They speak Spainish in Spain.

Cultural Experiences of International Students in Spain

Posts Tagged ‘exchange

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

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Where Are the Real Sports? – The Downside of Erasmus in Spain

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Despite what many believe, erasmus in Spain isn’t all fun and games. In fact, the biggets downside to studying on an exchange program here is just the lack of a certain kind of game: North American sports. On the other side of the Atlantic, football is not king; depending on the region, people’s passion varies from baseball, to American football, basketball, hockey, or, in certain cases, all four. The love and passion we Canadians have for our national sport, hockey, surpasses that of Spaniards for football. We breathe hockey, we live hockey; our great sport is the focal point of many a conversation, and people are often introduced by name and favorite hockey team. While studying here in Spain, what I have missed most from home has not been my mother’s cooking, speaking English, or pasteurized milk; it’s been hockey.

It’s not that hockey is disliked in Spain; everyone loves the occasional fight they see either on youtube or TV. But game broadcasts are more difficult to find than fresh milk. Add the six-hour time difference to that, and watching a game is practically and expedition. Regular season games start at 7pm, Eastern Time. That means 1am Spanish time. That also means the game ends at 4am. Luckily my favorite team plays in the east; were it from the west, I would have to stay up until 6am to watch a game. 

But staying up to watch the games is the easy part. The actual watching part is the difficult task. For that, you need to find what they call a stream, which another internet user broadcasts. HockeyWebcasts is a great source for finding these often illegal stream. It compiles a list of regular broadcasts. The list is not always complete, however; that’s when the going gets difficult and the sports aficionado must do some deep digging. Atdhe is a similar site that provides a list of streams for hockey as well as other hard-to-find sports, as is MyP2P. Streaming sites like Justin.tv and Ustream have come to my rescue in the middle of a intense hockey craving night. In general, the above mentioned sites link to the two latter sites, which are sometimes difficult to search, hence the utility of lists said sites provide. 

So, with a good internet connection, few friends, fewer plans, and an intense desire to watch an event taking place thousands of miles away, it is possible to stay in touch with the North American sports scene. But that would be too easy; streaming is a popular option for many expats and thrifty penny-pinchers who opt for the blurriness of an online stream and therefore slow down the connection. Often while watching game, the stream will lag or stop altogether to buffer. The second problem is streaming’s questionable legality, which periodically leads streams being shut down by a company claiming some violation of some other copyright agreement or some legal blabber of the sort. 

Of course there’s other options out there, if one is willing to pay. The official website of the NHL offers NHL Center Ice, which allows users to watch live games in high quality. For about $150, the user could secure the service for an entire year. But, for those of us studying in Europe, that service is not available. Instead, if we insist on having the highest quality (and legality), we have to sign up Espn 360, an overpriced and unreliable service known for its rude customer service. In view of this, it’s understandable that many opt for a free stream, despite its blurriness. 

Not many people know of these websites; I didn’t when I first got here, and I suffered. Last week, I met someone in my situation from last year. I understood exactly why he spends sleepless nights thinking about hockey; I’d much rather spend those sleepless nights watching it. This great passion we share brought us together, and we now have someone to watch illegal, blurry, laggy streams of games with. Or we could just talk hockey for a few hours over a couple beers. Or over a glass of good, fresh, pasteurized milk, just to combine the two things we miss the most from home.

Written by gstmaurice

October 7, 2009 at 6:44 PM

Related Blogs and Websites

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It seems we’re not the only one not only studying abroad but also writing about it. A quick search either on Google or on WordPress yields a number of results. One blog discusses studying abroad in general, while another discusses Spanish culture compared to American culture; one website presents advice for studying abroad, while another is a resource to help students find programs for studying abroad.

It’s not easy coming to a foreign country, immersing yourself into a new culture; for this reason, blogs like Study Abroad and International Exchange offer advice on studying and living in a foreign country. This blog includes a large number of blog posts (and has received over 1,500 views) and its Links Page offers a long list (so long that it spills over to a second page) of websites filled with material pertinent to a student looking to study abroad; it includes websites with information and applications for exchange programs, websites with job offers for international students, websites with advice for exchange students, and websites for language classes, to name a few. 

Viva España is a much less professional blog, one created by the author to keepher  friends and relatives up to date on her year abroad in Spain. Turns out she will be studying in Pamplona as well, but in the public university. Some of her experiences and observations are reminiscent of my own, and her blogroll offers interesting and helpful websites about traveling and studying abroad. This blog is of special interest to me in that the author is in a situation similar to my own, and the blog is also similar to my own.

SpainExchange is the most complete website I’ve found in terms of advice and help for students on an exhchange program in Spain. It involves everything from academic programs to housing services to travel advice. It also includes an impressive search section that allows the user to find programs for students studying abroad by country, city, and area of study.

Finally, The International Education Site is a resource for searching that, in its own words, is a guide to study abroad information, advice and opportunities for students worldwide who are considering studying overseas. Including university advice, college search facilities, student profiles, and articles from the leading journals on international education. The website puts a number of resources at the user’s disposition for finding the right exchange program for him: the College Search, the Course Center (which provides articles on studying abroad), and the Living and Learning Section. All in all, it is another useful and complete resource for any student examining his options for an exchange program.

Written by gstmaurice

September 30, 2009 at 11:22 PM