Behind the scenes

Sina Zebarjadian studies Veterinary at University CEU Cardenal Herrera and is the man behind the “Facebook-curtain” giving us all the answers to the questions asked on the University’s Facebook groups. Sina has worked in the Department of Communication during the last few months – we could not have let him go on his last day at work without introducing himself to us, telling us how it come that a student of Veterinary is responsible for Social Media, about his dream of becoming a vet and if the City of Paella can compete with his French home town, the City of Love: Paris.

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Bonjour, Sina. Finally we get to know the person behind all the useful information and answers given to all the questions we ask on the Facebook groups of University CEU Cardenal Herrera. Do you have a crystal ball telling you all the information or how can you know all the answers to our questions?
Sina: Unfortunately not – that would be quite useful. But having worked here for some months now, I already know quite a lot about the University and its system. If I do not know the answer to a question asked, I can always ask Juan or other University employees working in the respective departments – I know who to call to receive the information I need in order to answer all the questions I am asked on Facebook properly.

Would you be so kind as to briefly introduce yourself so that we can get a better picture of the man behind the CEU-Facebook-profile?
Sina: Of course: I have been working in the Department of Communication since February but I am actually studying Veterinary here at University CEU Cardenal Herrera. I started my studies in September when I left my hometown Paris and headed to Valencia. Now I live and love my Spanish life.

Having experienced one year studying here in Valencia – how do you like your student life here so far?
Sina: I love my life here in Valencia – my classes, my teachers, the formation in general and all the amazing people I have met so far. I had already studied Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences in Paris, which I really enjoyed, but it was just not what I was made for. I have always dreamed of becoming a vet. I have always loved animals, I had a dog and I have been a horse rider since I was five years old. So now, studying Veterinary here, my dream is coming true. I did a lot of research about a good place to study at and when I found University CEU Cardenal Herrera on the internet, I knew, this would be the perfect place to fulfill my dream. Due to the fact that the first two years here are taught in French, we have quite some time to improve our Spanish skills, which is another factor why I chose to study here, as it is a great opportunity to learn another language.

How come that a student of Veterinary works in the Department of Communication being responsible for Social Media?
Sina: Even though my work here has nothing to do with my studies, I enjoy it a lot. As the job description of this position sounded quite interesting to me, I decided to apply for it and ended up trying my best to answer all the questions we have been asked on the Facebook page. I have really enjoyed this job and I could learn a lot there – also in linguistic terms as talking to my boss and colleagues in Spanish helped me a lot to improve my Spanish skills.

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Being a vet means shouldering a lot of responsibility and being sensitive and empathic – not only with the animals but also with their pet owners. Do the university studies also prepare you for this aspect?
Sina: You are right. Vets have to shoulder a huge responsibility. In some aspects Veterinary is even more difficult than human medicine because animals cannot talk or show who what kind of health problems they are suffering from. You have to be very sensitive and empathic as you have to examine them very properly in order to discover where they suffer pain and how you can help them best. Another important part of the work as a vet is talking to the pets’ owners, being understanding and convincing them about, for example, necessary surgeries or medical treatment – which is not always easy.
However, we gain a lot of practical knowledge and experience here at University CEU Cardenal Herrera as we learn a lot from working in the Clinical Veterinary Hospital, where we can also learn how to deal with our patients and their owners. Moreover, before I decided to study Veterinary, I also did an internship at a vet school which convinced me that this was the right thing for me to do.

Paris vs. Valencia – can the City of Paella compete with the City of Love?
Sina: My hometown Paris is a beautiful city, of course, which has a lot to offer, but I have lived in Paris for all my life, so I am quite happy to be able to discover something new now. Of course, the weather here in Valencia is perfect. In Paris we have 300 days without sunshine that is why people there are always so stressed and unfriendly. Here in Valencia people are so much nicer and much more relaxed. That is something I appreciate a lot.

“El Miguelete” vs. “Eiffel Tower”?
Sina: I must confess that I have not climbed Valencia’s “Miguelete” yet. That is something which is still on my to-do-list. But Valencia in general has so many beautiful buildings and sights to offer. The Eiffel Tower is the very symbol of Paris – everybody knows it. However, I know many places where to go for a much nicer view over the City of Love.

“Cuisine française” à la “Coq au vin” and Crêpes vs. “La comida española” a la “Paella” and “Churros”?
Sina: Well, good food is an important part of our French way of life. That is why I am quite spoiled by the “cuisine française”. I love our dishes and desserts like Crêpes. What I also like about the Spanish cuisine is that they have a lot of fresh vegetables, fruits and fish.

French chanson or Spanish flamenco rhythms?
Sina: To me, music in general is very important. I love dancing, I have done it all my life. It does not have to be Flamenco, but the Spanish rhythms are perfect for dancing. I really like the typical Spanish songs which are played again and again, which you can hear in the streets, in the bars or cafes all over the city.

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What about your language skills? As “Valenciano” has French influences – do you understand the Valencian language? Is it even easier for you to learn Valenciano than Spanish?
Sina: Actually it is in fact quite easy for me to understand Valenciano. I have a lot of friends from Valencia – I sometimes ask them to speak in Valenciano and due to its French influence I can understand quite a lot. I cannot talk in Valenciano, however. But it is a very interesting language. First, I will focus on improving my Spanish skills and afterwards my skills in Valenciano.

Ideal conditions for a life in Valencia – do you plan to stay here after having graduated at the University?
Sina: Even though I really love my life here in Valencia, I need to go back after having graduated. My parents and my friends miss me a lot – and I miss them, of course. Moreover, there are too many vets in Spain – in France, however, the future prospects are much better for me as a vet. But until then I still have four more years here in Valencia which I am really looking forward to and I will certainly enjoy to the full.

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