We went in search of the services that are most important to you and interviewed them, just to make it that bit easier for you to find your way round and make the most of each service. Continue reading to access the interview with the lovely staff from the language service
Interview with Sara Matoses, the Head of the languages department and colleague Alicia Quesada.
Have you noticed the integration of international students into the university? Yes, particularly those on the Erasmus programme and those on bilingual Degree programmes.
Which international students do you see around your department the most? It´s mainly the Erasmus students, especially the French and Italian students.
What aspect do you think will interest the international students the most about the services you offer?
The language courses that we offer and also the cultural activities that we are preparing for the second term, when I say language courses, I mean the Spanish courses we offer; in previous years we´ve had Erasmus students joining our English courses as well but this year there are no Erasmus students on the English courses.
Can you remember any interesting incidents you´ve had with the international students that you´d like to share with us?
We were actually talking about this and Adam remembered that we took them on a guided tour of the city, during the fallas, we took them round the city to see the centre of Valencia… the mascletá. We mixed the Erasmus students with the Spanish students that went to the English classes, so they had a proper chance to get to know each other and to practice their English. Adam remembered when we were by the Torres de Quart that there were people throwing firecrackers down at us and naturally the students panicked because they didn´t know what was happening! I think the Erasmus students had a good trip anyway, they enjoyed themselves.
What do you think international students can contribute to your service and what can they gain from it?
They can gain a different cultural perspective through international language exchanges. What we try to do is to get the international students to meet our Spanish students and then they can get together and have different language exchanges, whether it is Spanish and English exchanges, or German or whatever their first language is. We also have various cultural activities planned including trips to Valencia and a cinema forum, where students can get together, watch a film and then talk about it at the end.
Of all the different nationalities you see around the university, which is the one that you find the most interesting?
The students from Taiwan really stand out for me, they have a completely different culture to our own, they are very well mannered.
What advice would you give the international students?
That they should put their names down for the Spanish classes even if their Spanish is excellent they should still go along as there is always room to improve and they can receive credits for taking part in this course. They should also try to mix with the Spanish students because this will not only help them to learn the language, but also to learn about Spanish culture.