Emana Heldic, Social Work programme, Universidad de Complutense Madrid, Spain
My name is Emana Heldic and I am studying to become a social worker. My second year is now finished and I did my last half year aboard in the capital of Spain, Madrid. I studied in Universidad de Complutense Madrid(UCM). What made me go for this adventure was mostly me being tired of the same daily life here in Jönköping where I have lived for many years. I was searching for something new, a change. A change the would help me grow and develop as a person. Besides that, I would say that I am an outgoing person who likes to get in contact with new people, a new country, a new culture, anew language and yes… hablo un poco español. Being a person like this does not mean I was not nervous by my choice. I did everything I could do before my trip to feel prepared. I contacted the teachers from UCM, I had appointments with teachers from Jönköping University and I searched a lot on Google and Facebook about Madrid and the university, which made me a bit calmer.
I did not have an apartment before my arrive, because I was a bit skeptical about booking something through internet. Before I arrived to Spain I contacted a few organizations that I founded on internet. I emailed them and asked if I could see the rooms in real life before I made up my mind. Because of that I planned my trip to Madrid earlier than the university started. I left Sweden in the middle of January with my sister and a friend. The second day we went to some apartments and rooms with a company called Madrid Easy and I founded my room immediately. I was living with three awesome people from different countries. Our apartment was well located in an area called La Latina.
The university started in the end of January. I got all information about the date, the time and the location over an email from the host university. To study in Madrid was different than Sweden. Coming from a well-organized and structured country like Sweden to a bit more ”relaxed” country like Spain was different for me, but not a problem at all. It was a new experience that made me see and feel their culture. By saying this I do not mean that they were not professional. Of course, they were professional but in another way then we are used to in Sweden. My courses where in English which made it easier for me and more interesting to understand.
In general I would say that Madrid's economic standard is like Sweden. A bit cheaper but not a huge difference. Thanks to CSN and me saving money before, it was not an economic problem for me living there. My experience that I have got from the trip is something I never imagine. I have grown as a person much more than I would do if I still where here in Jönköping. I met a lot of different people. I explored the city. I traveled to different cities in Spain. To make it short, I did stuff that I usually not do and that made me develop as a person. By this I would say that I have mostly develop in my personality, only to the better. Which I also found important for my future profession.
Some advice I would give to people that are planning to go aboard. Just do it! The opportunity to study aboard and to develop at the same time in another country is one of the best combinations you can get in your study years. Be prepared, save some money before (if you want to travel around), search information on the internet about the country, look for apartments/room (I recommend shearing an apartment with others). Do things you usually not do, be social and be active. Explore the city and other cities around. And the most important thing just have fun with whatever you are doing. The best things with my exchange must be all the people I have got to know. I have friends all around the world today and that is thanks to my exchange. I know that I can easily visit different countries and meet them there. And some of those friends are friends I will have contact with the rest of my life. I would also like to add that my travelling to other cities was also one of the best things. It opened my interest of travelling even more, but travelling in a different way that I have done before. Overall I am very thankful for this opportunity that I have got. It is a memory that I always will carry with me and hopefully do something similar again.
I made this text short about my trip, but if someone would like to hear more about it or would like to get some other advice about exchange I am more than willing to help. You can reach me on my e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or Facebook by the name Emana Heldic.