Our student, Ellen Hulterstrumm share with us some impressions of her stay in Valencia.
1. Why did you decide to come to Spain and specifically to Valencia?
I knew I wanted to study abroad in a Spanish speaking country and I chose Valencia, Spain. The great cost-benefit of being able to study the language while also completing an internship was something that made the Euroace program stand out from other study abroad program options I had been considering.
2. Did you face any cultural differences during your stay?
You’re bound to find cultural differences while living in another country for 2 months! One of the differences that stuck out to me was the timeline of meals-generally lunch isn’t until 2 and supper may not be until 9 or 10. It took my stomach quite a while to get used to waiting that long to eat! People enjoy their meals rather than rush through them. Also, the common greeting/goodbye of two kisses was definitely a cultural difference! It surprised me at first, but I got the hang of it by the end of my time.
3. What are your highlights from your time in Valencia?
From the City of Arts and Sciences to the ocean to the Torres de Serrano there are lots of different places to see and things to experience in Valencia! I’d say my favorite places in the city would be the Turia riverbed park and the markets-I lived right next to the Russafa market and I loved walking around inside, seeing and smelling all the fresh foods. One of my highlights was meeting students from all over the world-now I have friends in Singapore, Switzerland, Ireland, Canada and more. I loved having the chance to explore Valencia and neighboring.
4. Did you have Spanish lessons during your stay
Yes, the Spanish lessons did help my language ability to improve. I had already learned the majority of the grammar points in my university Spanish courses, so sometimes the grammar days felt repetitive to me(but a refresher never hurts). My favorite classes were when we learned expressions/phrases, that people use in conversation but that you wouldn’t know if you’re just learning “by the book”.
5. Did you gain the international experience you were looking for in your internship?
Being able to learn about how my chosen career path(pharmacy) works in another country was incredibly interesting, a unique experience that other people may never have.
6. What activity provided by EUROACE did you enjoy the most?:
The first weekend I arrived I went to the tapas dinner and flamenco dance activity with Euroace which I totally loved! It was so fun to talk with other students from all over the world while enjoying Spanish tapas that kept appearing at our tables and watching the intensity of the flamenco dancing was amazing as well.
I also really enjoyed the excursion to Peñíscola. Exploring the castle and then relaxing at the beach was a perfect combination. It was nice that Euroace offered us the opportunity to go to a city that we wouldn’t have been able to get to just using available public transportation.
7. How was your experience living in a family or in a shared flat?:
It was a little bit of a rocky start as I moved host families at the beginning, but Euroace’s team was absolutely phenomenal in working to make sure I was comfortable and happy with my living arrangements. I am glad I chose living with a family as it helped me get a better taste of what typical food is like(my host mom loved to cook) and also helped me improve my Spanish even more(my host mom didn’t speak any English).
8. Please leave a comment in the space below if there is anything else you would like to share with us!
Jose and Isa–you two are WONDERFUL! Thank you, thank you for all the work you’ve done for me and all the other students.