It’s been almost two weeks since arriving in Madrid and I am enjoying trying to get to know the city better! After receiving where I would be living in Madrid, I immediately began the online search for where my apartment was located and what I would be near. Upon arriving, I was pleasantly surprised with the street my apartment was on and its surroundings. I am located on Calle Fuencarral in a busy area near plenty of restaurants, shops, grocery stores, and public transportation. The apartment is located near Malasaña, a hip, student friendly neighborhood with lots of trendy restaurants and lively nightlife. I also love the location due to the fact that it is only a short 10-15-minute walk from campus. I quickly learned that everything I needed was in a short walking or metro distance away. This has made it fairly easy to get around and explore different parts of the city.
When choosing which type of housing I wanted, I decided an apartment with three roommates was the best choice for me due to the fact that I could enjoy some independence while trying to navigate my new life on my own. I came to Madrid with only knowing one other person also from Pitt, but have already become fast friends with my other two roommates from California. We already have several trips planned together! It is also nice to be surrounded by others with backgrounds different from mine.
What came as most surprising to me was how spacious our apartment is. We each have our own rooms with two shared bathrooms, a spacious kitchen and living room, and a washing machine with a courtyard to dry our clothes (dryers are very rare in Europe). Additionally, the employees at the apartment complex are all so friendly and welcoming and have made the transition fairly smooth. The only challenges I have come across so far in terms of the apartment was the lack of a dryer and being located on a main street can get noisy at times.
After spending months worrying about my living situation and what it would be like, I could not imagine it turning out any better than it did. This apartment and Madrid are really starting to feel like home for me. In the months to come, I am really hoping to become an expert in my area and visit as many new places as possible and of course, improve my Spanish!