Changing the capital of the Alps for the Mediterranean sun

“Of course I want to collaborate, but let’s make it outside under the sun!”. Having just arrived from a wintery Austria a couple of days before and with a difference of several degrees between Valencia and her hometown Innsbruck, it was just normal that Sonja agreed to talk to us about her Erasmus+ experience outdoors, enjoying the mild temperature and the Mediterranean blue sky.

Her name is Sonja and she comes from Innsbruck, the so called capital of the Alps, a city located in the heart of beautiful Austria. About her first impressions of Valencia and her transition from the Medical University of Innsbruck, we had the chance to talk to her under the Spanish sun. With sunscreen the next time.

Sonja will be spending the next months here at CEU Valencia
Sonja will be spending the next months here at CEU Valencia

Hallo Sonja und herzlich Willkommen in Valencia. Tell us, why did you choose to study Medicine?

I have been interested in becoming a doctor since I was a little kid, as I have always wanted to help people and do something for the others. So it just sounded right: becoming a doctor is a perfect way to help others and overall, I think I can do it well… or at least I hope so!

Will we be seeing you in a few years from now working as a general doctor or do you have a medical specialty in mind?

I want to be a pediatrician, it has always been my dream. Ever since I started my Studium I wanted to become a pediatrician. And that idea has never changed, I have never considered any other option!

One could say that, in your case, studying Medicine is purely vocational.

For me, becoming a doctor has always been my vocation, without a doubt. I am not worried about the effort or the time it takes, it is something that comes from my heart.

What about Valencia, was it always the destination you wanted for your Erasmus+ experience? 

To be honest, I just wanted to come to Spain to learn Spanish, so I looked for universities partnered with my institution back in Innsbruck and I narrowed the options down to Barcelona and Valencia. I knew I wanted a coastal city because I love the sea and Barcelona was my first option. Since I don’t speak Catalan I got a little concerned that I wasn’t going to fully understand the classes, so finally I decided to come to Valencia!

A decision that we are very happy about! And when you arrived here, which were the first thoughts that crossed your mind?

I just arrived last week, on February 13th, and it was night time already. From the very moment I set foot here I liked it, it just felt nice: I didn’t freeze like back in Austria! I really like Valencia, the city is very nice and the centre is great and lively. I find houses here to be much bigger and the city itself is bigger than my hometown Innsbruck. I have the feeling that you can do a lot of stuff in Valencia and that people are really friendly.

We’re glad you say that, given the fact that we are valencianos also. And about your expectations, what do you think you will be bringing back home to Austria when your Erasmus+ experience comes to an end?

Well, I want to learn more about how hospitals work here in Spain, and how the medical work is in here. Other than that, which is more academic, I want to learn a lot and meet new people. That, and learn a new language. Have a lot of happy memories, I guess!

You won't find this view from the Alps here in Valencia!
You won’t find this view from the Alps here in Valencia!

I think erasmus is a very unique experience for everyone but specially for European people, so I think everyone should go for it. Also, I would like to encourage all students here at CEU Valencia to come and discover Innsbruck, because I am sure the will enjoy it. It is a city where you can do many different things: you can go skiing, hiking…it is the perfect city for a student because it is a small town, and yet it has a great atmosphere!

Vielen Dank für deine Hilfe and keep enjoying the Valencian sun!


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