Livin’ la vida loca!
Learning for life! That is the motto I would choose for my Erasmus Semester. My stay in Valencia let me gather new experiences that let me grow as a person.
It was my first time living in a country with Hispanic culture, a city that big (at least for me) with that kind of warm/humid climate and that kind of lifestyle.
In January 2022 I came to Valencia and after a few weeks my courses at the “Universidad Católica de Valencia” started. I felt comfortable from the beginning on since my professors were really welcoming and gave us the feeling that they are happy that we are here. I also had the opportunity to attend a Spanish learning course where I could improve my language skills a lot. Other than that, my courses were held in English, I learned about Body Expression, Motor Development and Sport lessons, English writing and teaching. What was very special for me was my Internship at a Spanish school. I was able to help out mainly with English classes since the English teacher was on sick leave. I voluntarily stayed at the school until the end of the school year to learn more about the schooling system, to offer help and also to improve my Spanish Skills. Since the Style of teaching was very different in that school (very teacher-centred) compared to Tirol/Austria I had the chance to reflect on all those differences that I came across.
Through my internship at school, daily life situations, through beach volleyball and work I got an insight in Spanish/Hispanic culture and since in Valencia gather people from all around the world I got to know lots of other Internationals as well.
The lifestyle in Valencia was something that I had to get used to in the beginning but helped me at the same time to broaden my horizon. The ways of relaxing, taking their time to meet friends or make new friends, talking to strangers in the supermarket, on the street etc., dancing on the street, living more in the moment, being not very concerned about future problems, their openness and direct way, their positive attitude about life even during difficult times really impresses me and I think that surrounding helped me to act and feel more like that as well. It is September now and I am still living and working in a coffee bar here in Valencia, serving a lot of ‘Agua de Valencia’ what is an alcoholic Speciality in that city. Yes, I am enjoying the ‘vida loca’ here.
Seeing different ways of teaching (in school and the professors at university), progressing my beach volleyball skills, experiencing other lifestyle, learning a new language, getting to know a different kind of thinking are the things I will keep in my mind and always be thankful for that since these experiences shape your personality!
… heading off to the beach volleyball courts now. Cheers!