Our University has a very large community of international students from French-speaking countries in almost all of its degrees. Still, there is one that stands out: Physiotherapy, a health-related degree which seems to be very popular and well considered in France. If you are a French student and are thinking about coming to Valencia or Elche to study with us, we introduce you to Gabrielle and her experience!
Hello Gabrielle, tell us a little bit about yourself!
Hi! My name is Gabrielle; I am studying Physiotherapy and this is my first year here at University CEU Cardenal Herrera. I come from Mâcon, which is a small city in the East of France that belongs to Burgundy.
How does a girl from Mâcon end up coming to our university?
Because I wanted to go abroad to study and be able to learn another language. I went to the United States two years ago and I lived there for one year to learn English and learn a new lifestyle, and I loved that experience, so I wanted to do the same thing but in a different country: find an apartment, live away from home…the sun and the mix of students from all different countries and this huge and amazing university made me think that I wanted to do Physiotherapy so I chose University CEU Cardenal Herrera.
What do you think about our University? Do you like our study system?
We have class on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday mornings, and then the schedule is divided between practicals, seminars and classes: seminars and classes in the morning and practicals in the afternoon. I think the practical system is really nice because we have two hours and a half in each subject and you can learn more, ask questions and be closer to the teachers; you can ask them whatever you want. The seminars are similar to classes, we work in small groups and we work on case studies, for example studying a particular illness and I think it’s very interesting.
elche and valencia, two campus with state-of-the-art facilities to study physiotherapy
What about our equipment? Do you have everything you need?
The school is quite big, so it can be scary because in your first year you can get a bit lost, you don’t know where to go, where the classes are, but it comes very easily and quickly because the teachers are here and you can ask them, “I am lost, can you help me?”, and they will take you to your class, and the same thing happens with the locals. Everything is very well organized, we have all the materials that we need to do the massages, lots of beds and oils, so you don’t miss anything and one important thing for me: we don’t have to move to another place to do the practicals and classes! We have everything we need in the same building, even the cafeteria so you don’t waste time.
I have heard you live in Moncada, how different is your new life here in Spain?
I come from a small village far away from any big city, so when I came here and saw Moncada I thought it was big. It’s weird because the people here think it’s a really small town, but I think it’s very easy to get everywhere because it has the metro and it takes you to Valencia very quickly. But here in Moncada we have everything that we need as students – you can find an apartment up until July, even in August! I think it is the best option to live in Moncada in the first year because you can organize yourself and be more confident, learn how to live in Spain, get comfortable living here…
On your degree there are a lot of people from France, how is the relationship between French and local students?
Yes it’s true; we have a huge group of French students especially in Physiotherapy in Elche and Valencia, but I think it is normal because when we arrived here we all got together, as we were in the same situation, we didn’t know anyone, we were all a little bit lost, so we made a great group of friends that I still have today; it hasn’t changed at all over the year, and then when we felt more comfortable and confident about our Spanish we made locals friends, they are really nice to us, show us things, where to go to hang out, cool bars, parties in Valencia and they share “little secrets” with us that we don’t know, so the relationship between us I think is much better now than at the beginning.
That’s great! Last question for you: what do you like to do in your free time?
I don’t usually have any free time during the week, because I go to school in the mornings and I have practicals or work in the afternoons, but during the weekends I like to do sports, there is a lot of sports you can practice here in Moncada or Valencia, and I usually go out with my friends, go to nice bars, try to have fun because we are busy all week. It also depends on the day of the month: in the beginning you have money, you can go to Valencia and do lots of things, but at the end of the month you have to stay at home and have fun in a different way!
Interview by Jorge Navarro Rodríguez, student of 4th year of Advertising & PR
Revised by: Emily Mizon