Thanksgiving Break – Office Closed

Please note that our offices will be closed for the Thanksgiving Holidays on Thursday and Friday of week (November 24th and 25th). There will also be no blog next week!

So now is a great time to catch up if you’ve fallen behind.

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Pre-Departure Orientation Recap

img_4399It was wonderful seeing all of you at the Pre-Departure Orientation on November 5th! There were  funny videos,  a quick history of Spain, and an excellent Q&A with the Global Peer Mentors.  This interactive session covered everything you need to know as you prepare to study away next semester.

I am providing an online version of the presentation here as a helpful reminder of the important details we covered. 

I have also shared a quiz with the students who could not attend to test their knowledge and make sure they know the essential information!

Some key points to remember from the orientation:

  • All students must arrive on January 22, ideally between 9am and 12pm. Late arrival is NOT permitted!
  • Please note that housing is ONLY available during the dates of the program, January 22 – May 12! If you arrive early or leave late, you are responsible for your own accommodations.
  • All class attendance and course related field trips are mandatory.  Do not book personal travel until you have arrived and confirmed your syllabi.
  • Bring all the prescription drugs you will need for your entire stay. Make sure you talk to your doctor about getting a prescription for any medication you take regularly for the full 4 months. Do NOT ship medication overseas.

If you have any questions or concerns after you have read through the presentation, feel free to email me.  To be put in touch with an NYU Madrid alum, email global-peer-mentors@nyu.edu.

Homestay Payment Options

If you are placed in a homestay during your semester at NYU Madrid, you will pay your monthly rent in euros either to your homestay family. No credit cards, personal checks, or American Express traveler’s checks will be accepted. This means you will not receive housing charges on your spring 2017 e-bill.  You will have two options for providing payment.

As in the past, you can pay in euros by withdrawing money from an ATM. To do this you will need to either have your bank increase the daily withdrawal limit or go to the ATM several times over several days. This is a very common practice for students studying in Spain, as is requesting a receipt to confirm payment.

The newer option is to have money wired directly to you via Western Union by your family or friends. If they prefer this  method, please encourage them to review the following instructions:

  1. Go to Western Union. Log in, or, if you’re a first-time user, register.
  2. From your profile page, select Send Money. Under “Sending Money To” choose “Spain” from the drop-menu.
  3. Enter the amount you wish to send. It will be automatically converted to Euros using Western Union’s exchange rate. On 11/17/16, the Western Union estimated exchange rate had 1 US dollar (USD) = 0.87 Euro (EUR).
  4. Choose how you prefer your student to receive the money. If you select cash at agent location, your student will be able to pick-up the funds at any post office in Madrid, as there are no official Western Union agent locations in the city. If you choose to send money directly to your student’s bank account, it will take 2-6 business days for them to access funds but the associated fees are lower.
  5. Next, choose your preferred payment option, i.e. debit/credit card, bank account, or WU Pay.  The fees associated with these methods vary. If you pay with a debit/credit card, the money will be available to the receiver within minutes. The fees associated with using WU Pay or a bank account are significantly lower, but it will take 3-4 business days before your student can access funds.
  6. Finally, submit your payment. Remember to get the exact spelling of your student’s name as it appears on their passport. If the names don’t match, they will not be able to pick up their money. You may also need their local phone number, address, city, and province.

Keep in mind that your host family can accompany you to the post office, where you will pick up your money by showing your passport and the MTCN (tracking number), which can be found on the sender’s receipt. This way you can hand over your rent directly to the host family and not worry about carrying around large amounts of cash. Upon payment, be certain to request a receipt.

If you have questions about transferring money with Western Union, feel free to call their toll-free line at 877-989-3268 or see their online FAQ.

First Time Traveler? Read these tips!

We’ve heard from many students that this will be their first time traveling outside the country, traveling alone, or even their first time on a plane. We have gathered some practical advice to make your journey to NYU Madrid as smooth as possible!

  • After you purchase your flight, check with your airline about how many bags you can check in, and the maximum weight of each bag. You don’t want to be asked to pay extra for too much luggage.   
  • Get luggage tags and put the NYU Madrid address as contact information in case it is delayed. List a phone number of a close family member or friend in case the airline needs to get in touch about the delayed luggage.
  • Carry a small bookbag with your valuables and all essential items, including a toothbrush, medications, copies of your passport, credit/debit cards, flight confirmation, visa documents (if applicable), laptops/electronics, and instructions on how to arrive to NYU Madrid (this will be sent before you depart). All containers with more than 3oz of liquid (shampoo, etc.) should be packed in your checked luggage.
  • Exchange around 100 USD into the local currency 1-2 weeks before departure. Ask your local bank if they have the currency. It’s good to have cash on hand right when you arrive (and to avoid exchanging money at the airport since the fees are high).
  • Arrive 3 hours before your flight. This will give you time to check in at the airline counter (there may be long lines!), check your luggage, go through security and get to your gate with plenty of time.
  • Airplanes get cold- wear warm clothes on the flight, including socks!
  • If you follow a special diet (vegetarian, halal, kosher, etc.) don’t forget to inform your airline ahead of time. Also take your favorite snacks- it’s no fun to get hangry on the plane!

Study Away Confirmation Portal – due Nov 18

Throughout the past few weeks you have received information and access to the Study Away Confirmation Portal.  This is a final reminder that your housing application, required forms, and housing reservation payment) are due November 18.  Please ensure to meet this deadline so local staff can begin making assignments and preparing for your arrival.  You will receive your housing name and address about 1-2 weeks ahead of arrival.

As discussed in the orientation, when filling out the housing application, please remember to have an open mind and flexible outlook.  Given the number of students attending, we want to honor requests where possible, but know that this is dependent on your peers’ requests as well as availability.  Please feel free to be in touch with Megan Jones, the NYU Madrid Housing Coordinator, if you have particular concerns. She can be reached by emailing mmj3@nyu.edu.

Lastly, please note that the portal also has a section for you to input your travel details.  These are due by December 1 (only the housing portion closes November 18 – you can log back in to submit travel details if you don’t have them yet).  This is critical so site staff are aware of when you intend to arrive and can keep an eye on any delays that may occur.  The earlier you can submit these the better so staff can get a sense of common arrival times.

E-Bills Coming Soon & Setting Up Direct Deposit

The NYU Bursar will send bills via email on November 29.  Please keep an eye on your NYU email account for your NYU Madrid bill. You can also log directly into eSuite to view your billing statements.  These will be due in full by January 5.


Visiting students, if financial aid money from your school is going to transfer to NYU and/or your school pays on your behalf, it is okay if these anticipated payments arrive after the bill becomes due. Only the portion of the bill that you are personally responsible for paying directly to NYU must arrive by the due date.  

Additionally, if you anticipate receiving any portion of your bill in the form of a refund, we recommend setting up direct deposit with NYU.  Instructions on how to do so can be found on the Bursar’s website here.

Note: you can make your parents an “authorized user” of your e-bill account, if payments are typically made by them. For instructions on how to set this up, please see here. Questions about the e-billing process? View the Contact Us page on the Bursar’s website to reach out.

Beyond the Selfie – Wed, Dec 7th

On Wednesday, December 7th take a break from cramming for finals and join us for food and fun at Beyond the Selfie.  Mix and mingle with other NYU students preparing to study abroad during spring 2017 and receive tips from study abroad alums on how to get the most out of your travel writing, blogging, photography and video during your semester away. All attendees will automatically be entered into a raffle to receive great prizes.

Palladium Multipurpose Room
140 East 14th Street, 3rd Floor
1:00pm to 3:00pm

We’ll have lunch for you! Please RSVP on Facebook if you’re interested in going so we can have enough food available for everyone. If you don’t use Facebook just send an email to global.admissions@nyu.edu.

We look forward to seeing you there!

E-Bills Coming Soon & Setting Up Direct Deposit

The NYU Bursar will send bills via email on November 29.  Please keep an eye on your NYU email account for your NYU Madrid bill. You can also log directly into eSuite to view your billing statements.  These will be due in full by January 5.

Visiting students, if financial aid money from your school is going to transfer to NYU and/or your school pays on your behalf, it is okay if these anticipated payments arrive after the bill becomes due. Only the portion of the bill that you are personally responsible for paying directly to NYU must arrive by the due date.  

Additionally, if you anticipate receiving any portion of your bill in the form of a refund, we recommend setting up direct deposit with NYU.  Instructions on how to do so can be found on the Bursar’s website here.

Note: you can make your parents an “authorized user” of your e-bill account, if payments are typically made by them. For instructions on how to set this up, please see here. Questions about the e-billing process? View the Contact Us page on the Bursar’s website to reach out.

Meet NYU Madrid Global Peer Mentor, Michael!

Throughout the semester, you will have the opportunity to hear from NYU Madrid alumni to gain their firsthand insight and tips.

Today, meet Michael, who studied in Madrid in Spring 2016.

michael-kanarek-madrid

Major: Finance and Accounting

What is your favorite memory about your time abroad? One day, I didn’t have much to do so I just walked around exploring. I found a restaurant I had never been to before and went there a few more times during the semester, walked around Retiro and other neighborhoods that I got to know really well.

What was the most interesting course you took and why? My Spanish for Commerce class was the most interesting course. It allowed me to look into the economic conditions of Spain and realize what the backbone of their economy was. It also prepared me to learn the same concepts I was learning in Stern, but in Spanish and from a Spanish perspective, which added to my understanding of business overall. Also, the class prepared us to take the an exam presented by Madrid’s Chamber of Commerce to become certified in Business Spanish.

What two things do you wish you had packed? Q-tips. It took me over a month to find Q-tips. Also, more winter gloves. It got pretty cold at times, especially when it rained and my gloves got soaking wet and I had to wait for them to dry to wear them again.

Name two things you should not have packed.  packed 5 pairs of shoes and I really only used the 3 of them. I also over packed a bit and had way too many shirts, when I realized I didn’t wear some of them because I had too many.

What do you miss most? I miss going to the Mercado de San Miguel every week. After my marketing class, I would typically go to the Mercado and have a few tapas and just walk around the different neighborhoods in Madrid.

What advice would you give about housing?  I was very excited about living in a homestay. I recommend it highly. Even though my homestay mother did speak English too, I only spoke to her in Spanish in order to improve, so if you really want to improve your Spanish, I recommend living in a homestay. Definitely talk to her and your family to let her know what’s going on, if you won’t make it to dinner, if you’ll be home late. They’ll be fine with it but communication is key.

One good way to get to know locals is: Intercambios is a good way to meet locals. Some of my friends introduced their intercambios friends to us and we became friends. One of my friends from high school just went to Madrid, and I set him up with one of the intercambios kids to meet up with!

If there’s one thing students should know about Madrid, it is: Definitely come prepared knowing what times restaurants close. Almost nothing is open between 4-8pm, so be aware of that if you have stacked classes that end after 4 and you would want some food.

If you could go back in time and do one thing differently, what would it be? I would explore other neighborhoods and areas of Madrid as much as possible. I did it one day and got accustomed to those neighborhoods, and even though I knew them really well, I wish I expanded my horizons a bit more.