Hi all! I attended a “Landing in Madrid” session with the very helpful Carmen Rein at Student Services and thought I would share a few things I found useful; only a few days left until the beginning of the program.
A number of useful websites to search include idealista.com, segundamano.es, fotocasa.es, and the housing group on Facebook. IE also has deals with some real estate agencies that charge lower fees, including Dflat, and housie.es, which also has a secondhand market for furniture. Also, for example:
– Utilities and taxes for trash are generally not included in the rent.
– Always sign a contract, and after that you must register at the city hall (“Empadronamiento” in Spanish)
– You must register at the city hall before registering with the immigration office, and registration with immigration is also obligatory for EU/EEA citizens
– After arrival you have thirty days to register with immigration
You must have insurance, but it does not have to be Spanish. When you renew your student permit (after one year) you will be asked to prove you have been insured during the previous year. IE´s Online Campus has all the information about Sanitas and Cigna Salud, but there are a number of other Spanish insurers.
It is not obligatory to open a bank account, but it is of course useful for things like paying rent, getting a cell phone contract, gym, etc. Banco Sabadell has a deal with IE (and I have had great luck with them personally) but Santander will also open an account for IE students without an NIE. In general, banks are open from 8:30 to 14:30.
An NIE (which you get after registration with Immigration) is required for a phone contract, but you may get a prepaid card without an NIE and later switch to a contract.
A few other notes:
– The emergency number in the EU is 112 (like 911 in the USA)
– You must carry ID at all times in case the police ask
– EU citizens must also register with Immigration!
– There are a lot of discounts available to IE students: check out http://www.ie.edu/alumni/services_resources
I am looking forward to meeting more of you and getting started with the IMBA adventure as soon as possible!