5 reasons to study abroad in Salamanca

Friday, 27 May 2016 Salamanca, Spain

5 Reasons to Study Abroad in Salamanca

When you think of Spain, Salamanca is never the first place to come to anyone's mind. And rightly so; it is much smaller than Madrid, Barcelona and Valencia! However, if like me you don't want to feel like a tiny fish in a huge pond, I would highly recommend a smaller city during your placement abroad.

While there's considerably less to do than on offer in the bigger cities (and trust me at times Salamanca has felt a little boring), it feels much more comforting to recognise some of the faces, and as a result I feel like I fit in, as if I have carved myself a little Fiona-shaped space into the city. Salamanca can be found in the region of Castile and León, around 2 two and a half hours drive west of Madrid. It is known as the "golden city", because the gorgeous architecture in the old town simply glows when the sun sets. Here are 5 reasons why you should consider Salamanca as a possible year abroad option!

1. It's cheap
Seriously. Studying and living in Salamanca has helped me to feel like a millionaire for a precious 9 months. I'm paying roughly two thirds of my normal rent back in Southampton, I never pay over 3 euros for my lunch, which is always a coffee and two tapas, which equates to about £2.30. It's taken me so long to get over how cheap it is to eat and drink here, that anything over 4 or 5 euros feels incredibly expensive. I am heavily dreading UK prices and feeling like a poor student once again.

2. Students, everywhere
The University of Salamanca is known in Spain as a university with a real studenty-feel. It has a huge Erasmus population and with another university in the city, it has great cafés and bars for students too. I find Southampton also has quite a studenty feel to it so I've felt slightly more at home because of this. However, Salamanca also has a massive ageing population too, like the rest of the Spain, so the range in demographics is rather stark!

3. Getting around
Salamanca is such an easily walkable city. I remember arriving and thinking that I'd need to take the inner-city buses because it felt like so big at the time. In reality, you can walk to the other side of the main city in around half an hour, which is so ideal if you want to take a stroll around the city on a sunny day. It also makes for pleasant walking around the city during night outs. There's nothing quite like passing through the Plaza Mayor at 4 in the morning.

5 Reasons to Study Abroad in Salamanca

4. The river
The river Tormes provides beautiful sights and a perfect place to relax on warm and breezy days. You also can't miss the Puente Romano, one of the historic bridges leading over the river to large green spaces. I've loved walking along it on the quiet Saturdays and much more lively Sundays, when all the families dress up in their best gear and go out together towards the river before settling down to eat dinner in the evening. It's also perfect for brisk walk or jog if you like pretty scenery on your run.

5. Night life
Given the aforementioned student vibe found throughout the city, Salamanca has a great range of night life on offer for all tastes and budgets. One aspect of studying and going out here will be the shot bars, las chupiterías. For around a euro each there are so many types and spirits on offer, perfect when you need that boost during a night out. I will also miss the lack of rushing around too - nowadays I won't start getting ready until about half 11 or 12, whilst in the UK you would be queuing for entry or getting the taxi over after pre drinks. Everyone begins to make their way over to the clubs around 3am so be prepared for long nights out!

Salamanca is not perfect, but I've truly loved getting stuck in and immersing myself in this smaller but extremely beautiful city. I can get around most of the city without thinking about it, I have found some well-loved gems and made some truly wonderful friends. Now not to get too upset about the fact I'm leaving in under two weeks...

Would you consider a smaller city as study or work placement abroad? Where would you recommend? Thanks for reading!



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