Every morning I make the short walk from my flat on the edges of Malasaña to Sol, in order to catch the train to university. My journey on foot takes me along Gran Vía and through the heart of Madrid’s shopping district. It is an affluent part of the city yet as I pass the still-closed shop fronts and the early-morning cafés, my eyes are drawn to the many doorways containing blanketed figures or the cardboard mattresses of early risers.
Every student we send abroad has a different story to tell but all of them learn and benefit from the experience. Our students aren’t spending a year on holiday and this cultural report from a student who spent his year in Madrid is testament to the effect their environment can have on them.