Santi Takes Segovia

Going on exchange to Spain has always been a fairytale dream of mine and it’s very surreal to finally be able to call Segovia my home. I have been preparing for this adventure all year, endlessly fantasising about the days where I can be “livin’ la vida loca!” And here they are…

I began my exchange journey mid-July, escaping Sydney’s winter blues and using it as an excellent excuse to pursue the delights of Europe’s summer before starting my semester abroad. The Mediterranean is not short on sweet swimming spots and nor is the continent short on the circuit of festivalés. Of course! This is where you would have found me during the weeks leading up to exchange. Continue reading “Santi Takes Segovia”

Madrid

Madrid is a very vibrant city brimming with life, art and great food! I have been quick to take to the laid back nature of the Spaniards. My first two wonderful weeks in Madrid have consisted of siesta-infused days and strolls through lively warm summer nights that somewhat by their own volition end up in tapas bars. It is perhaps why it is only just now on the last little bit of the last weekend before classes starts that I have found and moved into my apartment. Continue reading “Madrid”

Madrid

I arrived in Madrid almost a month before my university semester starts in September to get set up in Spain and find accommodation and take advantage of the beautiful summer weather. I decided to stay in the centre of the city instead of the university’s student residency. This meant that I had to spend hours searching accommodation websites like idealist.com, madrideasy.com ad erasmusu.com. After finding a few I liked I called up the property owners and organised some inspections. Here is a little tip for you, never trust photos online. All photos make the place look enormous when in reality Spanish apartments are very tiny and old. Doing the inspections completely in Spanish was quite difficult and intimidating, asking important questions was very difficult. I managed to find a room in a student residency in a really cool part of the city with countless bars, restaurants and plazas around every second corner.

So I would spend my day searching for apartments and my evenings exploring the city. There is a lot of walking to do in Madrid. The architecture is amazing and the city puts a lot of work into making sure it’s all well maintained. From the churches, crypts, terraced facades, statues and monuments, Madrid has a lot of beautiful buildings to see. The palace in Spain is a must see. The outside is an amazing piece of stonework with great detail and the inside is a mixture of beautifully painted ceilings and gaudy displays of wealth.

Now I have some spare days so I am travelling around the rest of the Mediterranean to enjoy some sun and beaches. The climate here is amazing with 35 degree weather every day.

I am very keen for the university semester to start so I can meet more locals and make friends. I am nervous about my timetable being finalised and which classes I can get into. Overall I am feeling great, I am enjoying Madrid and am excited about the whole exchange experience.

 

Marcos Carrasco, 11971013, Business

How to survive in Madrid

Arrival to the Madrid and first days of the university:

Arriving to Madrid was both stressful and exciting at the same time. It was stressful because I needed to find a place to stay and therefore it meant lot of room hunting through various websites which I found idealista.com best out of them. Scrolling through countless ads to find a clean, safe and also affordable and central place was not a very easy task. Finally, after couple of visits to the ones I picked, I found a nice room with the perfect location in a very traditional suburb called La Latina. Continue reading “How to survive in Madrid”

Four reasons why coming to Spain is proving to be the best decision I’ve ever made!

The food-

Think mouthwatering goodness, hangover cure, grandma’s Sunday lunch, the finest delicacies you could ever devour and role it all up and you’ve got Spanish food down to a tee. There’s Paella- Spain’s most famous dish. It’s a smoky rice meal compact with fresh seafood, exotic flavors and a pinch of spice. Pincho de Tortilla is a Spanish omelet which is surprisingly good after a night out when mixed with chorizos and fried to perfection! Churros con Chocolate is to dye for- it resembles a donut shaped liked finger sticks and has a warm and cinnamon like consistency that you simply dip into milky chocolate and eat and eat and eat…

The culture-

From living in Spain for only a few months, I feel I have become more culturally sensitive to world affairs. My understanding of people around me and my appreciation for the different ways people interact has grown tenfold.  Spain has a rich history. There has been everything from wars, religious revelations, and economic struggles all the way to a dictatorship and a free-love movement. Spain is not short of glorious culture. I still marvel at the architecture that’s all around me as I walk down the street- going for evening runs past a crystal palace is pure bliss!

I must not forget to mention it is the people who make this culture so great. No matter how advanced or poor your language skills are; every Spaniard wants to help you. They are a lively and warm bunch of people. To me, it feels like there is a sense of being in a small ‘local-country’ community in the big cities. Because, well everyone loves to know everyone and they look after their own like you’re part of the family.

The independence-

Moving out of home for the first time to a foreign country where I couldn’t speak the language, knew nobody and didn’t have a place to stay when I arrived proved to be the best possible experience for me! I had to go apartment searching by myself. I had to start cooking, cleaning and paying bills on my own while still trying to keep on top of school work and socializing. But the rewards ran deep! I can now say I have met people from around the world who are best friends I’ll keep for life. You will party in one of the best nightlife districts in the world in a way you didn’t know was possible and of course; you will live a life that involves lots of siestas (because sleeping in the day is important). It is so satisfying to make your own rules and have the freedom to do things when you want.

The spontaneous adventure-

Pop over to Portugal for the weekend or maybe take a flight to Paris. Perhaps Amsterdam is on your mind. Why not take a train to Germany? The possibilities are endless and because Spain is located in such a convenient part of Europe- you’re bound to have spontaneous weekenders that you’ll never forget. At the end of my exchange I will be backpacking through Europe for two months, so right now I am focusing on seeing as much of Spain as possible. This in itself is the most incredible adventure. I will defiantly be coming back to this fabulous land!

Georgina Lenehan xxx

Georgina Lenehan- 11700717