Our friend Kenza just started her degree in Pharmacy this year. Being an international student, she knows well the struggle first-year students have to go through to find accommodation in a foreign country; that is why she decided to share her own experience, what could be better and more useful than the opinion of an actual student? Thank you Kenza, we are sure our current and future applicants will find this information extremely helpful!
“Are you having trouble choosing whether to live in Valencia or Moncada/Alfara del Patriarca? You might be wondering which of the two might be the best place for you to live. Well, Hakuna Matata. Let me tell you all about it.
Valencia is with no doubt, a very beautiful and historical city. By day, you can shop at malls, visit museums, go to the beach and get a tan. By night, you could go to beautiful restaurants, go to the movies, watch a soccer match in the stadium or even watch a play in a theatre. There are so many exciting things you could try every single day. But let’s face it, it would really depend on your timetable, the course you are studying at the University and its level of difficulty.
If you are studying a course which you find easy and chill, not very difficult. Or if you have very few lectures during the week; not a very busy schedule. Then I would suggest, Valencia is the place for you. You could take the metro, which is about 20 minutes to arrive to the University (Seminari-CEU) from the center of Valencia. You would then go to your lectures and take the metro back when you finish. Doesn’t really seem like a big deal. An overall of about 40 to 50 minutes of travel per day.
However, If you have a busy schedule with morning and afternoon lectures with 3 or 4 hour break in between them. You would have a choice of either traveling all the way to Valencia and returning for the afternoon lecture. Or you could stay the entire day at the University. Some of the students who live in Valencia find both ways sometimes exhausting. Nevertheless, let me tell you one thing.
The most important factor you MUST have in order to live in Valencia is… Being active. Meaning, you would have no problem waking up almost everyday very early in the morning to take the metro and arrive on time. And you would have no problem traveling multiple times by metro. All this must be worth it if you love living in the city, with so many shops right near you and many people around you. You would never feel alone, which would be the utmost advantage, as well as going out almost every night.
If you hate waking up early in the morning and hate traveling by metro all the time, then I would say no, do not live in Valencia. In other words, if you describe yourself being more of an inactive type of person, which is my case, then I suggest live in Moncada or Alfara del Patriarca instead, for your studies’ sake.
The advantage of living in Moncada or Alfara is very clear. The University is right next to you. The supermarket is right next to you, the library as well, right next to you… Everything you NEED is right next to you. But everything you want may not be.
I love living in Moncada. Reasons are…
- First, I hate waking up in the morning. If I have a class at 9:30 in the morning, I wouldn’t have to wake up at 7 to get there on time. To me, that’s amazing. I would even wake up at 8:45 and still make it on time.
- Second, since my course is my first priority, I wanted to live right next to the University. As for Valencia, which I love as well, I could go visit many places and explore the city when I have time to spare. But when I have exams, I prefer to stay at home or go to the library and study.
- Third, I have the option of returning back to my apartment every break I get in between lectures. I could go back and have lunch at home, or even a nap before my next lecture. I have found that living in Moncada has actually helped me focus more on my course, rather than anything else.
If you are afraid that maybe Moncada or Alfara might be a lonely place to live in. Personally, I never felt alone living in Moncada. So many other students live here and in Alfara as well. Since they are two small towns, one right in front of the other, everyone lives very close to each other. You could always meet up and hang out or even study together. Need batteries at 1 o’clock in the morning, knock on your friend’s door and grab them.
In my opinion, I think living near the University would be very helpful, at least for the first year, or even first few months. Then, if you find that there is not much to do around Moncada and Alfara, you could move to Valencia the next year. Valencia is more of a large city with so many things to do, you might never get bored. Whereas Moncada and Alfara are very small towns with many supermarkets and a few other shops. It is more of a quiet and peaceful town. But if you are the kind of person who really hates living in small areas. Or dislike staying at home most of the time, then do not live in Moncada or Alfara. It may not be the place for you.
So the question is, if you do choose to live in Valencia, would you actually have the time to profit from living there? Or will you end up just staying at home most of the time, studying. Because if that is the case, might as well live near the University.
I hope this information provides you with a better idea towards choosing your area. If you ever have any questions or doubts, please contact Hospitality of the University. They are very kind and very helpful in terms of making your stay in Spain more comfortable. For more information, take a look at this prospectus, which is an overall guide for international students.”