously, your stay will be an unforgettable experience.