Why Malaga is the top Erasmus destination in Europe

Are you lucky enough to be going on an Erasmus placement? There are many factors you might take into consideration when choosing your new home for a few months. Obviously, the first step is to check that your host university can accommodate your area of study. But after that, you should definitely think about what your destination city […]

Are you lucky enough to be going on an Erasmus placement? There are many factors you might take into consideration when choosing your new home for a few months. Obviously, the first step is to check that your host university can accommodate your area of study. But after that, you should definitely think about what your destination city can offer you! Some questions you might like to ask are: Will I meet many other Erasmus students? Is there a good nightlife? Will I be able to explore on the weekends? Are living costs affordable? Are the locals friendly? And, of course – will I be happy there?

You want to find a place where the answer to these questions is ‘Yes’! Well – the answer lies on the Southern coast of Spain. Malaga! It’s not just the capital of the Costa del Sol – Malaga is also the dream destination for any Erasmus student. Read on and let’s find out why

Endless Erasmus friends, fantastic nightlife, and completely affordable

For years now Spain has been well-established as the Erasmus programme’s number 1 most popular destination; receiving 39 277 students in 2013-14 alone. Malaga itself is always in the top 10 cities with the highest Erasmus student intake out of this number. Needless to say – coming to Malaga, you are guaranteed to find lots of like-minded young people.

And – the city centre’s offerings will make sure that it is as easy as possible for you to meet them! There is a fantastic nightlife with a huge variety of bars and clubs for you to visit (after your botellón of course).

Plaza de la Merced in particular is known for being a hub for Erasmus students. All of the bars on the South-facing side (Bar Picasso, Tortugas, Café con Libros…) offer some kind of draw for their international audience, be this free paella or 1€ beers and beer pong. And if you want to salir de fiesta later in the night, the notorious Sala Gold is a favourite with students from all over. Worried about cost? Don’t be – there are great deals to be found all night long. Just head to around Plaza de Uncibay and the club reps will make a bee-line for you with their best promotions.

 

In fact, newcomers to Malaga often can’t believe just how affordable this city really is. It might be a top travel destination, but you’ll never pay more than 2 or 3€ for a coffee or a caña de cerveza, even in the most fancy bars (such as the luxurious AC Hotel roof terrace, which has breathtaking views yet affordable wine!). The same goes for living costs – rent is on average lower than elsewhere in Spain, and as Malaga is a student city, there are plenty of affordable flat-shares to choose from. You can check out PisoCompartidoIdealistaEasyPiso or any of the Erasmus Facebook groups, and will be sure to find plenty of options.

Perfect location and so many places to explore…

Erasmus is all about travel and discovering new places, and Malaga enjoys a perfect location for both of these on an extremely reasonable budget. Your weekdays might be spent studying, but you’ll be sure to have the best weekends ever here.

A historical and cultural city lying next to the Mediterranean Sea and surrounded by mountains and areas of natural beauty, there is plenty to see and do in Malaga. There’s also a wealth of easily accessible destinations outside of the city. A relaxing day trip to a beautiful pueblo blanco like Nerja is at your fingertips: just catch a local bus from the Puerto bus station (in front of the Malaga Big Wheel). Otherwise, take a Cercanías train from Centro-Alameda underground station to travel West along the Costa del Sol. They’re every 20 minutes and journey time is short to head to a fun beach destination such as Torremolinos. Want a night away? Use ALSA buses or Renfe trains and discover another of Andalucía’s stunning cities (Sevilla, Granada, Córdoba…), all around 2 hours or less away and all doable on a student budget.

Exploring beyond Malaga on the weekends can also offer yet another way to easily make new friends, if you decide to join a group trip. Malaga particularly stands out for having many Erasmus associations. In addition to the typical student networks such as ESN, there are also groups such as We Love Spain, Malaga South Experiences, and more – these are specifically aimed at bringing Erasmus students together, not just for parties, but for epic trips away. Master your fear of heights on El Caminito del Rey, admire the views in Ronda and Marbella – you can even grab your passport and discover a new culture in Northern Morocco for a weekend!

 

The happiest place in Spain to discover real Spanish culture

You already know that Malaga has so many opportunities available for Erasmus students, and that you have to embrace these; but it’s equally important to choose a destination where you are as comfortable among the locals as you are with your international friends!

Of course, it can be scary moving abroad, but with the malagueños around you, you’ll feel right at home straight away. The Andalucian people are renowned throughout Spain for their easy-going and friendly attitude. Whether you’re waiting for a bus or ordering in a bar, they’ll happily strike up a conversation with you in a heartbeat. If you’re worried about not being able to communicate, consider arriving a couple of weeks before your Erasmus starts to take part in an intensive Spanish course. You’d not only improve your Spanish but get to know the city and boost your confidence as well. The laidback way of speaking and sociable way of life in Malaga just makes it the perfect destination to learn Spanish!

There really could be no better place to discover and embrace real Spanish culture during your Erasmus. Malaga certainly embodies Spanish traditions in multiple aspects, such as a magnificent Plaza de Toros, a superb variety of tapas bars, and its people’s love of chatting for hours with a coffee or beer in hand, gathered around little tables outside the cafés. However, it also has its own Mediterranean character to complement this. World-class paella, the best temperatures in Spain all year long, lazy afternoons on the seafront… these are all reasons why its locals love the city so much – and why you’ll love it too!

In fact, Malaga consistently comes out on top in the Eurobarometer for the happiest place in Spain – over the past few years, it has always been number 1 (or in the top 5) in terms of citizens’ satisfaction with life.

 

All of the above added together is why Malaga is the top Erasmus destination in Europe. Here, you’ll meet so many great people – Erasmus students and locals alike – to enjoy the laidback lifestyle, travelling opportunities and fun nightlife with, all at very affordable prices. So to answer our last question – will you be happy here? Absolutely!

 

Are you coming to Malaga and want to get the most out of your time here? Do you want to improve your Spanish? Take a look at our range of Spanish courses – by far the most effective way to learn Spanish for real while getting to know this magical city. We are waiting for you at AIL Malaga!

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