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!
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!
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.
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.
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!)
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!
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!
I have now spent the last 10 months in Madrid. First, I was doing my Erasmus studies here at Universidad Rey Juan Carlos for one semester. After that I started my internship with a company called Citylife Madrid. At the moment, my 5 months internship is going to end. On this post, I will focus on my experiences during my Erasmus study exchange abroad.
One semester in Universidad Rey Juan Carlos lasts for about 4-5 months, depending on which courses you select. All my courses lasted from September to December, so I didn’t have school anymore in January. The University was located a little bit outside of the centre of Madrid, so I always went there by metro which took about 30-40 minutes each way. The campus area was nice; couple of palm trees on the outside and benches to sit down during breaks. Also, the big library was a good place to study for the finals and to do group projects. About the courses that I selected: compared to my studies in Finland, I think the teaching quality wasn’t as good and furthermore, there weren’t so many interesting courses to choose from. Not only is this my opinion, but I have also heard the same from other Finnish exchange students as well. I studied all my courses in English but there was also a chance to study in Spanish or with both of the languages.
And then something about Madrid itself… I’m not wondering at all why it is the capital of Spain. Madrid is a really beautiful city that is full of life day by night. Its architecture is just gorgeous. The city is divided in many different neighbourhoods of which Malasaña and La Latina are definitely my favourite ones. Not to mention the Parque de El Retiro that is a huge park in a city centre. I used to go there to run in the evenings and sometimes have picnics with friends during the day.
In Madrid, there are parties going on every day of the week and you can’t find a bar that doesn’t have Sangria or Tinto de Verano in their selection. People like to sit down outside on the terraces to see their family and friends while eating some tapas.
In Spain they have many different holidays during the year. That means, no school or work and also some shops might be closed (depending on which holiday is it). That gave me and my friends good reasons to travel all around Spain. We visited many cities, for example in Valencia and Sevilla. Those cities were so pretty too!
If you ever wondered about doing a study exchange in Madrid or to just go there for vacation, I can highly recommend it! The culture and the city itself is way different than what we have in Finland and it gives you amazing experiences and memories to remember for the rest of your life! <3
I have been in Spain Fuengirola now almost three months and my practical training is coming to its end. This has been amazing road and I will remember this forever for sure. Like I mentioned, I’m doing a practical training, in a Finnish homeschool here, and in Finland I study Bachelor of Social Services.
My job here is very different for what I have used to since I have never worked with kids this age. The children are between preschool and ninth grade, so the radius is also big. My job description includes for example guidance, teaching, motivating and actual “parenting” if you know what I mean. It’s kind of funny because I have such a big influence on these kids and I’m also growing a lot at the same time… The best thing in this job are definitely the children, challenging roles and of course the beach where we eat our lunches 😉 (picture from our break –>)
Time has flown but luckily I have had some time to get to know my current residence. In Fuengirola there is a lot of Finnis people and other foreigners so it’s a bit hard to find locals. (<– There was lot of locals 😉 Malaga CF vs. Barcelona. Spain is a football country so it was kinda obvious I go and see at least one game!) You really have to know where locals spend their time. So first I had to explore the nightlife of course, and I did manage to find good places where also local people liked to hang out. They love dancing as do I, so it was natural for me to go in these kinds of places. Second thing I have spent a lot of time is watching ice-hockey, since SM-league and MM-games both were going on whilst I was here. Along with dancing and ice-hockey, I just hang out and do nothing special. Sure I have made some trips to another cities and so on but those does not fill my normal days.
(this pic is from Mijas near to Fuengirola)
I don’t know how to compare Spain and Finland as working places because I’m in Finnish school and the schools main teacher is Finnish as are the children. Of course it is different to be in small, under 30 student school than to be in school where one class can include that 30 students… Here we can provide more individual teaching and help, and if (when) there are students with special needs, we notice them more easily and can pay more attention to them.
I have loved it here and i firmly recommend Spain as a practical training country. I personally think that people learn best from another cultures and from another people so if you don’t want to go to Spain, go somewhere. Muchas gracias y hasta luego!
I am spending my exchange year in Valencia and studying music in the Conservatorio superior de música “Joaquín Rodrigo”. The curriculum here is very different from what we have back home in Finland, so I have taken the opportunity to try out all kinds of new subjects. As a singer I have been especially exited about the number of lessons we get working with a pianist every week. In addition to this, the school offers subjects like stage acting, body movement, singers’ anatomy lessons, chamber music and language studies. So, a whole package of skills essential for professional singers! My biggest challenge has been the language. All the lessons are held in Spanish, and even though my Spanish skills are improving, they don’t quite cover the professional anatomy vocabulary at this point. 😉
Now that the rainy winter months are over, the best way to spent time in Valencia is outside. Right next to my home, continuing through the whole city is the Turia-park. In the past, it used to be a river, but after causing huge floods in town it was dried from water. Today it has been transformed into a beautiful, I believe at least 9km long park-area, for all Valencians to enjoy. It is a place where people go jogging or cycling, families go for a picnic and kids have play-dates in the children’s parks. The cafes, football fields and roller-skating rinks ensure that people of all ages can find things to enjoy. So, when the sun is shining outside – and it mostly is – I love to go to Turia, do some sports, have a coffee or just sit on the grass and watch the people and life around me. 🙂
I thought, that now is a good time to write this postcard, because it’s raining here at this moment. So, I am a nurse student, and I am doing my training in Spain, in the city called Manresa.
I am doing my training in big hospital. I don’t have one specific place in the hospital, but I have toured in several units during my training. It has been very nice, because I have seen and learned a lot of new things. I have, for example, seen and participated in treatments of cancer, different kind of endoscopies and treatments of surgery wounds.
The biggest problem has been the language. I don’t really speak Spanish and even less Catalan, and people here hardly speak English. Lucky for me, every unit I have been, has been person who has been able to speak English. And best of all, everyone wants to learn to speak English.
The things I have been noticed here in working culture, is that nurses really care about their patients. Or at least that is how I feel, when I see them working here. For example, in oncology unit, nurses really know them patients and their history, and they listen and speak with patients really much.
One thing, which was little bit a shock for me, was that here is only one break during the working shift, when there are often two in Finland. And in morning shift the break is breakfast, not even lunch. Now my stomach has started to get used to it, but first I was always hungry.
My spare time. Well usually after training days I come home and take a nap. It really isn’t so easy to do training in different country and in a foreign language!
But at weekends we usually travel to Barcelona with my friend. Manresa, where we are living, is really nice but pretty small, so here is not so much to see, and it is easy to travel to Barcelona by train.
The finest place so far has been the Montserrat Mountains. Views from the mountains are incredible.
All in all, I can say that I am very happy that I came here!
Greetings from Manresa! I am doing my training here in South Europe. I am nurse student, and my training place is quite nice and small health center where children and adults are cared for. My training has gone pretty well even though really no one speaks English and I barely speak Spanish or Catalan. But thank God we have a Google translator. People here are very friendly and interested in to learn some English so in practice I also teach English to my work mates.
(view from Manresa)
Manresa located about 65km from Barcelona. And almost every weekend I used to take train to Barcelona. I can say that Barcelona is huge city and every time I visiting there I found something new and interesting to do. Here it is not possible to get bored. The best thing for me is just to walk the seashore or La Rambla while the sun is warming up. Besides, there are also great shopping places here.
(La Sagrada Familia and La Rambla)
The training is quite similar here and in Finland. Of course there are some differences but I could say they are quite minor. The first difference I saw was that they do not have brakes between their work day, they just keep their brake when they had done all the works, like if you went afternoon shift your first brake was 20.15 and you can go home 21.00.
Other compares I saw was that almost every single TV series and movies are re-recorded in Spanish and I think that was quite annoying. Despite that I really can say that I have liked to be here. And of course the parking system, Spanish just park their cars anywhere and leave the warning lights on for while they go shopping.
Greetings from Fuengirola, Spain, where I am in practical training. I’m studying for a Bachelor of Social Services. Now I have been here five weeks and my training lasts three months. I enjoyed my life in Spain and the placement is a very good. It’s a small home school where is about 25 pupils.
I love sunny mornings
Spare time has passed by walking nearby villages and nearby mountain. During the first month came more than 300 km of walking. While the walking can to sense the mood of the villages better than in the car. In the nearby mountain there is a cave at an altitude of about 500 meters and there also came a deviation.
Great views from the mountain
It’s not really Ia castle, it is a monument dedicated to the life and adventures of Christopher Columbus. It is a miniature model of the castle. This attraction is located on Pueblo Benalmadena near Fuengirola.
Spain ascompared to Finland
First at all, the climate comes to mind, especially right now, that in Finland has had severe frosts. Despite the fact that last week there was a very rainy climate it is wonderful. However, rainfall is needed to fill rainwater from the basins of drinking water, otherwise the water setting will begin.
Water flows down the Fuengirola River down the mountains
In Spain, nothing is very accurate and, for example, a car can be a parking space in the middle of the road and block the whole traffic if the driver deviates somewhere and there is no immediate parking space.
People are very polite and many greetings, hola! In Finland it is normal to turn away and say nothing. Here are lots of dogs and they usually run free. On the streets are quite a lot of dog stools. The dogs are not interested in other people but are running their own paths.
Even though here are many tourists, it is worthwhile to come if there is a chance!
Valladolid is known of beautiful religious buildings. For example the cathedral of Valladolid or the church of San Pablo and many others. Valladolid is not much bigger than Tampere. It is a city of 300 000 people and is located 200km north from the capital of Spain, Madrid. I think the size of Valladolid is perfect for Erasmus. It`s not too small but small enough to know, where you can find other Erasmus students when you want to spend your evening outside. The size of the city made it very easy to adopt the Spanish life.
I study building services engineering and all courses I chose in university of Valladolid were in English. When I arrived at university of Valladolid, I had a problem with my courses. Due the lack of information all courses I had chosen were available only in the spring semester. I met my responsible professor to help me with the courses. Even though the responsible professor didn`t expect any students from Finland, she helped me to find the right courses for me. I had to take courses from the field of study of chemical engineering and industrial engineering. It was easy to understand a big difference between Spain and Finland: The things did not work as smoothly as they do in Finland. Every appointment and process were always delayed and took a lot of time to happen. First it was really frustrating, but I got used to it and I just had to accept the way it is. Although the people had difficulty with time, all teachers and persons I met at university were really helpful and kind.
I came to Valladolid with my Classmate and being in Erasmus with a good friend is great. We have been living and traveling together, which have made everything simpler. The best way of spending your weekends in Erasmus is traveling. We have been all over Spain and Portugal visiting many beautiful places. One of the best part has been the atmosphere in the football stadiums around Spain.
Hola! I’m studying building services engineering in Spain, city called Valladolid. Valladolid might be unknown place for most of you, but it’s a beautiful old city located 200 km up north from Madrid. The city has a lot of old architecture, narrow streets and small river flowing through. Along the river is a small beach where was nice to play beach volley and take a sunbath in a beginning of exchange when the weather allowed it. Although the city doesn’t have many specialities, so it’s pretty unknown and tourist free. Moving around the city is easy with a good bus network and citybikes. Citybikes are cheap and useful way to go around the city and you can reach all the places in an half hour. I think Valladolid was perfect place for me to do my exchange. Good parts in a smaller city is that you will get to know the city and the people more easily. Valladolid gave also good opportunity to learn the new language because they speak clean Spanish here (in Spain they have lot of different dialects and languages) and the lack of English speaking people force you to learn Spanish.
First thing what I noticed in Valladolid was that no one speaks English at all. It was quite interesting for me who didn’t know a word of Spanish before reading travel guide for Spain in an airplane on way to here. After two Spanish courses, help from the other exchange students and a tons of Google Translate the Spanish language starts running pretty smoothly.
I came to Valladolid to study building services engineering on the University of Valladolid. Due to my bad Spanish language, all courses I took was in English and matching with my own field of study. However after wrong informations and misunderstandings all the courses I had chosen in Finland, wasn’t available on autumn semester. To replace these I got courses that were taught in English from different field of study. On top of that my responsible professor in Valladolid didn’t even expect student from Finland. These kind of lacks on organising made me realize the biggest differences between Finland and Spain. After all the teachers tried to do their best to find the most suitables courses and helped me with every problem I had.
I was lucky that I could do my exchange with my classmate from Finland. We have lived, studied and done almost all together. Traveling with your good friend has been also awesome and easy. We made a lot of trips together or with other exchange students. In this five months I have visited places like Bilbao, Madrid, Salamanca, Porto, Sevilla, Valencia, Alicante, Barcelona, Zaragoza, Málaga, Gibraltar and maybe something more before I come back to Finland.
I´m in practical training in Tenerife, in Santa Cruz. I study nursing and this is my last practical training. First weeks I was in health center because I had to learn some skills I haven´t learn in Finland. For example taking blood samples: I have done it only once in the school 2 years ago. Secondly i needed to learn Spanish quite well before the practising in hospital. These last weeks I´m in the university hospital, in traumatology ward. This is very interesting. Other nurses don´t speak English much so we communicate with Spanish language. I think I have learned to speak Spanish quite well and other nurses and patients understand me.
Spare time in Spain
There are many activities in Tenerife. Hopefully I have spare time every weekends. I´m grateful because me and my Finnish friend spend our exchange in the same destination country. When we have spare time we usually go take the sun to the beach or sea water pools. We are very lucky because here is everyday at least 22-25 degrees. Three weeks ago we were in Teide (the volcano that is the highest peak in Spain) with our Spanish friend. We have met Spanish students and been hanging out with them.
There are many shopping places in Tenerife. Santa Cruz is the best shopping city in whole Tenerife. There are many shopping streets and commercial center in Santa Cruz. Clothes and food in restaurant is cheaper than in Finland. That´s why we can go eat to restaurant more often than in Finland.
Compared to Finland
Practising in the university hospital in Spain is quite same than in Finland. There are quite same treatment methods and aseptics is important also in Spain. Even if I work in the different culture, there are similarities in practicalities and ethics laws. All in all I think Finland is more advanced with health system than Spain does: because of technology.