ARRIVAL TO VALENCIA AND FIRST IMPRESSIONS8 September 2016
No words can ever describe the excitement I felt in the last few days before heading off to Spain. Visiting this beautiful country has been my dream since I was a child and there was almost no room for worries in my brain. Besides, I had already had the experience of moving away from my home country, leaving behind my family, friends and traditions. Despite the conflicting emotions I feel every time I move to a new place, I never lose my enthusiasm and positive attitude.
For instance, I had to wait for more than 3 hours at the airport of Valencia in order for someone from the letting agency to come and pick me up (at least they offered such a service, which was great!). There were also a few maintenance issues in my flat and there are still so many things left to arrange, such as opening a Spanish bank account, getting a SIM card, registering as a foreign citizen, sending the Certificate of Arrival, etc. However, I have also managed to use some of my time during the first days of my stay to explore the city and go to the beach. Pictures could never do justice and show the whole magical beauty of this historic Mediterranean city…but I am sure you will enjoy those:
Apart from the breathtaking architecture, the beautiful scenery and beaches, the sun and the extremely hot weather Valencia provides, it is also a very student city. La Universitat de Valencia is the 3rd one in Europe in terms of the number of Erasmus students it accepts each year. Similar to Cardiff, you can find student offers and discounts everywhere and there are parties organised almost every night. The university staff and the local people are very welcoming and supportive of those on the Erasmus scheme. There are all kinds of cultural and social events designed especially for international students. In the past three days I have been taking part in a workshop related to the language and culture of the Valencian community. The leaders of this workshop were students themselves and they acted a lot like our mentors. Moreover, this was a great opportunity to meet people from all over the world and make new friends. My group went out after the first day of presentations and since then we have been keeping in touch and hanging out together:
Along with my flatmate from Turkey, these are the people that made the first week of my experience in Spain one I will never forget! In short, do not be afraid of the challenge to go to a completely new place by yourself. As long as you keep the smile on and are positive and kind, the nicest of people will just be drawn to you like a magnet.
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