Positives and Negatives of the Erasmus Experience so far…

With only a few weeks left to go, I thought it would be a good idea to discuss the positives and negatives of my experiences so far whilst on Erasmus in Madrid.

To begin on a ‘positive’ note, one of the many things I have enjoyed about being on this Erasmus has been becoming for independent.

I am 19 years old and it is my first time living away from home and being financially independent. This in itself was a big achievement.

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Experiencing a different culture, in more ways than one. First off there is the obvious different culture, living in Spain. It is different from Ireland from it’s greetings, right down to it’s traditions. I enjoyed many aspects of this like seeing a Flamenco show, going to the La Latina flea market, attending the Corrida de Toros or Bullfighting for us none Spanish-speaking people. The list is endless…

But this was not the only culture change I was to endure. Another was living in a city. I have always lived in the country, relied on my parents for travel, had the quiet ambience sounds of streams and birds… But here in the Madrid it is completely different. It is bustling with people, there are buses leaving from place to place every 10 minutes.

The third and final difference for me was living in a student area. It is completely different from going home everyday to your parents from college. Here I can come and go as I please.

A pessimistic part of this experience was starting college in Madrid. They are nowhere near as organized as college at home.

In DkIT we have courses. These courses have set modules and times. There is no clashing of classes or a fear that it might not be in English. (Yes that did happen numerous times in Madrid)

Even something as simple as your student ID, in Ireland you go in one day before the years starts, you register, you get your student ID and you’re ready for the year.

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In Madrid you go to register, your told to come back on another day. You come back. Your told your modules are not all available and you only have two out of five and your told to come back again. You come back a week later. Still, your classes are not available… I think we can see were this is going. And as it goes for student ID, I’ll put it this way… I still don’t have mine!

The upside to college over here is that I only have 15 hours a week! So it leaves plenty of time for being a tourist! Down side I have a class at 08:30 until 11:30 and then again at 17:30 until 19:30 on a Wednesday. I won’t be complaining at home anymore when I have a 2 hour gap!

Another great thing to come out of this experience was I am now drawing again. I had stopped for awhile. Couldn’t find the time but over here I have had all the time in the world. Here are a few examples…

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The Erasmus it self has given me many different experiences. I went skiing, a football match etc. But rather than tell you with words, you can look for yourself!

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