Tag Archives: Spain

Hola from Madrid!

Hola!

Time has gone flying here in Madrid. I came here with two of my finnish friends also from TAMK and I’ve got so many new ones in here. The studying here is somewhat similar as in Finland. However, here it is not mandatory to attend classes. One of our teachers even said that he doesn’t want to wake up as early as we have classes, so we may as well skip it.

Even though the classes aren’t mandatory, it doesn’t mean that here wouldn’t be any work to be done. I mean, almost in all of our classes we have group works. Usually I do enjoy group works, since I get along with different people very well. However in Spain, the Spanish and Finnish way of doing school works are really different. Also, the language is a problem. There are not many Spanish people in our school that would speak English all that well. So you kind of have to learn to understand Spanglish.

We do have similar school tasks as in Finland. For example in addition to group works we also have to write essays in almost every class. Although I have to say that in here it doesn’t really matter what you write in your essay as long as it has lots of pictures.

Spanish people have siesta. That means that between 12 and 16 there is no hope for finding anything to do. Most of the stores are closed and most of the people are at home. It the evening however the city comes to light and everyone comes to hang out together. Despite the siesta In Madrid here is also really nice things to do and see. Like tasting all sorts of different tapas and experiencing the culture. Like visiting the royal palace for example.

Although I’ve had a nice time here, I sometimes miss the fact how everything works in Finland. Everything and everyone is on time. You don’t have to prepare for everything being late all the time. Also here is no concept of personal space and sometimes that can be a little bit overwhelming.

However I am enjoying my time in Madrid and adapting to the culture here.

Buenos días!

Greetings from Costa del Sol!

 

 

 

 

 

I was doing my internship for my studies in Business Information Systems in Benalmadena, around 10 kilometers south from Malaga. The weather was nice – raining twice or so during my stay. It was warm although cold of the night caught me by surprise. Not because of the temperature but because the apartment I had rent had no proper heating for the season. Something I was mistakenly expecting due to our Finnish heating  system.

Okay, that’s enough of the weather. Let’s move on to my work. To put it simply, I was working at a organization consisting of voluntary workers. The organization and the members of it are all Finnish old people who have retired and either live permanently in Spain or are just visiting for few months.

So, my basic work day usually consists of helping the members of the organization and updating social media with current events. There are two days when the office is open and at those times people come to me asking for help with their devices. The open hours are very tight so I made reservations for home visits. I liked the fact that I got to travel around the city while on the job and talk to colorful personalities and see how they lived there.

On my free time I walked around the city. On the weekends I would plan ahead a destination and make a longer trip there. There are tons of places to see like Castillo Monumento Colomares and bull arenas and parks. My highlight was definitely climbing the nearby mountain,  Calamorro. I did it exceptionally after my work. I did some calculations and came into conclusion that I can get up there and back before it gets dark. Oh how ignorant I was…

I also visited Málaga on my last week with my buddy. There was a castle up the hill so of course I had to climb that too.

 

I didn’t get to experience all the things in Málaga area but overall I am satisfied. There is still room for another eventful visit.

Till then… Adiós!

 

Lauri

Beautiful Tenerife

I did my practical training in Tenerife. I had never visited the Canary Islands before so it was very interesting to go there. My friend and me lived in the capital of the Island, Santa Cruz de Tenerife, but we also got to know many other places of the Island. Here I want to share a few places I really liked.

Teide

Teide is a volcano that is located in the middle of the island. Big area around the volcano is Teide’s national park (Parque Nacional del Teide). We made a trip to the national park and near the volcano by car. Views around Teide were amazing. We did not have the chance to go to the top of the volcano, did not book the elevator trip before. From the top it is possible to see the whole island. If I travel back sometimes, i I definitely want to go there.

   

García Sanabria City Park (Parque García Sanabria)

This park is a big park in the centre of Santa Cruz de Tenerife. There are a lot of different trees, flowers and plants in the park. There are also many beautiful fountains. We went to the park many times because it was near to our home and it was a calm place to relax for example during the siesta time. There was also a good restaurant in the park that I can absolutely recommend!

La Laguna

La Laguna is an old city in the northern part of the Island. I found it very cute and pretty place. Everything wasn’t so “big” like in the capital. It is an important historical centre and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The loveliest part of La Laguna is its old town. Thera are beautiful buildings and only pedestrian streets, so you can walk around in peace.

¡Hola!

My Erasmus studies came to its end in Madrid a while ago. I studied for the duration of the spring semester, a little over 4 months in Madrid at the Universidad Rey Juan Carlos. The university is located outside of the centre of Madrid, in Vicálvaro. For me it took about 50 min to get to school with the metro. It is a lot of time to travel one-way but in my opinion it wasn’t too bad, especially since I didn’t have school every day. I also knew that I wanted to live closer to the city centre than the university. I lived in south from the centre of Madrid, close to the Madrid Río. I think the area where I lived in was peaceful and nice, 15-20 min metro ride or about 30 min walk away from the centre.

Madrid Río

The university campus was little old-fashioned in my opinion but it had all of the necessary features you needed. It had a quite large library, where you could go to study. The library even had some computers at the students’ disposal. I used the library a lot since I had a course that required doing a lot of homework with a computer. I had mostly business courses but I also had some studies in tourism and international relations. There was some variance in the level of teaching, which I wasn’t too happy with. Luckily there were a couple of good teachers on the courses that I chose.

In my opinion the teaching in Finland is at top level. It was interesting to hear that Erasmus students from other countries had also heard or read about the level of the education in my home country.

I travelled quite a lot in Spain while living in Madrid. My favourite trip was to Andalucía which was very beautiful. It was easy to travel from Madrid to other cities and that was actually one of the reasons I chose the capital of Spain for my Erasmus destination.

Me in Barcelona

I had not been to Madrid before my Erasmus, so it was a completely new experience for me to explore the city. It came as a surprise for me how large the city actually is. The population of the metropolitan area of Madrid is about 6,5 million. In comparison the total population of Finland is 5,5 million. My favourite areas in Madrid were the trendy neighbourhood of Malasaña and La Latina. I enjoyed the good restaurants and terraces in those areas. I also loved the area of Madrid Río a lot.

The rooftops in La Latina

Although Madrid did not live up to my initial expectations, I still feel that all in all my Erasmus experience was great! I met a lot of new people, and made new friends which when I think about it, makes Madrid actually very special for me.

The Bear and the Strawberry Tree – The Symbol of Madrid

I would encourage anyone who has the opportunity to go to Erasmus exchange. It will give you countless unforgettable experiences and friendships that hopefully lasts for a long time.

Saludos desde Valencia!

I’ studying technical architecture in the Polytechnic University of Valencia for the Spring Semester of 2018.

I have four courses in total; two are taught in Spanish, one in English and the fourth is a Spanish language course. I was in the building engineering faculty, but I also took one project course from the architecture faculty. In the beginning I was a little bit nervous taking the two courses in Spanish, as it was a little bit difficult for me to follow the lessons, but as time went by I gradually started understanding the teachers more and more and by now I have very little problems understanding the lessons. Studying in Spanish has definately helped me with my Spanish comprehension!

  Sunny day at the Palau de Musica in Valencia

I wanted to come to Spain to improve my Spanish skills; I have studied Spanish on and off for about 5 years now and my goal was to become fluent in Spanish. I haven’t become fluent – I think half a year is not enough to become fluent, for that, I think one year study exchange would have done the trick!

 

Valencia is the home of Paella, a must try!

Studying in UPV has been a good experience overall. In the beginning I was surprised at how some things are organised (for example there are printing shops, where you give an employee your usb stick and they print it for you, instead of you being able to print things yourself – when we had to hand in a final project I had to wait two hours in line so that they could print four A1s!) but in order not to stress yourself you just have to accept how things are done differently in different countries. Also, a lot of the teachers wanted us to draw things by hand and also show the methodology we used in taking measurements, particularly in the restoration course.

 

The Horchata drink is also from Valencia. Chug it down with some churros, a Spanish classic!

During my free time I spend it mostly with my friends, at the beach, in cafes in the centre or doing Erasmus activities; there are a lot of Erasmus organisations that organize activities such as trips to different cities (I’ve been to Toledo and Xativa – amazing little towns!) and different events, like hiking or colour festivals.

Holirun Valencia   
Hiking near Valencia

I also organised my own trips to Barcelona in February, and to Andalucia and the Basque country during Easter break (one of the perks of studying in Spain is that you have a nearly two week Easter holiday!)

Patios of Cordoba…
The Great Mosque of Cordoba is a must do and absolutely stunning!

But most definately the best part of my exchange studies was meeting lovely people and making so many new friends, who I will hopefully remain friends with forever!

 

Picnicing at the City of Arts and Sciences

So if you are a technical architecture student, would I recommend UPV for you? Yes! You should definately go, but be prepared to learn a little bit of Spanish beforehand and be open minded! There are courses in English, but you would definately get more out of the experience if you also took the Spanish ones. However, even if you do not speak Spanish, you will still be alright and you will have an amazing time!

Besos y que pases bien!

City of Arts and Sciences