So, I’ve finally made a decision to study in Granada, a beautiful city in southern Spain. Once inhabited by Moors, to this day it boasts a vibrant African atmosphere, watched over by the remarkable Alhambra, and is still home to some Muslim communities. However, as excited (or scared) as I may be, my summer freedom is now burdened with the responsibility of finding myself accommodation, filling out a pile of forms (which could form a modest pyramid) and booking plane tickets.
I think the best way to handle it all is: do not panic! Finding a flat has not been the easiest of all things, as Spanish people tend to live up to their stereotype with their laid back, “manana” attitude. So, it’s only about a month to go and yet I still have nowhere to live! However, if you will be going to Spain bear in mind that the Spanish consider it normal to arrange accommodation upon arrival. Our careful attitude is probably just as weird to them as their lack of it is to us! My biggest tip for house hunting is not to be afraid to call up! Emails are not the best, as they are easy to put off. By actually calling the flat owners you are taking control of the situation, plus your Spanish skills will definitely improve before you even set foot at your destination.
Erasmus forms have to be the most confusing and dull part of a year abroad. They seem to pile up endlessly, so try to keep up with them as you go rather than leaving them to do last minute (definitely not something I have done). I’m quite convinced the Erasmus team are probably sick of seeing my emails, but don’t stop asking those questions if anything seems unclear (they don’t seem to hate me yet). It’s definitely better to be persistent than unsure.
Lastly, I just wanted to mention packing as it’s something we all forget. It’s quite difficult to pack your entire life into a small suitcase, so check out European courier services. I am sending a 30kg package to Spain for just over 30 pounds, which is much better than buying all that extra plane baggage! This can be helpful with transporting things such as duvets, pots, pans and anything else you cannot part with (probably not your pets though).
Thanks for reading guys!