A Year Abroad: Working in Madrid

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A popular choice for a year abroad is working in the Spanish capital. With a wealth of start ups, schools, marketing agencies and multinational law firms based in Madrid, there’s always different options to choose from. Here’s what some students recommend to you when considering the move to Madrid for work.

Elise

How did you spend your placement in Madrid?

I went to Madrid to work for a digital marketing company for 5 months (Feb to June). Madrid, being a capital city, has a lot of jobs on offer. But for those wanting to improve their language skills make sure you double-check how much Spanish you’ll be required to speak before accepting a job.

I was lucky enough to be able to speak in Spanish 24/7 at work but some of my friends ended up speaking a lot of English, so definitely check with your employer beforehand if this matters to you.

Would you recommend Madrid?

I couldn’t recommend Madrid more as it has it all: the sun, good vibes and endless things to do! It’s also very well connected if you want to travel around.

“Maybe try and apply for smaller companies. Although they have their own problems, it does mean that you have more opportunities to get involved and to speak Spanish."

Hope

How did you spend your placement in Madrid?

I got a job working as a classroom assistant for 4 and a half months. It was a very active job where every day was different. The staff were super friendly and supportive. It’s a full time job and very full on so it’s pretty exhausting.

I was keen to work for SEK International School which had a few locations so I chose Madrid. There is so much to do as it is a capital city, but it’s not too big so it’s easy to get used to and navigate.

Anything you’d recommend?

There’s an app called MeetUp which I used to find language exchanges which were really good for speaking Spanish. Lots of different types as well – more quiet ones or in bars. Also they organise sports and trips etc so would highly recommend getting the app. Madrid Girl Gone International is a facebook page putting women in Madrid in contact for everything – met a girl to speak Spanish with on it.

Ben

How did you spend your placement in Madrid?

I worked at a small start-up company. I would strongly advise staying for as long as you can. Although committing to a long period may seem daunting, I am so glad I stayed longer than most people because I became so attached to the city, and 4 or 5 months wouldn’t have been enough. This may be the only time in your life you live abroad, so you may as well use the whole time to live in a different country! You will return home eventually so make the most of it.

Anything you’d recommend?

I would highly recommend Madrid as a year abroad destination. Although it’s name may not have the same attraction as other major cities such as Barcelona or Paris, it is an incredible place to live. Every day you find something new in the city and there are so many cool areas to it. Admittedly it’s not a place to go on holiday, but you have to live here to fully appreciate it.

"Don’t be afraid of making mistakes when speaking another language, this is the only way to improve”

Nicola

How did you spend your placement in Madrid?

I was there for 5 months, working for a start up app. Although I wouldn’t recommend the company itself, I would definitely recommend working in Madrid. I had a lot of friends who studied in Madrid and felt they didn’t get much out of it, whereas I was speaking Spanish every day in my workplace.

Anything tips to pass on?

Maybe try and apply for smaller companies. Although they have their own problems, it does mean that you have more opportunities to get involved (and to speak Spanish). A lot of my friends who worked for big law firms, or other large companies ended up with very little to do and almost no Spanish speaking contact.

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