Beginning university is, without a doubt, a time to try new stuff. It’s an era of your life in which you, again and again, create finite answers to questions of infinite possibilities. At a young age, you are essentially tasked with making the decisions of what you want to do with the rest of your life and where you want to begin that path. A little further down the line come the more detailed choices. For example, where you intend to live as you start your journey at IE University.
First-year students, the ones studying at Segovia in particular, must choose where they want to live during their first year of college. A difficult question for a teenager who, against all odds, has never lived on their own before. Much like the choice of university and major, the options are abundant – residences, apartments, host families – and as far as choices go, you can only choose one.
There is much to consider when deciding between these choices, and obviously, there are pros and cons to each of them. Living in a residency is one of the most common options, and in my opinion, the best.
The most common argument against living in a residency is the restrictions that come with it, depending, of course, on the place. When renting your own apartment, you are free to bring in whoever or whatever you please, at any time you please. Contrarily, residencies come with rules that, admittedly, can be frustrating at times. For example, the majority of common areas within The Village close at 12:00am, a rather annoying rule for many of the residents. Similarly, guests are not allowed past a certain time in the evening, residents are not allowed in each other’s rooms past a certain time, and things such as alcohol are forbidden on the premises.
Although these rules can be undesirable, in my opinion, the benefits of living in a residency far outweigh them.
To begin with, residencies are undoubtedly a social scene. For me, at The Village, the friends I have made have grown into my core group of friends during these first months at IE. After speaking with friends at Vizcainos and other residencies, I can safely say that this is a common theme. Additionally, the shared spaces provide a social area one would not find in an apartment. The times that I have found the common areas empty this last month have come few and far between. No matter what time of day you go, there are friends studying, using the kitchen, watching TV, or just talking. This has led to the creation of a large social group in the Village and a sense of community that again would not be found in an apartment or host home. Especially at this residence, where breakfast is provided on-site and lunch and dinner are provided on campus, you can make plans daily to meet for meals with your closest friends.
The second argument in favor of living in a residency is its structure. In other words residencies at IE are posh, especially when compared to dorm rooms in the United States; where I originally come from. Residencies include cleaning and linen services, helping you with basic tasks such as dusting and cleaning your bathroom; it is about as good as living gets for a university student. In addition, many of the student dorms provide meals at set times every day. With the combination of three meals a day and a place to stay, I feel almost like a house cat, which I mean in the best way possible. In my opinion, house cats have the best life on Earth. Everything is provided for them with rather little expected in return. IE residencies are similar in that almost every bare necessity is provided for you, with just rent in return.
On this note of rent, it can be argued, and correctly so, that residences are more expensive to live in than your own apartment. And while this is true, I again believe that the benefits are worth it. To start, you are provided food, a washer and dryer, and cleaning, tasks that you would have to do by yourself in your own apartment. Secondly, again in comparison to the US, the cost averages about the same as a dorm room and food plan at any US college. A dorm room that you would share with a roommate rather than having all to yourself, and without many of the benefits that come with IE residencies.
To briefly wrap up, given the choice to move to Spain again, I would choose to do it exactly as I have; choosing a residency, specifically The Village, without hesitation. If you are applying to IE, I would highly recommend you consider residency accommodation as it is going to make your life easier.
Featured cover image: Beyond Campus