Meet NYU Madrid Global Peer Mentor, Blake!

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

Today, meet Blake, who studied in Madrid in Fall 2015.

Blake, on the right, with her homestay roommates

Blake, on the right, with her homestay roommates

Major: Politics

What is your favorite memory about your time abroad? I had so many amazing experiences while abroad but my last night in Madrid, my homestay dad, José, knocked on our door at 4am (because we said we weren’t sleeping to get back on USA time), 3 hours before we had to leave for our flights, and we sat around the kitchen table, essentially in the dark, and he gave us advice for two hours that was a memorable send-off as my last great experience of my study away semester.

What was the most interesting course you took and why? I took a few interesting classes while in Madrid but my favorite was Cultures and Contexts: Spain at the Crossroads of Europe, North Africa and America with Prof. Eugenio Suárez-Galbán. Prof. Suárez-Galbán explained everything in such an interesting way and related history back to modern-day issues that it made Cultures and Contexts, which is a CORE requirement I know I dreaded taking, so so worth it and incredibly valuable, especially within the context of actually living in Spain.

What do you miss most? I loved Madrid, but the thing I miss most would apply to any study abroad experience, I think, but I miss putting myself in new situations everyday and having the challenge of basically not knowing what I was doing when ordering at a cafe or figuring out which shampoo to buy at the grocery store or getting lost in El Corte Inglés. These new situations challenging me every day helped me learn about myself and made me stronger.

What two things do you wish you had packed?  It’s going to sound silly, but notebooks in Spain are very different than notebooks I’m used to in America so I had wished I brought my own notebooks instead of waiting to buy them in Madrid. It also got colder than I thought sooner so I wish I had brought a better jacket that was lighter than the heavy coat I packed because I ended up having to buy one that I wasn’t super happy with too.

Name two things you should not have packed. My mom helped me pack because I’m normally an overpacker, and I still packed too much. I was wearing the same things every week or two anyway. I also should have left the many sandals I brought at home because Europe in the fall isn’t freezing, but it gets chilly pretty fast.

What advice would you give about housing? I did not really know what to expect living in a homestay because I was living with a family of four and a roommate I didn’t know, but it could not have been a better experience. At first, like most new experiences, I wasn’t super comfortable in my homestay but my family made my roommate and me feel like we were just part of the family and we still keep in touch with them today! Living with a family also helped me develop my language skills much faster than my friends who were living in apartments because we ate dinner together every night and spoke only in Spanish. We did not speak English at the dinner table or in any common spaces in the house and while sometimes it was hard when I didn’t know exactly how to say something I wanted to say, my family was so helpful, trying to figure out what I was trying to say.

If you could go back in time and do one thing differently, what would it be? If I could go back and do one thing differently, I would have opened up more in practicing Spanish sooner. I wasn’t very comfortable in my Spanish when I first got to Madrid so I wasn’t the talkative person in Spanish that I am in English, but as I spent more time, I realized I would learn more if I just tried and got over my reservations so I just wish I had done it sooner.


Understanding the Cost of Living in Madrid

There are several things that you can do to prepare your finances before you arrive in Spain. Figure out: what is the cost of living in Madrid? What can I do now to make sure I save money?

This site, Numbeo, can help you compare the cost of living in your home city and your study away location!

Reminder: Complete the Visa Status Survey & Upload a copy of your Visa

OGS sent a mandatory Visa Status Survey to all students in December (unless you have already informed us that you have obtained your visa or if we know that a visa is not required based on your citizenship). Please fill out this survey as soon as possible so we know where you are in the visa process. It is imperative that you let us know if you are struggling, are in need of assistance or are delayed in applying for your visa. If this is the case, please contact OGS immediately at or 212-998-4242.

If you have already received your visa, OGS requires that you upload a copy using the Visa Upload. If you have not received your visa yet, please indicate this on the Visa Status Survey and then upload a copy of your visa to us once you receive it.

Offices Closing for Winter Break

NYU’s Office of Global Programs and Office of Global Services, as well as most other departments around NYU, will be closed for the winter break starting at 4pm EST on Friday, December 23rd. We will reopen on Wednesday, January 4th at 9am EST.  Both the Office of Global Programs and the Office of Global Services will not be monitoring voicemail or emails during this time.

We understand that questions may come up while our office is closed – if so, please use the “Search” tool within this blog to see if we have covered it already (in many cases, we have!). This blog is meant to be your main resource of things to know and do regarding Madrid, and can continue to assist in answering your questions even when we are not available.

Happy New Year and Best Wishes this Holiday Season!

Meet NYU Madrid Global Peer Mentor, Christian!

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

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


Major: Sports Management

What is your favorite memory about your time abroad? I enjoyed campus life. It was a very intimate experience to go to class in a small community, and to really get to know everyone in the program. We became good friends, and I continue to be in touch with a lot of the people in the program.

What was the most interesting course you took and why? The most interesting course was Madrid Stories, the documentary filmmaking course where we spent the semester working on a full 5-7 minute documentary. I learned so many new skills which I never had before, but also taught me a lot about the culture by having me explore the city constantly.

What is something you were glad you packed?  Something I was grateful I packed was a journal. Taking the time to write down what happened everyday & give a compliment to my pictures was a great asset and worth the time.

Name two things you should not have packed.  Heavy winter clothing – it doesn’t get too cold in Madrid, so you don’t need that winter parka like in New York. Everyday toiletries – if you’re not wedded to that one brand of shampoo or body wash, just buy that and leave room for the necessities on the flight over.

What do you miss most? Spending my weekends either filming or watching a game at the Vicente Calderón.

One good way to get to know locals is: Going to sporting events was a great way to meet locals. You could hang out around the stadium, not even go to the match inside, but still meet plenty of people & hear plenty of stories.

If there’s one thing students should know about Madrid, it is: Tranquilo. Madrid is calm. It is a major city, but it is very easy to relax and enjoy some tapas for hours with no rush. After New York, Madrid is a great change of pace. Being able to slow down and not have to rush every day.

If you could go back in time and do one thing differently, what would it be? Take the bus more often and to random places. As efficient as the train can be, you really do get to see the city riding the bus around. And it comes with the price of the abono (the monthly metro pass) in Spain, so there is no reason not to.



Preparing for Study Away Series: Workshop Resources

This packet is intended to give all students the opportunity to consider their identity during the pre-departure process, even if they weren’t able to attend our in-person events.  If you have questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to me, and we are happy to talk to you or connect you to resources or students.

You must be logged into your NYU account to view the bulletin displayed on the page. Alternatively, you can download the Workshop Resources here.

Reminder: Group Processing Passports are Ready!

If you participated in group processing through NYU, your passport is now ready to be picked up or mailed out!

If you are in the NYC area, please come to OGS (located at StudentLink at 383 Lafayette Street), Wednesday, December 21st and Thursday, December 22nd from 9am until 5pm or Friday, December 23rd 9am until 4pm to pick-up your passport.

If you are outside the NYC area, please send an email to by Thursday, December 22nd at noon to arrange mailing of your passport.

Please note if you have not contacted OGS to mail your visa documents by Thursday, December 22nd at noon or picked up your passport by December 23rd at 4pm you must wait until January 4th to collect your passport.

GeoBlue Health Insurance Emails Received

By now you should have received an email from NYU Student Insurance/GeoBlue with your certificate number and instructions about creating your GeoBlue profile. This was sent to your NYU email address only. Please register and bring your health insurance card with you.  

As a reminder, all students are still expected to maintain valid domestic health insurance over the course of the semester. GeoBlue is valid only for the dates of your study away program.

Please notify me if you did not receive an email from GeoBlue to ensure it is resent. Rest assured that you will absolutely be covered.  Be sure to check your spam folder first, as they sometimes end up there.

Academic Excursions at NYU Madrid

As you prepare for your semester in Madrid, keep in mind that NYU Madrid organizes several unique day and weekend trips to introduce you to Spanish culture. This is a wonderful opportunity to explore other parts of the country.

These exciting trips are at no additional cost to you! Many of you may also be enrolled in an academic course that will have some of these excursions as a core component of your class! Visit our Excursions Page to learn more about each excursion along with student feedback about the trips.

Dates for each excursion are below:

January 28   – Day trip to Segovia (mandatory orientation excursion for all students)

February 4   – Day trip to El Escorial (mandatory orientation excursion for all students)

February 24 – 25 – Academic Trip Option A: Córdoba (Mandatory for Islam & Spain course students)

March 11 – 12 – Academic Trip Option B: Bilbao & La Rioja

March 17 – 18 – Academic Trip Option C: Barcelona (only  for students in the Art and Social Movements in Spain course)

March 25 – 26 – Academic Trip Option D: Salamanca & Ávila

April 21 – Day Trip to Toledo


Reminder: Ebills Due January 5

If you have not yet paid your ebill, please take the necessary steps to do so by the January 5th deadline.  As a reminder, ebills were sent to your NYU email address ONLY.  You can also access your ebill as follows:

  • Log into NYU Home (
  • Click on the Academics tab, then click on Albert Login
  • Click on the “Student Center”
  • Click on the “View Bursar Account” link located under the Finances menu
  • This should link to the secure eSuite website

*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.