The Social Hub in Madrid – CEA CAPA’s Study Abroad BFF

The CEA CAPA Madrid Center is one-of-a-kind. Situated in a prime location of the city surrounded by a myriad of notable monuments, the Social Hub houses the CEA CAPA classrooms, offices, and even some of its students. As the name suggests, it’s a hub. All in one space, students will find opportunities to learn, socialize, eat, and relax. I reckon it’s not what most folks have in mind when they think about where they’ll be attending classes while abroad (I know I didn’t), so I wanted to give you a better idea of what to expect when expecting… to study abroad with CEA CAPA in Madrid. As a matter of fact, the partnership of CEA CAPA and the Social Hub (commonly referred to using the acronym TSH) provides remarkable positives for students! It’s a huge space, so let’s get into it.  

The Social Hub Entry – Even from the grand entrance, clad with a colorful tiled ceiling, it’s impossible to tell all the marvels TSH offers.  

Stay Social at The Social Hub (and Stay Educated, Relaxed, Fed, and More)  

Level 0 (the ground floor is considered the “0th” floor here rather than the 1st): 

Upon entering TSH, you’re surrounded by modern details and an aesthetic design. Colorful furniture, neon signs, and vibrant patterns fill the space. It’s immediately clear that this place is unlike many Madrid buildings which date back hundreds of years. TSH is current, yet still beautiful. While the older structures of the city have plenty of personality, it’s reassuring to know that this building is equipped with air conditioning and that the toilets will flush correctly.  

The classrooms (of which there are two, separated by a retractable wall) are catered very meticulously, with a notepad and pencil laid out at each spot along with chilled bottles of water. The technology is up to date and professors effortlessly cast their presentations onto a large screen. Class sizes are kept quite intimate; each room holds just 16 seats. To promote relaxed learning, big windows let in plenty of natural light and look out onto a quiet courtyard, minimizing external distractions. Talk about luxurious learning!  

A room with a projector screen

The classroom – Two classrooms used by CEA CAPA, modern and pampered, lie on the ground floor of The Social Hub. 

Level 1: The Café 

I wasn’t a coffee drinker at home in the U.S., but in Madrid I sure was! One quickly becomes swept up in the city’s culture of sitting and sipping, chatting and chewing (on a pastry). Plus, a little caffeine helps to get you through the long Spanish days which end after a dinner eaten around nine or 10 p.m. An artful café with comfortable seats and delicious drinks lies on the main floor of TSH—front and center. This is a great place to meet with classmates to discuss projects, with professors to receive extra support, or just sit by yourself to focus on assignments.  

An interesting insight I’ve picked up during my time in Madrid is that not all cafés are welcoming to clientele who wish to do work on a laptop. While our society in the U.S. normalizes working anytime and anywhere, this job-centric focus isn’t nearly as prevalent in Spain. Though it practically seems like there are more coffee shops than people in Madrid, many perceive patrons working on a computer as an annoyance or a defiance to the local culture of socialization. What’s more, many cafés, especially the more traditional ones, lack Wi-Fi, adequate table space, or plug-ins. But what these shops discourage or lack, TSH makes up for. A reliable spot to work on a laptop (an inevitable daily undertaking), TSH will welcome you with open arms.  

A room with tables and chairs

The Café Space – A cheerful café attracts workers and relaxers alike to sip on coffee, socialize, or attend to responsibilities. 

Level 2: The CEA CAPA Offices and Coworking Space 

We all know that doing homework in bed, or even at your desk at home, is never as productive as we intend. This is where the Coworking Hall on Level 2 of TSH comes in. A sleek and comfortable space, the room has plenty of tables and chairs to utilize in your educational endeavors. This area dedicated to productivity is sure to encourage focus. Between the café downstairs and the Coworking room, there’s no shortage of top-tier work spots.  

The CEA CAPA offices are also located on Level 2. This is where the dedicated staff members of our program perform their logistical tasks (or something like that). All I know is that there’s a door marked with the conspicuous letters CEA CAPA. My lack of awareness surrounding these mysterious offices highlights an incredible benefit of studying abroad with CEA CAPA: the behind-the-scenes are taken care of, and students get to reap the benefits in interesting classes, immersive cultural activities, and unforgettable study abroad excursions. These serve as the scholars’ earned reward for putting in the work of the pre-departure process and crossing the ocean!  

A room with a glass roof and a group of people sitting at tables

The Coworking Space – There’s no better spot than a chair in this Coworking space at the Social Hub to stay motivated and productive.  

Level 3: The Residencia  

TSH truly has it all. The classrooms, offices, and coworking spaces check off the boxes of work and school hours. The restaurant and café ensure you’ll never go hungry. If you pursue the student residence housing option during Madrid pre-departure, there’s a chance you’ll end up as an inhabitant of the Social Hub.* If so, you’ll never have to leave the premises, though, of course, you’ll want to explore the magical sprawl of the city. While the establishment also offers hotel rooms to visitors (as I said, they really have it all…), the Residencia quarters are separated, sleekly designed, and spacious. I’ve had the joy of making a few good friends in CEA CAPA who live at TSH. These connections granted me the privilege of exploring the premises deeper and developing a greater understanding of what it has to offer.  

I presented a few questions to my friend and Social Hub resident, Chandler, to hear her two cents. She mentioned that this Residencia housing option provides students with a comfortable space to call home, an extremely well-situated locale, and various amenities to take advantage of. It also introduces the opportunity to meet other students, both in and out of the CEA CAPA program. In fact, it’d be difficult not to make new connections when preparing food in the communal kitchen (meals aren’t included with this housing option), though she did mention the nervous feeling she felt at first when having to cook in a new space surrounded by strangers. Chandler has since forged connections with new friends at TSH, with pals hailing from the UK and Dubai. One evening, I joined her in the kitchen to cook dinner together. I quickly noticed the countless languages being spoken around us! She also brought up other honorable mentions including the gym, which Motivated Miss Chandler uses regularly, and the unbeatable location of a metro station just two minutes away, providing easy access to any part of the city—that is, when she’s not going on foot! 

(*Note from CEA CAPA: *Please be aware that Madrid housing options may change term over term and will be confirmed on the housing application form prior to the start of the term. The housing option mentioned here is just an example of a housing option that has been offered in Madrid in the past). 

Level 4: The Rooftop Pool  

Now THIS is the real gem of TSH: a rooftop plunge pool with direct views of the magnificent Royal Palace that looms just meters away. As a landlocked capital city, opportunities to swim in Madrid are few and far between, making this amenity even more special. Though the companionship of a TSH resident friend is a good key to ensure your eligibility in this space, you’re sure to meet someone in the program who’ll invite you for a dip (or maybe YOU will be the someone)!  

A pool with trees and a building in the background

The Rooftop Pool – While relaxing poolside, you can gaze at an unbeatable view of the Royal Palace just a stone’s throw away!  

Hopefully this description paints a vibrant picture of the CEA CAPA Madrid Center at which you may spend some time if pursuing the Madrid program. A unique situation allows for exclusive opportunities that aren’t available nor replicable in other locations. Stay Social, stay at the Hub (Not Sponsored)

Lily Gould is the Content Creator – Blogger in Madrid, Spain, and is currently studying at Chapman University.


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