This academic year has definitely been a rocky year for sure, and despite being homesick at the beginning, I know for a fact when I finish my study placement, I will miss Spain! (OK not the study part!).
Travelling is a must do. Spain may not be as big as the USA or India, but believe me there is a lot of cultural differences and a lot of adventuring to be done in Spain.
Having missed out on an ESN TRIP (Student Network), to Valencia , My friends and I, the
KRAZY KRYSTAL and CRAZY CARA set of to Valencia, the home of Paella. I travelled separately there as I had classes earlier in the day. The first day was muddle, they missed their train and I got to Valencia all well, despite being sent to the outskirts of Valencia, Xativa by a train worker when mistaken for Xativa Metro Station. However, I loved it, a city that was a mixture of new and old, had a beach but was cosmopolitan at the same time. Public transport wasn’t as great as Madrid and a lot of walking was done, but I am glad that I can tick Valencia of the list! My favourite part of Valencia was the Life and Sciences Museum area:
I also visited Sevilla in term 2, on my own due to unforeseen circumstances and I was nervous. Sevilla is definitely more traditional compared to Madrid, but it is a beautiful city. This trip made me realise that I have an independent characteristic and many were proud of my solo adventuring. (What I mean is that I can actually look after my passport 😉 ). The main advantage of solo trips is that you can do what you want, whenever you want and how you want! The Alcazar Gardens was definitely my favourite sight in the city, which also happens to be a setting of ‘Games of Thrones’.
As I only have a few months left, I am eagerly awaiting to tick the boxes on my to-do list. It is important to remember that although I am here on a study placement, being able to balance leisure time with working time is crucial. You should not work all day. If you find yourself not being able to concentrate, go gallivanting. I was bored of revising one SUNNY SUNDAY, so I decided to go Retiro Park with some friends. Retiro Park is an amazing park, one of my favourites and the Sun makes it better 100x. The ambience is amazing and there’s always street performances occurring. You can also go rowing!
Being Spontaneous is also a great way to find out many events. For example, that very same day, I found out that a few Bollywood stars were in Madrid promoting the IIFA awards as they were going to take place in Madrid in June, and I was ‘so gassed that I could have exploded‘ with excitement. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to meet them, but it was nice knowing a part of my culture was being spread in Madrid.
Finally, I would like to end this post as a memorial. Every March, there is a festival in Valencia known as ‘Fallas’ and it very popular. Many student organisations organised trips there, and many returned safely, but a bus of ESN Barcelona crashed and sadly some left the world. I would like to pay my respects to the victims as well as their families. It’s tragic that students who were given the same opportunity as me, on a year abroad, and events like this make you feel grateful for life. RIP x