Erasmus is a fantastic opportunity to live in an unfamiliar city, learn a new language and make lifelong international friends. However, it hoards a few difficulties, some of which we weren’t aware of before moving abroad. Whether you moved only a short distance or a long one, we all face the same struggles. Lost luggage, new languages, leaving your family and friends at home, and attending a new college full of Spanish-speaking national students, this is just a taster of the difficulties that greeted us when we touched down at the Josep Tarradellas Barcelona-El Prat Airport.
City hacks such as the T-Jove travel card and knowing that all shops close on a Sunday (including supermarkets like Mercadona !) are just some tips and tricks that could have helped international students in the first few weeks. I interviewed some students who are on their Erasmus in Barcelona to find out what advice they would have for incoming Erasmus students.
Yasmin from Liverpool
Yasmin from Liverpool John Moores University studying at Abat Olibia CEU for one year said “for anyone coming to Barcelona, I’d recommend looking for accommodation as early and as soon as possible and not to leave it late as the rent prices can go up by a lot the longer you leave it. Sometimes you will have to contact accommodation agencies in Spanish as some agencies may not respond if you contact them in English. Make sure you’ve done lots of research on the city, language, culture, etc and the area you’ll be staying in as well as the university and what courses they offer, this can help you have a smooth transition into life in Barcelona and make it less hard for you to integrate into life abroad.”
A survey done in 2019 showed that around 40,000 students from all over Europe arrived in Spain to study through the Erasmus programme
An interesting fact about international students coming to Spain is the number of Females compared to Males. In the last five years, Spain has received more female than male students
Erasmus+ is celebrating its 35th anniversary this year, and you can watch the video here showing the alumni celebrating the anniversary.
The European Commission describes what the programme does. “Erasmus+ brings opportunities to all — students, staff, trainees, teachers, volunteers and more. It’s not just about Europe or Europeans either — with Erasmus+, people from all over the world can access opportunities”.