From Segovia to Madrid: The Hunt for IE Student Accommodation


Whether you find yourself living near the Aqueduct or Plaza Mayor in Segovia, rest assured you will still be close to the Segovia campus, the grocery store, or even your friend’s house. Everything you need is within walking distance. As your time in Segovia comes to an end, the question “Did you find an apartment for next year in Madrid yet?” becomes a recurring topic in nearly every conversation, whether you’re asking or being asked. 

As the second-largest city (by population) in Europe, Madrid brings a challenge for IE students seeking accommodation for the upcoming academic year of 2024 – 2025. Despite the city’s division into 21 districts, IE students often find themselves torn between residing in the prestigious Salamanca district or opting for a district that is rather linked to Line 10 for a smoother commute to university. 

Salamanca district, divided into 6 barrios (neighborhoods), is one of the wealthiest and most expensive areas in Madrid located northeast of the center of the city. Although not primarily a tourist destination, it stands as one of the most sought-after areas among residents. For students seeking a balance between avoiding the hustle of the center yet immersing themselves in Madrid’s vibrant ambiance, Salamanca often comes as the ideal solution. Its upscale neighborhoods, which were once designed for the Spanish aristocracy, are clean, safe, and relaxed, while still offering plenty of shops and restaurants. 


However, choosing Salamanca means students might have to use different transportation options to reach the IE tower, which could make their daily commute longer. On the contrary, other districts linked to Line 10 provide students with a direct metro connection to the tower – their daily destination – promising a more convenient and efficient commute. This accessibility comes as an advantage for those seeking to make their daily travel easier and optimize their time. While such neighborhoods may lack the sophistication of Salamanca, they compensate with a diverse array of housing options catering to the different preferences and budgets of students. And so, the informed decision of the area you would like to live in is based on your academic and lifestyle needs, budget, and your priorities. What is your perfect place to call home away from home

No matter where you choose to live, this is the least of your worries compared to the task of actually finding an apartment before you leave Spain to spend your summer back home. IE students spend their days scrolling through Idealista, hoping that they are lucky enough to find a landlord or agent willing to sign a contract starting in September, as early as March or April. Often, landlords are hesitant to commit to rental agreements several months in advance, due to uncertainty about future rental market conditions, potential changes in property availability, or simply a preference for shorter-term leases. IE students often find themselves disadvantaged, particularly if they’re not fluent in Spanish, making communication with landlords difficult. Also, they may be viewed less favorably compared to other tenants, as students are typically associated with hosting parties or gatherings that could disrupt neighbors’ comfort. When they lose hope, students resort to agencies such as Beyond Campus for assistance in finding accommodation on their behalf. However, this convenience comes at a price, usually equivalent to one month’s rent in return for the agencies’ efforts. Interestingly, Beyond Campus was founded by IE alumni who understand these challenges firsthand, which only comes to show that this struggle has persisted for years. 

Despite these current challenges, which are hopefully temporary and will soon be resolved, navigating the process of finding accommodation in a bustling city like Madrid is an integral part of the IE experience. It represents a transition from the familiar comforts you found in Segovia to the excitement of urban life.

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