When you study abroad it’s like starting university all over again. You have no idea what’s going on because it’s a completely different system, in another language, you don’t know where anything is and you don’t know anyone BUT it’s cool GIVE IT TIME, everything will fall into place just like when you moved to Glasgow you didn’t have a clue what was going on but now you’re all snug in your little comfortable Glasgow uni bubble. You’ve just got TALK, number one rule of studying abroad, ask,ask,ask questions. Even though you may sound like a weirdo awkwardly phrasing it another language and you’ll get the look from other students (a mixture of pity and interest.) Pity because they think ‘man it must be hard for this girl/guy to do this in another language’ and interest because you’re from Scotland, what’s not interesting about that?! But honestly one word of advice is to speak up because if you don’t you kind of blend into the background and end up not knowing what’s going on. Even though my Spanish isn’t amazing i’d rather try than sit in class alone not talking to anyone for fear of embarrassing myself.
Furthermore it’s easy to just fall into the deep dark hole of homesickness and just laze around in your flat because you don’t know anybody or where anything is but hey you’re on an erasmus exchange and this only happens once in a lifetime so put yourself out there head to events and go exploring! A great way to do this is through Erasmus events with the Erasmus society. The Erasmus Network in Salamanca is fantastic. They have events on practically every day of the week; pub quizzes, beer pong, trips, parties, cultural visits, tapas crawl everything! Even now when we’re further in the semester there’s still all of this going on! In order to get to know people, during one of my first weekends, I went on a bike ride of the city and a trip to the surrounding mountains and small Spanish towns. I knew no one but I put myself out there and made small chat. I waded through all of that where are you from, what do you study and actually made myself some decent friends from all around the world. That first trip changed everything and i’m so glad i made that last minute decision to go on it. Before leaving i was warned ‘ooo don’t get stuck in the Erasmus bubble, try to integrate with Spanish people. But i think this piece of advice is pants because in this erasmus bubble there are interesting people from all over the world to meet and it doesn’t mean that by hanging around with them you’re going to speak English because a lot of them want to only speak Spanish because they’re in the same position as you and want to practice therefore don’t fear getting stuck in the erasmus bubble, relish it!
La Pena de Francia Mountain Top View
El Rio Tormes – Sitting eating my sandwiches on a lecture break
German, English, Scottish, French and Argentinian
oh hey mum, look i made new friends! Sitting in the plaza after stuffing ourselves with paella