Name: Laurence Hodgson
Degree: BSc Economics
When: Third year
Laurence spent a year studying at Universidad Carlos III de Madrid. He found that the style of university was different as the classes were a lot smaller than Loughborough’s and had more of a sixth form structure, with weekly homework. You select your classes on a first come, first serve basis and it is your responsibility to make sure these classes did not clash.
‘My year out ignited in me a profound love of Spain in general, and Madrid in particular.’
‘I also developed lasting friendships with people from across the globe. It was interesting discussing the differences of our culture and what we do and say, but more importantly finding out that deep down we all want the same things in life.’
‘At the beginning my Spanish language skills were non-existent when I arrived. The improved tremendously as I navigated simple tasks such as buying food or ordering drinks.’
‘The Erasmus Student Network (ESN) encouraged all the international students to socialise with each other by holding different events such as parties and trips.’
‘Even though I was anxious about going, it’s proven to me that you have to take the opportunities you get, and step out of your comfort zone to enjoy a full life.’
Tips for future exchange students:
‘The biggest difficulties came in getting a Metro pass…They only sell metro passes in tobacco shops, and not all tobacco shops sell metro passes.’
‘The pass allows you to buy a monthly ticket that gave you unlimited use of the Cercanias (over ground trains), metro, and buses.’
‘Madrid has plenty of landmarks and things to see, and everything is within walking distance in the centre.’
‘My biggest regret is that I didn’t spend enough time directed at learning the language.’
Make the most of the travel opportunities. Laurence visited Salamanca, Cordoba, Seville, Denmark, Toledo, Barcelona, Gibraltar and Morocco.
‘¡Yo Soy Madrileño!’