Summer holidays; almost four months of freedom to do exactly how you please. If your previous holidays have been hard to fill then Ellie Denison explains why this is the perfect chance to pack a bag and jet away for a while. Here’s what she had to say:
Last summer I chose to do an intensive language course in Madrid for a month. Before I left, many people asked me why I didn’t save the money and just do the course in England. If ever you find yourself with a spare couple of weeks, I want to offer some reasons why you should grab the opportunity (plus enough money not being spent on jagerbombs and Fab tickets) and fly away with it.
1.) It is always exciting seeing new places
- Wandering around new cities and not having to worry about being in a certain place at a certain time is one of the best things in life. Madrid has plenty to offer to keep you entertained. With a student card you can get discounted or free entry into many of the museums and art galleries in the city, including the Prado Museum. The vast amount of rooftop bars allow you to absorb the beautiful city whilst sipping on a sangria or two. Madrid also has plenty of parks for when the city life gets a little hectic, with Parque del Oeste being the best to watch the sunset at the end of the day.
2.) The weather is LOT better than England
- We all know British summers can be temperamental. Madrid most certainly can offer some much needed sunshine with July and August usually reaching the high end of 30 °Cs most days. This means there is plenty of opportunity to sunbathe, visit rooftop pools or go to outdoor cinemas without the risk of being rained on and needing a jumper or two!
3.) Improve your language skills
- You are more likely to learn a language if you are forced to speak it and read it outside of the lessons. Whilst I was away, I decided to only take morning classes as I wanted a bit of free time to explore places and enjoy my summer. Being able to hear people talking in the streets, reading signs and ordering from menus in Spanish definitely helped me more than if I had being trying to learn from a textbook in the UK.
4.) You get to meet people from around the world
- Most people in the world wanting to learn Spanish are likely to go one place to study it; Spain! In my class I met people from Norway, America, Canada, Germany, South Africa and Switzerland. It was really nice being able to hear about where they came from and why I should visit their country. Thanks to this trip if I ever get the chance to visit I might have somewhere to stay and someone show me around.
5.) Home might leave you feeling a little same old, same old
- Friends are probably away themselves or busy working so four months at home might drive you crazy. And realistically there are only so many times you can watch a new series on Netflix before you start to get a little bored. Most European cities aren’t too expensive, Madrid being one of these. So, if you are looking for something to do next summer, I can definitely recommend this!