They speak Spainish in Spain.

Cultural Experiences of International Students in Spain

Archive for October 2009

Some Arise and 10 Things I Learned

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Andrea Holm: The following articles are ones that I have written throughout the course of the Semester in Multimedia Communications Class.

September 17, 2009          About

September 19, 2009          Spainish Initial Thoughts

September 24, 2009         Class Assignment

September 30, 2009         Does this Blog Already Exist in the Blogosphere?

October 8, 2009                 Is Anyone really Old in Spain?

October 14, 2009              I podcast, Do you Vlog?

October 15, 2009              Infographic

October 22, 2009              Is there such a thing as a professional ex-pat?

10 Things I have learned in the creation of Spainish…

1.  I learned what the heck are Widgets.

2.  I learned how to use RSS feeds.  This has always been very mysterious to me.

3.  The blogosphere is humongous… and growing.  And the more you look, the more you will find.  I learned that there are many more resources for Ex Patriots then I had imagined.  I even found one that is just for women!

4.  Blog upkeep is difficult.  Writing sufficient entries, maintaining comments, and keeping up with your network of blog-buddies is not unlike a full time job.

5.  I learned the importance of hyper-linking.  Connecting to data, research, interesting people through hyperlinks is one of several things that can make a blog such an interesting mode of communication.

6.  Edit. Edit a lot.  And double check your sources.   Mistakes in a blog immediately make it appear to be unprofessional.  The Blog Herald agrees with me.

7.  If you write it, they will come. This is even more true if you write it well.  Having something published online really does mean millions of people have access to you.  Our blog, whom we told almost nobody about, written for a class already has 292 hits.

8.  Blogs can be extremely influential.  The Huffington Post is a great example of an extremely influential blog.

9.  How to network. And that networking can really improve the hits on your personal blog.  We already have one blog-buddy on our blogroll!

10.  Once in, there is no way out. Now that I have begun blogging, and reading related blogs, and getting tweets about blog articles, I’m hooked.


Written by iamandreaholm

October 31, 2009 at 10:08 PM

Erasmus in Spain, Parties at another level..

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There are a lot of things I could write about in this blog to complain
about Spain. There are many cultural differences that I find quite
annoying or different here. But instead of writing about that I am
going to write about something which has impressed me. Spanish people
really know how to party…

It all starts off in the early evening when they tend to get together
in parks and public places to do what they call “botellon“. This
consists of buying bottles of alcohol and publicly consuming them
before going out. The idea is you spend less money in the bars or
nightclubs which you will later go to. After that you might go to a
bar or two or three throughout the ‘early’ evening. Be prepared to
inhale a lot of smoke because it is still legal to smoke inside bars
in Spain. Before or after 4am you move on to a nightclub. Most bars
close at 4 so after that time you usually have to pay to be inside
somewhere. The nightclubs entrance fees usually come with a mixed
drink included. Nightclubs in Spain close at 7 am on a Saturday night
so get ready for a long and loud night. To put things in perspective,
night clubs in France have to close at 5 and nightclubs in Britain
close around 3. This means that when most people in Britain are
heading home to sleep, the people in Spain are just about getting
ready to get into the nightclub for another 3 or 4 hours of partying.

Another thing I have to share about the Spanish party animals are
their ‘fiestas’. From the smallest little town that is celebrating its
annual festival, to parties like San Fermin, Pamplona (the running of
the bulls) and Las Fiestas del Pilar, Zaragoza where over 1 million
people attend. I had the pleasure of attending San Fermin (official website)
this year and have to say it was pretty amazing. The complete change in the
city is shocking. Almost from one day to the next the city is infiltrated
by people from all over the world. People come to run with the bulls,
or just to party, and the party doesn’t stop. The party lasts a total
of 9 days and during those 9 days the bars in the center of the city,
or casco viejo, close for only one or two hours a day to kick people
out, clean up, and open again. Forget about nightclubs during this
week. They don’t even open. All bars are packed to capacity all day
and all night long. In the morning, those daring enough have the
“pleasure” to run with the bulls. If they make it inside the arena
they can stay and run with the ‘vaquillas’ (cows). Pamplona during San
Fermin is a whole different city. Even the people change. Usually the
people from northern Spain tend to be closed and grumpy but during
this week there is no sign of that. Everybody is open, happy and
dressed in white and red. Throughout the city there are several stages
and open areas where there are concerts and even daily firework
displays. The actual bullfights happen during the afternoon and are
always filled to capacity. Although sometimes it is too crowded and
dirty the festival is an amazing experience and I recommend it to
everyone. To make a long story short, I am very impressed with the
Spaniards and their partying.

san fermin

Written by tony1fcom

October 26, 2009 at 12:53 AM

Related Podcasts and Vlogs

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A Podcast is, as defined by wikipedia as “a series of digital media files
(either digital or audio) that are released episodically and
downloaded through web syndication.” And a Vlog is “a form of blogging
for which the medium is video, and is a form of internet television.”
This week I will discuss 2 of each with have some type of relevance to
our group blog.

Notes in Spanish is a website with 3 different podcasts for Spanish
learners. It comes in 3 different levels, one for Inspired Beginners,
one for Intermediates, and one for Advanced. The podcasts are by an
englishman and his Spanish wife who live in Madrid. The podcasts come
with complimentary worksheets which are designed to help you learn or
improve your Spanish without a textbook or a classroom. The second
podcast I found is called Programa Erasmus. Here a professional
informed on the subject is interviewed about Erasmus in Spain and all
over Europe. The interview is in Spanish.

Onto vlogs. I found a website called Notes from Spain which had
several vlogs of people speaking in Spanish. It is used so that
students and those interested can practice their listening and
comprehensive skills. The other vlog I came across which has relevance
to our group blog was one on YouTube. This vlog is about a student who is
planning on going to study erasmus in Barcelona. The video is taken
before her departure and is about her expectations on Erasmus.

Written by tony1fcom

October 26, 2009 at 12:26 AM

Posted in Tony Vidal

Tagged with ,

Comparing our blog to others..

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If you google ¨erasmus in spain¨ or ¨blogs about Erasmus in spain you will quickly find that there are many many people writing about this topic other than ourselves. Most people tend to remember it as a very good time in their life. Let’s face it, Spaniards know how to enjoy life. We are the lucky ones who get to have a chance to see and live here firsthand.

As I searched for similar blogs I found one called BlankInkProject. This blog is about a girl who is doing an internship in Madrid. She includes pictures and tells anecdotes of her time in Madrid and her trips outside of Madrid to places like Segovia, El Escorial, Toledo, and even Buitrago de Lozoya, a small town in Sierra Norte about 2 hours north of Madrid. Also she goes pretty in-depth with a post about a trip to Valencia after she finished working and before she left for England. The second blog I found that was like ours is actually in French but an excellent example of a good blog. This blog is called Grenade La Jolie and is written by a french girl who is living in Granada, southern Spain. I don’t really understand French, but the blog is very extensive and includes an enormous amount of interesting pictures of her and things she saw while she was there. She also includes a large number of videos, a recipe for how to make gazpacho, and even a list of translated phrases from french to spanish. You can tell this girl really liked Granada.

Moving on to websites I came across one called Erasmus World. This website has a different page for each country involved and has a forum for Spain where people can write and offer just about anything from rooms/apartments for rent to party promotions. I would say that the site has decent traffic and almost daily usage and new things. The second site I found was Spain Erasmus. This website can give you information about over 52 cities in Spain. They post all sorts of events, interesting locations, top 10 places judged by its own users and members, and even help you find accommodations. In the end, these are just a few of the endless amount of blogs and websites you can find online that can help you on this topic, there are many more.

Written by tony1fcom

October 23, 2009 at 7:36 PM

Posted in Tony Vidal

Tagged with , ,

First Thoughts

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Well as I arrived a few weeks late to this class I was not involved in the decision-making of the blog´s topic. Luckily I’m a good friend of Gabe and Andrea and I know exactly what they were thinking. I am also an american citizen studying my career abroad and it is a big change. Let’s face it, life in Spain is quite unlike life in the States.

First of all we have the ´siesta´ from 2 to 4. Which sometimes can mean 1.30 to 5. Oh yeah, and don´t forget that government offices and banks dont open at all after 2. This basically means that everything closes and you cant do anything other than eat, sleep, or watch TV. Then we have the amazing customer service which I dare not critisize.

Football is probably one of the most popular things in Spain, but watch out what jersey you have on because depending on what city you’re in, you might get killed. There’s no such thing as the late-night menu so you can forget about taco bell or any fastfood after midnight because its all closed. Get used to kebabs.

The one thing the spaniards are good at is partying. Clubs here close at 7 in the morning on a saturday night, sunday morning. They say that we americans drink more but sometimes between botellon and the all-night parties, I must beg to differ.

Written by tony1fcom

October 23, 2009 at 6:56 PM


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1. Control – Gmail

Gmail allows its users to change (control) the language and background and settings of their page.

2. Feedback – YouTube

YouTube is a video sharing website on which users can upload and share video. It lets you post videos which can be seen by anyone and because of the high traffic on the site you get all sorts of responses and reactions (feedback) to things that you post.

3. Productivity – Google Calendar

Google Calendar helps you keep track of life’s important events, (productively) all in one place. You can share your calendar with family and friends, you can access it from your mobile phone, and you can set up reminders so you never miss another appointment.

4. Creativity – Nike ID

Nike ID is a website which allows people to choose colors, customize designs and use their creativity to design their own shoes and clothing and delivers them directly to the consumer.

5. Adaptivity  – MySpace

MySpace is a social networking site which lets you almost completely customize your homepage, unlike Facebook.

6. Communication – Facebook

Facebook is also a global social networking site. It allows you to keep in touch with family and friends all over the world, as well as post unlimited pictures and videos.

Written by tony1fcom

October 23, 2009 at 2:05 PM

Is there such a thing as a professional ex-pat?

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Robin Pascoe professional expatriot

Robin Pascoe professional expatriot

Meet Robin Pascoe, a journalist and self-proclaimed professional ex patriot who has been traveling globally for over ten years as the wife of a diplomat.

Along with her husband and two children she has lived in Bangkok, Taipei, Beijing and Seoul.  Robin has been asked by corporate groups to give speeches and presentations in over twenty-five countries about the needs of ex patriots and their families.  Some of her popular presentation topics include:

  • Family Matters!  Attract and Retain Top Talent by Understanding the Family’s Challenges in International Assignments.
  • Work-Life balance in the Global Economy
  • Who Are You Anyway?
  • Understanding Third-Culture Kids in the Classroom

Besides her countless speeches, Robin is well known for authoring four books including: A Broad Abroad, Raising Global Nomads, A Movable Marriage, Homeward Bound, as well as coauthoring Living and Working Abroad .  She also writes regularly for expatriate newspapers, magazines and web sites and has been interviewed by many publications including The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, The New York Times, The International Herald Tribune, Working Mother Magazine, Utne Reader, CNN, and others.

Robin Pascoe’s book trailer:  

If I were to intervie Robin Pascoe I would like to ask her:

“What definition do you use to define an ex-patriot?”

“Is there a time period one must live outside his/her home country before he/she is considered an ex-patriot?”

“Have you noticed several personality traits that ex-patriots have in common after having lived for many years outside their home country?”

“Do you feel that you lose a sense of home and old friendships having lived for so long and so far from where you grew up?  And will your kids lose that sense of home having lived in so many different places during these formative years?”

Written by iamandreaholm

October 22, 2009 at 5:01 PM