Category Archives: Study Abroad Life

Want to know how to survive in a City that never sleeps? You don’t…you learn to balance!

Okay so my supervisor (Daniel) has returned from his trip in Italy and we all know what that means, of course back to work I go! Although I will admit, I would rather return to a placement in Rio rather then returning for a second term with new modules (probably still drunk and disorientated from New Year’s too), is this another reason to do a placement abroad? I think so.

Anyway as I mentioned in my previous post, February is also a really important festive month in Rio  and that’s because it’s time to celebrate the world renowned event and that is of course *Drum Roll* Carnival! But this also means its time I learn how to balance work and manage a social life at the same time, and I’ll tell you one thing, films make it look so much easier than it actually is, even if my snapchat story begs to differ.

Masquerade anyone?

Masquerade anyone?

Right back to Carnival, this was like a once in a lifetime event for me (although I make it my life mission to see it again because funnily enough I don’t think just seeing it once will rest well with me), I finally got to see the cultural side of Rio and coming together of different nationalities for this event, you really get to meet some interesting people ( and I don’t just mean the weird drunks on the street) from across the globe and actually get to experience what Rio is actually all about.  So what did I do? Here they have events called “Blocos” these are basically street parties, people selling drinks and food in the street, there is a lot of music and of course a lot of Brazilian dancing, and I promise you, these guys can really dance! So I attended some of the Blocos mainly in Copacabana and Ipanema, stayed quite close to home but wow, people know how to party here and it just didn’t stop and to be honest I didn’t want it to either! But of course Sophia and I purchased tickets to see the Carnival parade in the Sambadrome too, which a part of me didn’t actually believe would be as amazing as Sophia said it would be (I know guys, I was completely wrong), but the costumes, the music and especially the atmosphere was unforgettable, sitting in this stadium from 9:00pm to 3:30am watching all these performances, everyones hard work and seeing all this talent was truly amazing and to be honest it is something I will forever appreciate seeing, seriously if you guys are wanting to travel around February time and really have got no clue where to go, I am telling you book Rio, don’t even think about it just do it. Please.



its almost like Disney magic

its almost like Disney magic

So here’s the difficult part, with my supervisor making his return, so did my work and responsibilities, which meant I had to add a new word in my vocabulary, balance.  Yes balance really is key, you can be anywhere and do anything but remember your responsibilities, its hard but so worth it when it comes to the crunch.  I guess this is more of the hard thing of being abroad, you eventually feel like your time is so limited being in a world you just want to explore, that it can be easy to forget why you are actually there in the first place, so how did I do it? I organised myself, which if you guys saw the state of my bedroom you would realise that’s not my strongest quality (I’m sure I’m not alone with this confession), so I planned my week, I also contacted my supervisor to see what my tasks would be before I return to PUC.  My main task being at the moment conducting a literature review of psychological research for him, looking at different papers regarding virtual reality and mood induction, grouping records and finding themes within them to see what has been found in this field so far.  I was able to organise days I had to work and then plan the days I wanted to party with my friends, and it  actually worked! I can say at times it felt like I was sacrificing a good night out but it was worth it, so here’s one tip I have for you guys, when on placement you just have to pick and choose your parties, it is super beneficial in the end, you get a reward, for example when you realise you have completed a lot of your tasks, you can plan a weekend away to Florianopolis with some friends you met at Rio Carnival, sounds good right? I think that’s what I am going to do next anyway.

Its easy to make new friends everywhere

Its easy to make new friends everywhere

Its January so time for Exams? Oops I mean it’s time to travel (Benefits of Working Abroad)

January is when exam season is right? Time for that last minute cramming right? To remember that one little important thing, in that one lecture you were hungover in right?  Well luckily for me, January in Brazil (well in PUC anyway) is still another month of vacation! Normally for students they don’t have to come back until March (I know, come on England I think you need to reinforce this rule), anyway students come back in March due to February being the month of Carnaval, another big holiday, so the Portuguese classes for me don’t start until March.

Anyway luckily for me and Sophia (another Aston student who got accepted on the placement) our supervisor, Daniel, is away on a business trip in Italy until February, so we also don’t have to go back until then, so with all this spare time, what would be the best thing to do? That’s right, let’s go travelling! See what Brazil has got outside of Rio!

Sophia and I went to a state called Salvador which is located in the north of Brazil, and what an experience that was. It was wonderful to experience another culture which Brazil had to offer, here the culture was more African influenced and it was amazing! We got to see many beautiful things such as “Igreja Senhor Do Bonfim”, a local church where people come and tie colourful bands and make three wishes (loved the positivity in this place) and a town called Pelourinho, where Michael Jackson had shot some of his music video for “They don’t care about us”, a monument was made in his honour.  But one thing that truly made my trip, everyone was preparing for carnival! This mean’t that everywhere on almost every street people where practicing their dancing, playing the drums for their set, so almost everyday we got a free show! What more can a girl want aye!

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One of my favourite things about doing a placement abroad is that I feel you learn more then what you’re supposed to learn on your placement or what you learn for your degree, you gain a higher insight of the world which I truly believe can help you develop as a person, there are a lot of personal benefits.  For example I believe that once I return to England and update my CV, I will be able to add more than just “Did a research placement in Rio”, I developed other skills such as learning Portuguese, pushing me to enhance my Spanish skills, developed my communication and problem solving skills, which are a lot of positive things you want to develop.

Dealing with Exams and Hello, Goodbye

January is a hectic month for  an Erasmus student. After spending the Christmas break back home in the United Kingdom, it was time to hit reality and show the exams who was boss. What I liked about my exam timetable this semester was that it lasted only 8 days, and I prefer them to be done and over with, a lagging timetable seems never ending. However, the exam period did prove difficult as I was typically used to revising with my friends from Aston University and it felt unusual not having that company around me. The good thing though was that I had made friends at UC3M and I was able to revise with my UC3M friends.

My UC3M friends did warn me that the final exams were harder than the continuous assessments, but I had suspected this anyway as this tends to be the case. In terms of dealing with the exam stress, I thought I managed to keep it going well. For each person there is a different way of dealing with stress. For myself, going for a run or paying a visit to the gym helps me, and for others it could be watching TV, going for a walk, or even catching up with friends. What is important is that you find a way to deal with stress, otherwise it may make you forget some of the content you have been going over and it is not worth it.

The completion of exams marked the end of the first semester, which means there was going to be arrivals of new exchange students. However this also meant I would be saying goodbye to students who were returning back to their home countries for either completing their final semester or would be pursing with an internship, like my friend Krystal Gill, but fortunately I will be seeing her in my final year at Aston. So far the opportunity of meeting people from different countries has been eye opening. I have learnt so much about other cultures and it just wants me to keep on learning more. Italians usually greet each other with a kiss on both sides of a cheek, Spaniards prefer to eat dinner later in the evening. Non-Europeans like to do as much travelling in Europe as they can as it proves expensive to make individual trips to European countries from their home countries.

I look forward to interacting with new exchange students in the upcoming semester. Below are several photos with the people who made Semester 1 an enjoyable experience. Good luck with your degrees and remember to study hard!

Gagan D S Grewal

Saying hello to Isabella DiPhilippo. She is my new flatmate, an exchange student from The University Of Maine, United States.

Say hello to Isabella DiPhilippo. She is my new flatmate, an exchange student from The University Of Maine, United States.

One of the study zones in the library at Universidad Carlos 3, Madrid.

One of the study zones in the library at Universidad Carlos 3, Madrid (UC3M)

With fellow Astoner-UC3M Krystal Gill on her birthday. She will be pursing an internship in London. Definately one of the reasons my stay in Madrid was more enjoyable

With fellow Astoner-UC3M Krystal Gill on her birthday. She will be pursuing an internship in London. Definitely one of the reasons my stay in Madrid was more enjoyable

Celebrating the end of exams and Krystal Gill's birthday weekend with Joshua Kandola, Erasmus exchange from University of Sheffield, United Kingdom

Celebrating the end of exams and Krystal Gill’s birthday weekend with Joshua Kandola, Erasmus exchange from University of Sheffield, United Kingdom; Cara Kennedy, Erasmus exchange from Trinity College, Dublin; and Krystal Gill, Erasmus exchange from Aston University, Birmingham.

Saying goodbye to Alessia Giaume, an exchange student from Bocconi University, Milan. We studied the demanding Econometric Techniques together.

Saying goodbye to Alessia Giaume, an exchange student from Bocconi University, Milan. We studied the demanding Econometric Techniques together.

Saying goodbye to my Flatmates Jorge García Escribano, who has taken an alternative programme at another Spanish University; and Valentina Crenna, an erasmus exhange from Bocconi University, Milan.

Saying goodbye to my Flatmates Jorge García Escribano, who has taken an alternative programme at another Spanish University; and Valentina Crenna, an erasmus exhange from Bocconi University, Milan.

Lessons: Where the magic happens

Two things I’ll be discussing and sharing my experiences with you are:

Getting out my comfort zone and not waiting for people to explore (They kind of intertwine)!

These two things are extremely important to me, because I learnt that when I started to take these things on board (in Germany), it really helped me  adapt, settle in and just experience new things. I was where the magic was happening (I love this phrase, and you’ll see that I willl use this often, just to emphasize how good life is outside the comfort zone haha!)

The Comfort Zone



  1. a situation where one feels safe or at ease.
  2. a settled method of working that requires little effort and yields only barely acceptable results.

You see the term I just defined above – RUN, FLEE, ESCAPE, JUMP, out and away from this “zone” as far as you can. Doing this will help you develop yourself as a person, grow in different areas of your life, being open to new things which can yield new opportunities, meeting new people who can be useful in the future, adapting to new environments. The list is endless!

Getting out of my comfort zone meant that I had to do things that were new to me and made me feel uneasy. A prime example for me was speaking German (in my silly British accent lol, you can imagine how uncomfortable that is). This was not an easy task, because I tend to be a perfectionist = I didn’t want to make mistakes, I wanted everything to sound perfect and most importantly I didn’t want anyone to laugh at me.. soo that meant I chose what was comfortable for me and I spoke English. But because of this mindset, I was trapped in my comfort zone and I was hindering myself from being in that place “where the magic happens”, which for me was developing my language skills and being confident speaking German. Recently, I was in a situation where I was forced to speak German because the customer service advisor only spoke German (In my head: How can she not speak English? What’s all this?). Usually when people tell me this horrific line, I don’t even give them the time of day, I’m just like bye Felicia. BUT this time I stayed on the line (Mate, I ordered new products and I didn’t have time for it to get sent back). If you heard our conversation you would’ve laughed. I was stuttering, I was piecing sentences that I learnt in my German class together, praying it made sense – fam I was sweating (BUT, I came out of my comfort zone just to rescue my products being sent back haha!). As our weird conversation went on, there was this sudden feeling of victory, fulfilment, confidence, knowledge and wisdom (All in one, I tell you!) because No.1 I just had a flipping conversation in German pat yourself on the damn back Temz, well done! No.2 GUYS SHE ACTUALLY UNDERSTOOD ME!  She even said to me in German “I thought you couldn’t speak German, your German is good”, No.3 I rescued my babiessss from being sent back into the wilderness of the DHL supply chain! I was where the magic was happening baby!!!!

But going back to my point, clearly it was fear that hindered me from recognising my own ability to hold a conversation in German and put it to use!  Since then, I’ve gradually tried to get myself out of that zone permanently and speak the language as much as I can, even if I sound silly or make a mistake – because I was always corrected and I just learnt from this!


From this experience I can boldly tell you that, once you get out of your comfort zone its like life just starts flowing. You become more open to try new things, meet new people which makes it easier for you to adapt and settle into a new environment (especially abroad). You kicked out the spirit of fear, and in came the spirit of confidence which has stopped you from doubting your knowledge, skills and abilities. Going back to the 2nd definition of “comfort zone”, once you get out of this,  you stop yielding average/barely acceptable results and you begin to yield unimaginable results and have new opportunities! It is easier said than done, I for one know this,  there may/will be bumps along the way but you can only learn from these and carry on.



Someone: *SHOCK HORROR* You’re going XYZ place (usually a restaurant) on your own?!!

Me: Yes…..

Someone: ON YOUR OWN???? Rahh you’re on it boy or wow, I could never do that

Seriously guys lol you need to stop asking me these questions in such shock. So because I have no one to go with me to eat or do things, I should now stay in my room?Do not rely on other people to have fun, to explore, to go out, because if you do this you are only going back into the forbidden comfort zone.

For e.g. Let’s say there’s this meet and greet event or something of the sort going on and you reallly want to go, but your friend doesn’t want to go. Do you also say you’re not going? Let’s say you don’t go, and the next day you find out there was someone important there who was giving people the opportunity to… I dunno, get some experience with them  (or something sha you get my drift!) That’s an opportunity just missed there (there will be more of course, but you never know when the next one will come)

Nothing is more expensive than a missed opportunity

If you want to go somewhere/do something don’t have the mindset that you need someone there with you (Unless you’re going on a night out, and its unsafe lol). Learn to be independent, especially when you’re in a new environment (because most of the time you won’t know anyone or have friends). You really wanna see or do something, make plans for yourself and if someone else wants to come along then heyyyyy why not? Just don’t make your plans solely based on whether or not you have someone to come with you.

I’ve missed quite a few opportunities being in Hamburg, it hurts, but now I’ve realised where I went wrong. The two points I just mentioned above is where I went wrong and it’s still a working progress for me but I’m really encouraging myself to get out of my comfort zone and not waiting for people to go places so I can open myself up to new experiences and opportunities. I hope this post has been helpful in someway!

Till next time x

May/June Highlights: Summer is that you?!


This was my favourite picture of the month at Planten un Blomen

Helllooooo guys!

So much has been going downnnnn in Hamburg since May 1st; it was like 1st May just marked summer for us here. It was like event there, event here, mate I can’t complain. Anyways I’ve decided not to write too much in this post and instead have more pictures (because I’m soo lazy to write I won’t lie lol). Anyways, relax yourself and enjoy the pictures!

May – Hafen Geburtstag

One of the first events in Hamburg this may was the Hafen Geburtstag (the Birthday of the Harbour) and to celebrate it there was a festival/carnival along the Harbour, which went on for the weekend and it was unforgettable! It felt a bit like Notting Hill carnival, just smaller, along the harbor, and people were fully dressed.

It was filled with beer huts, food stands, ships, souvenir shops, clothes shops, lights, huge speakers, music stages etc. Carlos Santana performed on Friday, but I didn’t know so I missed this 🙁

(You guys: Who’s Carlos Santana? Me: The guys that sings Maria Maria! You guys: Oh yeahhhhh him)

and if after this you still don’t know………. then this is awkwarddd.

Continue reading

Hasta Luego (See you later)

Hola chicos y chicas,

You are probably busy with exams and essays as usual but guess what?

It will all come to an end soon and we will swap places. You will be in Spain soaking up the sun whilst I’m in the UK depressed because of the weather 🙁 .

I’m kind of jealous now (I’m being honest) because even though it has been 9 months and I still have 3 left. I’m dreading leaving Seville. I have fallen in love with this beautiful and magical city and like I’ve said before I would marry Seville (I’m not kidding). As you can see I have loved my Erasmus year and I can confidently say that it has been one of the best years of my life. I know what you are probably thinking.



I’m not even going to defend myself, I’m just going to let you go abroad and then we will talk when you finish your placement 😉 . As you can see, this blog post is kind of sad because that time of the year has come again. Time to say goodbye and I thought I would be the best at this because I’m already used to saying goodbye to people. I’ve had to say goodbye to my friends and family when I left Portugal, I’ve had to say goodbye to my family when I moved to Birmingham (I know it’s not that far away from Cardiff, but it still counts) and then when I moved to Spain. So, I thought “I will be fine when the girls leave, it will be like a piece of cake”.



By the way, I did not cry (I’m not lying, ok) but it was hard to say goodbye to some of the best people that I’ve met. I think they have made my experience and influenced me a lot (not in a bad way, obviously, maybe). You would think, I would have to wait until June but no. It started in September, two weeks after I started my placement, I had to say goodbye to my older sister (which happens to be an Aston student). Two months later, I had to say goodbye to my princess, followed by my godmother in December, my twin in January, my annoying cousin in February and my next door neighbour in April. Everyone left me, literally, not even my Polish mentor stayed to check on my progress.



However, I’m actually proud of myself because I thought I was going to cry a river, when my next door neighbour left. She was the last Original girl, they were all here when I was just a newbie and we kind of started all at the same time. To see them leave one by one was hard, specially the last one. Anyway, the moral of the story is, enjoy every single second of your placement year abroad. Enjoy your new friends and the memories that you will create together. So that during your final year, you can go and travel around Europe to reminisce over your memories.  I know I will be doing that because I’ve already been invited to a wedding in Vietnam (look at me, V.V.I.P )


Don’t forget, when you are in your placement year abroad to have fun, meet a lot of people, travel, create amazing memories and say hasta luego. Hasta Luego is more joyful and exciting than a good bye (let’s be honest, you want them to stay in your life otherwise how are you going to get invited to international weddings?)


Hasta Luego 🙂

Free time. Me time.

Ironically, I have had little free-time to write anything for this blog for a while. And I know my avid readership cried in despair, waiting in agony for my little name to pop up with another post about my eclectic and wonderful time on my erasmus study placement. And for that, I do apologise…


One thing that you surprisingly don’t hear much about before you do a study placement is the amount of free time you will inevitably have. This is especially the case when studying something like politics. People doing similar courses will agree, we have of course all seen the course booklets “12 hours a week in lectures. 40 hours a week in reading.” Which means, especially for a fresher, “lots and lots of lie ins.” I’m not going to shy away from that fact, subjects in the social sciences really don’t involve a lot of lecture or seminar time, and you will eventually learn that the reading is incredibly important, however, on a study placement, you find that you free time is frequent.

At sciences po anyway, the workload isn’t anything compared to the masters students or even the french undergrad students either. This equates to a heap of free-time with which you have a free reign to think about all the things you could do while you lie in bed becoming a lazy slob… UNLESS you follow my advice.

Find a hobby! Find more than one in fact. In my case, the Braderie of Lille, the biggest flea market in Europe, pulled on my hipster heartstrings and eventually I bought two old, manual cameras on the cheap. I had absolutely no idea how to handle them or whether they indeed worked! Yet, through sheer perseverance, free-time and a useful tool called the internet, I developed a real love for 35mm film photography and I now take my two new-er film cameras EVERYWHERE.

But what I’m trying to say is, it is important to practice the cliché of expanding your horizons. But this isn’t only in terms of integrating into a new country, culture and language, but also in developing yourself, your interests and your hobbies. This helps cure the boredom that not only occurs on a study placement, but in the day-to-day life back at home. I’m happy about my placement because of the people I met and the things I did, and too of how I integrated. But I’m also extremely happy that I developed a new love for something like photography and it has helped in more ways than I originally thought.

Either way, find a hobby. You will have a lot of free time on a study placement and this time is important. University work can also cause stress and you need this time. However, without a hobby or some way of spending this time on you or in a positive way, boredom is only going to add to this stress.

Also, have some pictures from my 35mm cameras. Because why not?

Feria de Abril

Hola chicos y chicas 🙂

How are you? Preparing for exams? Writing essays? I know it’s hard and boring, but it’s worth it. If you have secured a placement, congratulations. If you are still looking for one, don’t get stressed ( remember what I told you about your brain cells). I only secured my placement in July which means that you still have time. Focus on your exams and  assignments then you can worry about one of the best years of your life.

On this blogpost, I’m going to tell you about the Feria de Abril. One of the bests if not the best event in Seville. It usually happens 2 weeks after Semana Santa and it is the total opposite. I’m not going to write that much because I think the pictures will do all the talking.


The Feria de Abril usually starts with a procession around the city centre. Sevillians love the Feria as it is more relaxed than the Semana Santa.


They have a parade of horses to announce the start of the Feria.


The horses usually have ornaments in their face as you can see in this picture.







The city is decorated with reminders of the Feria. Cruzcampo, which is one of the main beer companies in Spain, is the main provider of the reminders.

cruzcampo.jpg 2

The inside of a bus stop.









The Feria officially starts when they switch one the lights of the entrance at midnight. The Feria is that important, that the event is even televised.








The entrance during the daytime.

The entrance during the daytime.







family in carriage

During the day you can see the carriages and you can go in one. You can also see horse riders .


They ride the horses the old-fashioned way.








They are so used to riding the horses, that they even drink whilst on a horse.














All the girls wear flamenco dresses, which can be quite expensive. For you to have an idea, some girls pay 800 euros for a dress.

flamencas 2















In the Feria they have a number of casetas. Casetas are little houses where you can get a drink or some food. They also have a DJ or a band.







private casetas

The casetas can be private or public. If they are private, you need to know one of the partners that will let you in, otherwise you have to go to a public one.








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Me and the girls in a public caseta.







plaza de toros

The Feria also represent the beginning of the Bullfights’ events.










The Feria was one of the highlights of my placement year because since I got here, I always said that I wanted to wear a flamenco dress and the Feria gave me the opportunity to do so. Now, you can see some pictures of me on my flamenco dress.



Me and the girls from the office.

Me and the girls from the office. (Celia and Lilly)

Me and my flatmate.

Me and my flatmate.









Me and Julia (One of the ladies from the office. I call her Pocahontas)

Me and Julia (One of the ladies from the office. I call her Pocahontas)

Me and Nastja (one of the interns in the office).

Me and Nastja (one of the interns in the office).

Julia (a.k.a Pocahontas) taught me how to dance the sevillana, however I will not post the video of me dancing. In this picture you notice the details of the mantocillo ( the scarf she has in her chest)

Julia (a.k.a Pocahontas) taught me how to dance the sevillana, however I will not post the video of me dancing. In this picture you can notice the details of the mantocillo  ( the scarf she has in her chest) thata the traditional girls wear.

Ladies dancing the Sevillana

Ladies dancing the Sevillana


Ladies dancing the Sevillana in a private caseta.

Ladies dancing the Sevillana in a private caseta.























The Feria finished with a firework show. To be honest I’m really sad because I really enjoyed the Feria. Everyone was so happy and relaxed and ready to have fun. If I come back to Seville ( which I will) it will be during the Feria as it is the best time to be here. If you come to do your placement in Spain, take a week off during the Feria and come to Seville.

I wanted to say thank you to all the girls for letting me post these pictures, especially to Celia for taking some of the photos.

Good Luck with your exams and assignments and I will come back next month with some placement advice.

Until then,
Hasta Luego 🙂

Don’t spend that money all at once chile!

Regardless of what situation you’re in I hope this post can be of good use to you. Although we all know the importance of budgeting some of us still don’t take it into consideration.I thought I would share some of my “experiences” with my spending and budgeting whilst I’ve been abroad.


I was off to a new country and my parents, aunties & uncles had already given me that money handshake before I went (IF YOU KNOW YOU KNOW). So at this point I felt like I was the Queen’s daughter with all this cash on me. Of course I knew majority of it would be going to my rent and my maintenance but I was still a rich girl in my head. For my first month I told myself “Temi don’t worry, don’t expect to save anything, you’re in a new country there are loads of expenses to be paid and things to buy.” This was literally the excuse I was using throughout July and into August, and the fact that there were delays with me opening up a bank account meant that I had all my cash on me which led to me spending even more.

After paying all my expenses I still had a substantial amount left over, so what did I do? SPEEEENNND like a MUMU!! Listen I wasted 95% of my money on restaurants, takeout’s and drinks and the other 5% on random things. I was lonely and was missing home – so the next best option that made me feel comforted was food. Lol when I say I was taking myself out to all of these fancy shmancy restaurants to keep myself occupied. I really couldn’t care less on how much I was spending because it was the only thing that was making me happy at that point. There was not one weekend where I didn’t take myself out to eat – if I went sightseeing I’d tell myself “yeah girl you need a snack!” lol. (DISCLAIMER: I don’t have an eating disorder loool, but I love food).

One mistake I made was not planning for contingencies or “just in case” scenarios which dealt with me severely at the end of my first two months. I remember after my first pay I was literally left with zilch as soo much had been taken off my wages (Transport, deposits, additional rent costs etc.). I was left with €150 for the month! Sorry, but what was that chicken change going to do for me? I was depressed just looking at my bank account. Then I was really forced to BUDGET!! No more dates with myself and I didn’t even bother leaving my room because then “I’ll deserve a snack lol”.

You would think from that situation I would learn my lesson. WRONG. Why was I still out on the strip every weekend, partying and spending like I was related to Richard Branson? It was not until my birthday (which was 4 days before pay day) that it hit me. Lol I saw €5 in my account I was soo stressed all I could do was laugh. I felt like the prodigals son at this point. How was I leaving my teen years with €5 please, even my little brother had more money than me and he’s unemployed. This was me on my birthday:



We thank God my sister came to rescue me from this financial problem lol. Think about it, if I had set out a budget and didn’t spend all my money on invisible restaurant dates lol I would’ve had some emergency cash to fall back on. I literally had no excuse for the foul spending I was doing, because my company provides me with A LOT of financial incentives. Budgeting is so important especially when you are away from home and have to be independent.


  • Be responsible with money. Budget how much you’d need for the month (inc. bills, utilities, necessities, groceries etc), you can put a bit aside for leisure (restaurants, clubs, activities).
  • SAVEEEE the rest/Have contingency monies. (You don’t even need a reason to save because either way it will benefit you!).
  • Save also before you go abroad! ERASMUS payments were DELAYED last year because so much people applied. Don’t make the same mistake I did and solely rely on them, because I didn’t save money before I went, when the payment didn’t come on time, I was screwed and I had to go to the Bank of Mum.


Semana Santa

(Please be aware as this blog post may contain pictures that may cause distress)

Hola chicos y chicas,

How are you and how is your placement search going?  I guess some of you may have secured your placement while others are still looking. Don’t get stressed because like I always tell you, you still have time.  You can still find an amazing internship abroad or in the UK. Why don’t you broaden your horizons and become more flexible about the roles and the salary or maybe the location. You might get lucky  😉


Nonetheless, I came here to tell you about one of the most exciting weeks in Seville. Semana Santa (Holy week). Seville is known for its celebration of the Semana Santa because of the breath-taking processions and the streets filled with tourists and locals that came to see their “Virgen”. This is how it works, every church has its virgin and the older churches also have a brotherhood. So they come out and walk around Seville for hours with a statue of their virgin and one from Jesus’ path to crucifixion. They also have the ‘nazarenos’ which can be mistaken by Ku Klux Klan because of their outfits, however their outfits have a different meaning, like they are different (so calm down). In the past they used to wear the overall and the hats to hide their identity as they were ashamed of their sins and they did not want to be labelled as penitents. If you look closer you can see that the outfits are different.

WP_20150330_002 WP_20150330_003 WP_20150330_004 WP_20150330_011 WP_20150330_012 WP_20150330_014 WP_20150330_015 WP_20150330_024(Please don’t ask me the same thing that my brother asked me, “Ana,  OMG no one was arrested?”)

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