This autumn we have had three Erasmus+ interns from Slovakia working with us here at University CEU Cardenal Herrera, with our International Relations Office at the Mobility Service and the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and the Department of Dentistry. Sadly, now is the time to say goodbye, as their 3-month internships have come to an end. Everybody — say goodbye to Eva, Kristína, and Lucia!
Hi, girls! Can you first tell us who you are, where you come from, and what you study?
Kristína: I’m Kristína Michalcová, I’m from Slovakia and I studied in the capital city Bratislava, at the University of Economics in Bratislava. I finished my studies last May, I studied Trade and Marketing. And now I’m here!
Lucia: I’m Lucia Kavalcová. I’m from Slovakia, too, from the same university as Kristina, but from a different campus in Košice where my faculty was. I studied Marketing and Management, and I have also graduated.
Eva: My name is Eva Nadazdyova, I also come from Slovakia. I study at the City University of Seattle in Bratislava. I’m about to finish my studies in December, I’m going to defend my thesis and hopefully pass my final exams! I study Business Management.
You all have previous experience from studying abroad; tell us more!
Kristína: I did my Erasmus+ study exchange in Ceuta, in Spain, for one semester, and after that I did a 2-month internship there. I worked at the City Hall.
Lucia: I was also in Ceuta for one semester, same as Kristína. We actually met there and became best friends! And I also did my internship there, I worked at the Ceuta Center Treasury.
Eva: I did my Erasmus+ studies in Lyon, France, also for one semester. And then after finishing my bachelor’s degree I moved to London for three years, where I worked and gained professional experience. After I went back to Lyon for six months to improve my French, and then I came to Valencia!
And now you are all here: what made you decide to do an internship abroad? Was Spain the first choice for all three of you?
Lucia: We love Spain! It’s the second Erasmus+ experience for us. We wanted to do this again, because it’s such a good opportunity and experience. At our university you have the opportunity after graduating to do internships for one year…
Kristína: …so why not! Lucia and I looked for internships only in Spain, we didn’t consider any other countries.
Lucia: Spain is the best country in Europe.
Eva: I had been learning Spanish, so coming to Spain was a good opportunity to improve my language skills. I wanted to come to Valencia because it’s a very nice city with a lot to offer, a lot of things to do and see, and for the student life.
How did you find this internship offer at University CEU Cardenal Herrera?
Lucia: We found CEU UCH on the Internet, and I met another Slovakian girl who had worked here one semester before. She gave me very good references!
Eva: I found about this offer through my university. They sent me an email about internship offers on the website Workspace Europe where I found this placement. I had to apply! I wanted to work with languages, mainly Spanish, but I have also studied French and English and I wanted to practice them also.
Lucia: Kristína and I wanted to work with young people, so that’s why we chose to work at a university. We chose Valencia because it’s a big city, and you have the beach here…
Kristína: It’s a very international city, there are a lot of students and foreigners.
What has your work been like? What kind of duties do you have?
Eva: I was placed at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine where I have had mostly administrative tasks, helping my coordinator and the students with documents and agreements, and helping the students with all of their enquiries. And some translation work in Spanish, French, and English.
Lucia: I have been doing the same, but at the Department of Dentistry!
Kristína: My work at the Mobility Service has been a bit different. We prepare documents for incoming and outgoing Erasmus+ students, and also students going abroad on other exchange programmes or for work practice. I do administrative support, and communicate daily with students, helping them to prepare their documents, to choose destination, and more. I like it, I really like it!
What has been challenging, what has been rewarding?
Lucia: The language barrier has been a challenge. But my colleagues are very helpful and kind. The atmosphere is positive, and I have adapted well. We work both in Spanish and English.
Eva: When doing translations, sometimes the vocabulary of Veterinary Medicine is more challenging. But my colleagues are also nice, and there’s a good work environment.
Kristína: First it was difficult to communicate with the students, and I hated making phone calls. But now it’s better, I’m really happy that I can do it! At my work I get to meet a lot of people from different countries, and my colleagues are perfect.
Have you enjoyed your stay in Valencia?
Lucia: We have enjoyed 100%! The Spanish are very friendly and really helpful
Kristína: We want to stay here a long time. Ceuta, where we did our study exchange, was a small city and nobody spoke English. But Valencia is really international.
What are some of your favourite things about the city?
Eva: The old river that has been turned into a park, Turia Gardens, is a nice place to go running. Then in the summer there’s the beach and the promenade. I like the Old Town and its little cafes, the food is nice…
Lucia: The beach is big and close to the city centre. And you can go there after the work! At the city centre there are many churches and museums for cultural life. Everything is very close, there are no big distances.
Kristína: You can do everything here: surfing, taking salsa classes…
Lucia: Every weekend there are different events.
Kristína: You won’t be bored!
We are sad to see you girls go so soon! Do you have plans to come back to Spain sometime in the future?
Eva: After my exams I’m for sure coming back to Valencia!
Lucia: I want to return exactly to Valencia. I want to move here, work here, and live here. I can imagine my life here.
Kristína: I’m going back Slovakia, as I was already offered a job. I’m going to start working there — that’s my plan for the next year, but we will see what happens after that!