This is the second installment of a multi-part how-to series for students going to study at the University of Navarra in Pamplona, Spain. Last week’s installment focused on the best modes of public transportation to and from the city.
You’ve arrived safe and sound, whether by bus, train or plane to Pamplona. Now what?
The University of Navarra hosts an orientation for international students on a Saturday, with classes beginning the following Monday. I found it helpful to arrive several days before the start of orientation to find housing and explore the city.
Most international students and a large number of the Spanish students live in apartments, or pisos, near the university. The University, however, does offer student residences. They usually require students to participate in various religious, social and service events.
The University website lists apartments that are available. You can research these and make appointments with different landlords before you arrive, so you are able to move in quickly. Most landlords won’t let you sign a contract before you are there in person, nor is it recommended to do so. In a few rare cases, students have signed leases and paid a down payment and then never heard from the landlord again.
The University website listings show the price, the number of free spaces, contact information, photos and the neighborhood where it is located. Iturrama is the most conveniently located neighborhood to the University and where many students live. However, it is different than many close-to-campus neighborhoods in the United States in that it is not solely a student neighborhood. Families, older couples and students live in the same buildings.
For your first few days, Hostel Hemingway is a good place to stay. The staff is helpful and willing to offer advice on things like restaurants and cell phone companies. It’s located just south of downtown, so it puts you in between the University and the city center, Casco Viejo.
Helpful places to know as a newcomer to the city:
Next week, I’ll be creating a guide of must-see places in Pamplona. Until then, here is video created by the city of Pamplona showing off some of the highlights.