Are you planning to apply for a volunteer, an internship or an exchange program in Spain? Prepare yourself for the experience in advance to avoid culture shocks and some communication problems.
Spain is one of the most exotic Euro destinations for exchange students, but understanding the complexity and diversity of this country is essential for a successful experience in your studies and life in the country.
You may assume that some sun, sangria and maybe even the odd siesta will be part of your studies, but what else can an Erasmus student expect from Spain?
Discover in advance a bit more of this extraordinary country with Spanispeak for Erasmus. We will help you, not only with the language, but also with the the important documents, bureaucracy, the research for your new accommodation or flat and much more.
First up, before even setting off to Spain it is often advised that you have a basic language level before touching down. Some Erasmus students advise this level should even be up to B1 standard, but of course this can be lower if your classes will still be in English.
Check also the language skill you will be expected to have for your course. Some courses will require proof of your knowledge before and during enrollment. Be aware also that not all cities prioritize Spanish as a first language. Catalan, Galician and Basque are predominantly spoken in some regions.
Gain confidence with the language with Spanispeak and take your communications skills to the next level.
Culture Shocks and Misconceptions
Something to bear in mind is Spain’s governing structure, which is known to frustrate even Spaniards themselves. The country is split into 17 political regions, with each having a large amount of autonomy. This can lead to large variations in law and bureaucracy across regions.
Time for a little bit of myth busting
The majority of Spaniards are against bullfighting, and Flamenco dancing only really takes part in the south of the country.
Many places in the Iberian Peninsula, and more remote areas across the country, still observe siestas. Expect everything to be closed between 2-5 p.m. when employees head home or enjoy an afternoon nap.
The daily schedule differs from that in the rest of Europe. In the evening, everything tends to take place much later. Meals will be late at around 9-10 p.m., and a night out clubbing will mean not arriving at the club until around 1 to 3 a.m.
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