HELLO FELLAS – freshmen and oldies! I hope you are ready to start a new academic year enthusiastically. This year I was very happy to be part of the Welcome days in order to, hopefully, help new students feel comfortable during their first week in Valencia. Do you remember how were your first moments at University CEU Cardenal Herrera? If not I will give you a flashback ticket.
As usual, the 5th of September was the first day for international students, around 600 this year adding to the international community. The countries, you can count on French, Latin American, Taiwanese and Scandinavian are the major populations but actually, they are from 60 countries in the world. At 9 a.m. they all gathered at the main square to hear the Welcome speech of the Vice-Rectors, then each faculty received their students and guided them to the Health Sciences, Veterinary or Architecture buildings. The Hospitality team made a brief presentation about the university, the enrollment process, the residence card and so on. Afterward, the coordinator of each degree made a tour in small groups of students so they could easily find their way around the facilities. I followed one of the tours and could see that students were very excited to start their degree.
Of course, when you talk about Spain, paella is vital for newcomers. A big banquet had been prepared with a great variety of local gastronomy. I think the students were hungry after a long day so they really enjoyed it!
In the afternoon, the first event of the HUB 101 was here. As you know, the HUB 101 is a space where one can come at any time during the day to learn a language, to meet new friends or simply to relax with music and movies. The Speed Dating was successfully organized.
From Wednesday to Saturday, a wide range of activities had been arranged. The first one was the university fair, where all services were presenting their plan for this year and promoting themselves. The Language Service, Sports Service and Campus Life were among the most popular stands. However, the most creative zone was the idea factory, where students wrote a proposal to improve the university life and got an ice-cream as reward. I would like to encourage you to participate in all the activities organized by Campus Life, anything, as it will make your life more fun and just not studying!
Moncada is about 20 minutes away from the city centre, and Campus Life organized a Tapas tour this year. Starting from Plaza del Ayuntamiento (City Hall), 6 groups ( 2 English, 2 Spanish and 2 French) attacked from the big to the small corners of the centre. International students got to know many useful pieces of information from the guided tour and at the end, they tasted croquettes, bread with jamón and tomato sauce; some others also tried horchata, sangría and tinto de verano, which are all popular beverages.
Finally, the bad weather would not stop us from having fun at Malvarrosa beach with a group of very active and passionate students. The sports department organized flag games, tug of war, couple jumping and beach volleyball.
I hope all of the first year students have had an unforgettable first week in Valencia, that you feel welcomed by all university staffs and I am sure you will enjoy as much as possible at your new home!