UVa – the bridge to a new world, by Nguyen Thi Thuy Linh

My name is Nguyen Thi Thuy Linh. I am a student in Vietnam National University – Hanoi University of Science. I want to show you a great deal of amazing experience that I gained during the time living and studying in the University of Valladolid (UVa).

The first experience of mine is learning how to adapt with the climate. Valladolid is a city has the climate totally different from my country. In the winter, it was freezing cold and dry but rarely snowy.  I could not wear any T-shirt till the end of April. This weather made us always go shoulder by shoulder, hand by hand to get warmer – the weather brought us close together. I was quite confident to say that I can even move to Arctic to live after I experienced the weather in Valladolid.

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A snowy day in Spain which rarely occur

My second experience is learning something new. I not only took a huge advantage from the Industrial engineering semester in the UVa but also emerged in a unique culture of Spain in which Valladolid is such an ideal place to explore. During the semester, I was impressed with the enthusiasm and the friendliness of all professors as well as their willingness to help me for any doubt. I truly appreciate to professor Margarita Mediavilla Pascual in System dynamics and simulation class, group of professors Pedro Garcia Encina, Raquel Lebrero, Julián M. Pérez and Fernando A. Frechoso in Environment and renewable energy class, professor María Isabel Jiménez in Technical project class, professor María in Spanish class, and finally my supervisor Sara Isabel Pérez Elvira who guided me in the final project.

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My professor and classmates in Spanish course

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Some staffs in Department of Chemical Engineering and Environmental Technology

After the class, I took part in a latin dancing class every Friday night. It was such a special and wonderful class when at first there were only three Vietnamese students, but my dance teacher, Amaury Frometa, taught us with his passion and enthusiasm. My dancing class then became a cozy home that help us find relaxation and connection that we never find anywhere in the world.

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Some memories in my dancing class

One more experience is getting to know some new friends in different part of the world. We are different in color, language, and culture but we have in common at one thing that we all love Valladolid. I was grateful with some Tunisian girls who cooked for us various delicious food. I thought they can win high prize if they participate the Masterchef show.

I also want to give my special thanks to some friends in Papua New Guinea, South Africa and Europe who help me a lot in the class. Besides, I really admired some friends in laboratories that are Honami (a girl from Japan that is optimistic and independent) and Alina (a girl from Cuba that is like a professional dancer).ttl5

Some memories with my friends in UVa

Overall, the 5-month-course in UVa has given me full of valuable experience. UVa is truly an amazing place that bring me close to a new world where I become more mature and more confident to create a better life.

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ERASMUS + KA107 caused me to discover BEAUTIFUL SPAIN = By Gerega Maiga (Nego)

MY TRAVEL ROUT TO SPAIN

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Travelling the half of the globe

The 11th of September 14:50hr is the day and time I will never forget of leaving the soil of my country Papua New Guinea. It was a very exciting moment when I received a scholarship under ERASMUS + KA107 Masters International Credit Mobility program coordinated by European Commission to study in Spain. Nonstop flight leaving Port Moresby (Jackson’s airport) to Singapore (Changi airport) transiting to Amsterdam (Schiphol airport) and then finally to Madrid (Adolfo Suarez Barajas airport) took us total of 17 hours travel was a physical trauma indeed.

 

FIRST TWO DAYS IN THE CITY OF VALLADOLID
Arriving in Valladolid was amazing for me to see the incredible infrastructure with people so peaceful and kind. I felt secure to communicate with my flat owners even though they could not speak or understand English. This already relay message to me that my stay for the rest of the semester would be okay. Walking around in the forest of buildings was different experience altogether without having a drop of sweat from my body. My mind was telling me where are all these waters you drink have gone?

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Site seen in the city of Valladolid

MY FIRST MONTH IN THE CITY OF PALENCIA
CITY LIFE
Before arriving in the Palencia city, what I found out was that my accommodation was pre-arranged. Thanks to the ERASMUS International Coordination Team thumbs up, you are very competent people. There were no odd feelings I ever had, people greeted me with open arms and with cheerful smiles. This is the city I will be staying the rest of the semester.
The city is live day and night with crowds of people swaying from one point to the other with their daily routines minding their own business. One thing that touched me was the conducive environment that the people embrace in that congregated habitat was the peace and harmony of place. People are loosely everywhere and especially in the evenings this main street called Caller Mayor is normally flooded with people from different races and colors both young and old, street roamers and beggars. Very attractive place to live.

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In the heart of Caller Mayor with my colleagues from Brazil and two Vietnamese.

SOCIAL LIFE
Socializing is the common event that make the city alive. Locals and internationals have their own ways of socializing. Here we were invited by one of our Bangladeshi colleague to taste his traditional food. So many things are offered during these events, you have to make your own choice when you are an attendant or visitor.

 

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Feasting on traditional Bangladeshi recipe.

 

SCHOOL LIFE

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After lecture feasting on fresh grapes

In my study of Master on Mediterranean Forestry and Natural Resources Management, the mode and technique of delivering lectures vary with each professors. The courses were very tough in nature instead, they made it very simple to understand. Some of the most renowned professors I came across are very simple and careful personality. I did not find any barrier interacting with them. Oh! What are wonderful individuals, they thought me so many things not only in academic fields but also in the circular world. This is one thing that I will never forget was one of my subject professor removed his outer coat and gave it to me to wear when he saw me feeling cold.

 
SPANISH LANGUAGE CLASS
Learning Spanish language was another mountain to climb. Here we were trailing slowly with the basic level (A1). However, it was unique learning yet stressful moments for my tongue ever experienced.
FIELD TRIPS
Friday is normally scheduled for our field trips and we have traveled to so many interesting sites. One of those which we visited was forest wildfire signal tower. This structure was built in the middle of the forest which monitors the entire region of Castilla and Leon. If any fire is detached within this region it signals the responding base units which are located in each of the provinces headquarters to react very quickly to stop the fire. It was fortunate for me to climb this tower and had a firsthand information how it works.

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Forest wildfire watch tower

Thank you to the ERASMUS + KA107 scholarship, your offer was highly appreciated. I saw my dream come to pass.

“MAMA A BO GURA O”

 

The first Belizean Erasmus exchange student. by Vianay Bautista

 

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vb2My name is Vianay Bautista and I am from a small tropical country called Belize. I grew in Corozal Town, a small town which is located near a bay at the northernmost part of Belize. So far this experience has been incredible and amazing. I always dreamt of traveling to other countries in order to experience various cultures.

At first I had no idea what to expect upon arriving at Valladolid. I had a mixture of nervousness, excitement and anticipation throughout my journey crossing the North Atlantic Ocean. Thoughts flooded my mind with respect to the climate, the food and the people of Spain. Nevertheless, I firmly knew that this will be an experience I shall cherish for the rest of my life.

vb3vb4The city of Valladolid has an impressive quality of cultural, traditional and historical richness which has been perfectly blended with modern influences. Even with this merging, the city has managed to fully preserve its historical value to the world.  In the time living here I have been able to indulge in many traditional Spanish dishes which, I must confess, have all being completely different from what I am accustomed in having but remarkably delicious nonetheless. There are many dishes I have yet to try such as paella, chocolate con churros and tortilla de patata. The culinary experience in Valladolid has given me the opportunity to be more open-minded in trying new foods. Furthermore, Valladolid contains many bakeries with some of the most exquisite pastries I have ever seen. Cookies, sweets and cakes are a delicacy for the eyes, they almost look too good to eat and yet when I bite into them the taste is simply amazing.

The influence of Spain is ever-present in all aspects of this beautiful city which increases my interest in directly witnessing and experiencing what the country has to offer; to personally witness the spectacular scenery and ambience that has inspired countless artists and authors throughout the ages.

I have taken the opportunity to visit various historical and popular sites located throughout the city. At every one of these locations I find myself being amazed by the amount of artwork and history infused in all aspects of them.

I truly feel blessed for having received this opportunity, and I am incredibly grateful to Erasmus and the team that made all this possible. I look forward to more adventures in Valladolid.

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Pucela in my heart forever… by Kriti Karan

 

It is sad to say goodbye now to this place which has been my home for the past 5 months. The 5 months just flew away, I wish I get to stay here for long that’s the effect this place has left on me. I have so many stories to share when I go back home.

This mobility was a lifetime experience for me, it has given me an opportunity to learn new things meet different people, interact and experience different cultures. Studying here was a completely different experience, new academic system, helpful lecturers, the learning environment was just incredible. I liked the fact that we were 4 girls in the flat all from different countries, which was so much fun, we learnt so much from each other. We had our very own international dinner at home on Saturdays and we cooked typical dishes of our countries and share stories over dinner.

It was interesting to learn Spanish language for us all, the girls made a rule at home to speak in Spanish all the time so we could improve on our Spanish.

Staff at the international office were so helpful .Thank you once again to all the staff at international office for making this exchange possible. Especially Miguel and Matthew. Thank you for you all the assistance.

I wish to come back again to this beautiful city.

Pucela in my heart forever…

Kriti

 

 

Awesome Valladolid, Awesome UVa, by Trung Hieu Doan

The international semester at School of Industrial Engineering, University of Valladolid (UVa) has left me with many incredible experiences and memories. It was a great opportunity for me to receive high-quality education from a prestigious university in Spain and to learn more about Spanish culture and lifestyle, as well as making friends with people from many different countries.

As a student studying Environmental science, I find the study program interesting and practical. It consists of courses that deal with climate change, environmental issues and sustainable development. The topics discussed were imperative, but not-yet-well-known problems such as peak oil and planned obsolescence. It is such a positive sign to see these topics discussed at an engineering school, knowing that engineers possess the power to change the texture of reality with their designs and technologies. In addition, the discussion is constructed openly and encourages students from different countries and different background to participate in. The professors here created such good platforms and environment in which students were allowed to give their honest, unbiased opinions, even argue and comment about the idea of each other, which ultimately helped each of us gain diverse perspectives. Overall, it was a great academic experience for me.

doanMy System dynamics class

The Erasmus students’ life is also truly special. The whole trip was such an amazing opportunity to make friends with students from many parts of the world, especially Spanish and European friends. Even in the classroom, the environment is so pleasant and comfortable. We had international friends sharing interesting, unique views and discussing about the same problem, allowing us to learn about each other’s perspective, background and even the culture of their countries. Outside the school, it is not hard to run into your foreign friends on the street, at a bar or a cafe. They are either exchange students or fulltime students at UVa. They all are energetic, friendly young adults that make up a close-knit network, a warm, fun environment in which we can chat, learn, play and party together. Well, in fact, there is Erasmus Student Network that throws kick-ass parties, organizes awesome events and memorable trips. It was always fun going to their events.

Another thing to remember is the city and people of Valladolid. The city is well-known for the catholic churches but what I love most are the two rivers flowing through the heart of the city, giving the city a picturesque but somewhat natural, romantic view. As for the people, that they were so nice and friendly made me feel like I was staying at home.

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The beautiful view of the river banks

The semester was such a great memory that I will hold onto forever. My 5-month period at UVa at is filled with amazing experiences, great impressions of Valladolid, Spain and Spanish people. Thank you, School of Industrial Engineering, UVa and Erasmus+ program for giving me the opportunity to study and live in such great environment. As for Valladolid, I will surely come back and visit this beautiful city. ¡Hasta pronto!