Meet Sonja Spindler and let her tells you how she ended up being in Valencia, in our university. Stay tuned!

Have you already thought about doing a semester or a year of your study in a foreign country? I’m doing one. And it’s great.

I am a medical student and I am 22 years old. I usually study in Innsbruck, Austria, my native country. But now I can live the experience of a semester abroad for four months. That’s why I’m now in Valencia, Spain.

My first impressions of the city were: it is hot (at least warmer than in Austria!), The people are very friendly and always willing to help, and the city is very big.  At first, everything was a mess. Where is my university? How do I go there? Who are the people responsible for me? What practice can I do here? And, above all, can you repeat, please?

I do not think there is another country that speaks as fast as the Spanish people. That’s why it’s very difficult to understand them – except if you speak Italian too. Afterward, it is easier to understand the locals and to speak the language. But do not worry – the Spaniards are very understanding and can communicate with your gestures. Also, when time passes, you learn to understand, also – perhaps more slowly – to speak the language.

I live with three other Erasmus students in an apartment. There are many stereotypes of Erasmus students that can be perfectly explained if you know my roommates:

Francesco, an Italian, speaks Spanish very well and takes his study very seriously. That’s why he studies a lot. Naturally studying is not the only thing he does, but it is important for him.

Sonja with her international friends

Jan, a German, makes a huge effort to learn Spanish and is the most “typical” Erasmus student. what do I want to say with that? He goes out many times and Erasmus student parties never happen without him. The two nations that you find most here are already represented with them.

There is only one more prototype left: Brian, an English boy. He does not know much about Spain or Spanish and you never know where he is at the moment, as he is always traveling. He arrived a month and a half ago and since then he has been in England once and even in Amsterdam. When you are in Spain, you make many trips to other cities or walks. It is very fun to live with them.

I cannot say what I like most about Spain: the sea and the weather, the food, which is very different from Austria, or the people who are very open with foreigners. Or at least the Spanish students are. It is easy to find friends when you go to the other students – and make your life easier because the Spaniards can give you advice about your study or – what is better – to go out: Which restaurant is the best or cheapest? Where do you find the best paella? etc.

In summary, I can only say: Do a semester abroad! You learn a new language, you meet a lot of very nice people, you know a new country. You live new experiences that you will never forget.

Challenge yourself! – It is worth it!

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