Sophia Smith-Galer studies Spanish and Arabic at Durham University and is currently doing an internship in Granada, Spain, for a company that runs cultural tours of the city and organises Erasmus+ placements for European students. In October, she will head to Beirut to study at the Institut Francais du Proche Orient. To read more about Sophia's year adventures abroad, visit her blog or follow her on Twitter.
Giselle is studying Management and Spanish at Leeds University and is spending her year abroad in Madrid studying Business at Complutense University. She's also blogging about her adventures! Here are her thoughts about recent strikes in Madrid...
The debate surrounding the Spanish tradition of bullfighting is one that continues to polarise, dividing people between those who see it as an antiquated custom that glorifies the torture of animals, and those who consider it simply as part of the country’s history and culture, with very little grey area in between. As a student on a year abroad in Madrid, a bullfight was high on my to-do list when I moved here. I wasn’t being naïve: I knew what the night would entail, but I thought the only way I could have an opinion on the topic was to experience it first hand, so fuelled by a ‘when in Rome’ mentality, last weekend I attended a bullfight at Madrid’s Plaza de Toros de las Ventas.
Virginia Stuart-Taylor studied Spanish, Italian and Portuguese at the University of Exeter and spent 6 months of her third year abroad studying in Córdoba, in Spain. Having graduated from university, she now writes a blog about travelling and living abroad called The Well-Travelled Postcard, and you can also follow her on Twitter @vstuarttaylor
The N.I.E. is the Número de Identidad Extranjero - Foreign Identity Number to you and me. I was aware I would have to get something like this in order to do things like open a bank account, and to legally be here for more than 90 days. The problem is, it seems that every avenue of finding out about the process of it is absolutely shambolic - it infuriated me that nobody seemed to know exactly what needed to be done, despite telling me things as if they did. I will write how I got mine, and hopefully it will be of a more reliable source for those of you who need to get it and haven't, having actually done the process yesterday.
It has been a crazy old week. I have officially booked my flight out there. I now have a one way ticket with EasyJet on 21st September at 5.15pm from Stansted. I am also bringing my parents as human donkeys to use their luggage allowance as my own. There is no way I’m paying for 2 extra suitcases, let alone carrying them alone!
Anita Barton-Williams is studying French and Spanish at Nottingham Trent university, and is spending her year abroad in Strasbourg, France, and Ávila, Spain. She says, "I want to shed light on the experiences I have had as a young black woman abroad. I want to be able to give advice to other Black people and ethnic minorities on what to expect upon starting their year abroad as I, as well as several of my fellow Black Trent students, have encountered racism on several occasions and feel it is a topic that needs to be brought to attention." Here is her advice.
For those of you who have recently received an acceptance letter to study in Spain, you’re probably already daydreaming about la vida loca that awaits you: a new world where the hardest decision will be which tapas to accompany your glass of sangria, sunbathing on a beach as the sounds of flamenco and salsa music float through the air. For the most part, you won’t be disappointed. However, what the study abroad brochure fails to mention is that your year abroad will be soundtracked by the worst kind of music, that your favourite band would never dream of touring Spain… but also, that the music festivals back at home have been ripping you off for years.