Hello Mia! You work with us in the Rector’s Office; can you tell us a little bit more about you, so we can get to know you better?
My name is Mia, I’m 21 years old and I’m from a small town in the north of England called Harrogate, which is near Leeds (and sort of near Manchester for those who don’t know where Leeds is!). I study languages at Newcastle University and for my third year it is compulsory to do a year abroad as part of the degree. As I study French and Spanish, I had to spend time in French-speaking and Spanish-speaking countries, so in September I went to Brussels until February, and in February I came to Valencia and I’ll be here until late June. For Erasmus+ I had the choice to study, teach or work abroad. I chose to study in Brussels at the ISTI (Institut Supérieur de Traduction et Interpretation) because translation really interests me and I wanted to have a balance between studying and working, as I knew I was going to work in Spain. I wanted to find an internship for translation to put the skills I had learnt in Belgium into practice and luckily I came across the internship here at University CEU Cardenal Herrera.
How did you find out about our University?
I found the University because there is a website called Erasmus+, where they list all the Universities you can go and specify what field you want to work in, and I saw CEU-UCH and I got in touch with them. They replied very quickly, really responsive, and I organized everything! It was really simple, I was in contact with Merche Gimeno and she was really nice, I knew it was the place where I wanted to work because it was priority translation, but also Marketing and things like that, things to do with language. I felt really lucky to find it because some of my friends are still looking for a placement and that is very stressful.
You work here in CEU-UCH; can you tell us what do you do here in the Rector’s Office?
I really like the work that I have to do because it is a good challenge, I have to translate things from English to Spanish or the other way around, when I had to do something related to the Pope it was a master challenge for me! But it was interesting and I learnt new things, the texts that they are giving me usually have to do with the University, so I need to learn a lot about University CEU Cardenal Herrera and all the services that it has. I like to work for different departments and different areas, the Spanish use a very specific vocabulary but it is useful for me to know about it because I like to go into translation.
Did you know any Spanish when you came here?
I already studied Spanish at the University in England in Newcastle, but after coming here I feel my Spanish has really improved because learning the language that the people speak in the office, and with the translations, I really had to develop quickly when I got here, my colleague also speak English so I think it is nice because when I go for lunch or have a break I can speak English with them. At the beginning it was hard because of the accent, and sometimes I had days that my brain didn’t work and I couldn’t understand anything that they were saying to me, but I do think that I have improved!
Can you tell us about a good experience that you have had here?
When I just got here it was carnival and it was shocking, and I really liked it, everything was new for me and I was a little scared. I didn’t know where I was going to live, it was an stressful moment but I really had fun. The same thing happened with the Fallas, they had the illumination, and the fireworks, and monuments and it was really, really good! I recommend everybody to come to Valencia, I feel very lucky because I think I came here in the right time, the weather has been amazing and I could enjoy the most important party of Valencia, las Fallas! And one of the best things that I have tried in Valencia is the fideuà: I really like how it tastes, I really like the beach and you can go really easy with the bicycle!
How about your colleagues? Did you feel comfortable working with them?
I think they were very welcoming to me when I got here, I didn’t feel nervous, every time I had to do a hard translation they tried to help me, I could always ask in case of a problem or doubt and that is pretty good. There are more students like me with an Erasmus+ scholarship here in Valencia. It is nice to have other people to share this experience, otherwise I would feel really alone like I was the only one in another country!
It sounds like you had fun here in Valencia, are you going to stay longer when you finish?
Yes I really have! Unfortunately I can’t stay longer when I finish because I need to go back to my job in England, as my career break ends in July. But I’m excited to see my friends and family and to be reunited with home comforts. I’m not looking forward to the lack of sun and tapas though!
Although I’m going home straight after I finish, I feel like I am ready to leave and I have done everything I wanted to while in Spain like going to Montanejos, Barcelona, the Monforte garden and the City of Arts and Sciences, and I have definitely taken advantage of the beach!