They speak Spainish in Spain.

Cultural Experiences of International Students in Spain

Posts Tagged ‘Spain

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

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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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

Interview with Michael Douglas

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Michael Douglas, age 65, started his career as an actor and producer over 37 years ago. He is now an Emmy Award Golden Globe Award, and two-time Academy Award winner. Michael first came into the spotlight with the production of the movie “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” in 1975. Later his performances in Wall Street and Fatal Attraction (1987), The War of the Roses (1989), The American President (1995), Traffic and Wonderboys (2000) led him to achieve the fame that he now has today.

After being married to Diandra Luker for 23 years, with which he had one son, Cameron, Michael re-married welsh actress Catherine Zeta-Jones in 2000, with which he has two children. Ironically Douglas and Zeta-Jones share the same birthday, September 25th, but he is senior by 25 years. Michael is a notable democrat and an advocate of Nuclear Disarmament.



About 21 years ago, Michael and his previous wife Diandra decided to purchas a house in Mallorca, Spain known as S’Estaca. It is known as one of the island’s most beautiful homes, on the northwest coast close to Valldemossa, the same village where Chopin went to compose each winter. Since Douglas is now divorced to Diandra, he only has right to be at this house the first 6 months of the year. Here is an article of the Magazine, ‘Que!‘ about his home away from home.

casa de michael douglas mallorca

While in Mallorca in the year 2000, Michael started what is now called Costa Nord, a cultural center.  In short, he linked Hollywood and the island. In this video he gives us a brief tour of the project. In Costa Nord, Douglas started “Noches Mediterraneas” a series of concerts organized each year by the center. Only privileged people have the honor to attend as Michael invites his famous friends to perform (including Art Garfunkel) in quite a small venue. Not even the spanish royal family misses out on the event while they are on vacation in Mallorca. In 2004 Mr. Douglas sold the center to the Mallorquin Government, although him and his wife are still guests at their concerts very frequently.



  1. Out of all the beautiful places and beaches in Spain, Why did you pick Mallorca?
  2. Do you feel that you have more paparazzi and media attention in the United States, or in Spain?
  3. How do you feel about the situation with your ex-wife and the fact that you can only be in your beautiful home 6 months a year?
  4. How do you feel about Spanish culture, people, and the way they treat outsiders?
  5. Would you ever consider building a new house on the island so you wouldn’t have to share it?

Written by tony1fcom

October 21, 2009 at 9:47 PM

Analysis of multimedia special on ¨Getting to know Spain¨

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As you surf the web, you encounter many types of pages which help you see things in different ways. With good help from different types of multimedia, the expression of the information being presented can be quite varied. Sometimes you can find slideshows of pictures resuming a baseball game, or a video of the latest speach the president has given. Today I have come accross a website which helps you get to know about spain in a very efficient and easy way, whilst remaing on one site. This site is an excellent example of how to use various types of multimedia in one page.

When you first open the page you see 9 options or links. The options include: videos, photo galeries, graphics, audios, locutions, panoramic photos, guides features, and street plans.


In the ¨videos¨ option you can get a few videos on some different topics including cities, towns, villages, arquitecture, coasts and beaches, fiestas and traditions, food and routes. The videos range in between 2 and 30 minutes. In  the ¨photo galleries¨ you get to take a look at pictures dealing with sports, nature, cities, towns, beaches, cultural events, food and some of the same topics as in the videos.


Under ¨graphics¨ you get to see an amazing interactive map and different types of tour routes you might want to take through 7 of spains major cities.

barca new

In ¨audio¨ you can listen to the most typical sounds of the country and animals. In ¨locutions¨ you can enjoy listening to commentaries on open spaces, museums, monuments,  and traditional ´fiestas´.  In ¨panoramic photos¨ you find full 360º views of cities, beaches, and the most important arquitectural works found in Spain. In ¨guides¨ you get perfect, and very extensive pamphlets on the regions, cities and beaches of Spain.

alicante.psdpage 2

Under ¨features¨ you can find small reports on Spain´s geography. And finally under ¨street plans¨ you can find precise maps of 39 different cities in Spain.

Overall this is a great website to tour while your at home, or even to prepare and plan a real tour of all of these places. The website is very simple and easy to use and has quality information, pictures, and guides to help you with whatever you need. Now go check it out, and plan your dream trip.

Written by tony1fcom

October 15, 2009 at 7:32 PM

Posted in Tony Vidal

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Related Podcasts and Videoblogs

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Apart from other blogs already describing experiences on exchange programs or  ones giving advice and help on preparing for such a program, expanding one’s search into the video-blogosphere and the world of podcasts yields even more. Videoblogs is an excellent tool for searching videoblogs, as its name implies; while searching for videoblogs dealing with study abroad programs in Spain, I came across a video posted by the International Relations Department of the University of Navarre in which a few familiar faces from last year appeared. As for podcasts, PodcastAlley helped me find what I was looking for. The user first has to download an aggregator, which effectively allows him to subscribe to podcasts. From there it’s easy, as all one has to do is enter the URL of the podcast, and the aggregator does the rest of the work; it will list all past podcasts uploaded by the author, and the user can pick which he wants. It also updates automatically as new podcasts are uploaded by that same author.


The first podcast I found is titled Studying Abroad, which seemed appropriate enough. The author, a student preparing for her study abroad in Alicante, speaks of the necessary research and preparations for spending time studying in a foreign country. She is certainly no professional, as is evident by her sporadic pauses and stuttering; this, however, does not take away from the validity of some of her points. She insists on the importantce of researching before leaving, to know what to bring. She talks specifically of researching weather and dressing habits in the country of destination, so as to bring clothes that are suited for the weather and that will allow the student to fit into the culture. She also mentions looking for a place to live before arriving, something that is facilitated by the internet, and bringing enough money in local currency to last for at least a day. Something that particularly caught my attention was her mention of bringing some type of food from home to help you when you’re having a hard time; if only I could’ve brought milk in my suitcase…

 Spanish Notes is a podcast meant to help foreigners learn Spanish. It has a number of levels; beginner, intermediate, and advanced. Each channel to which the user can subscribe includes over a dozen podcasts; each talks about different aspects of life in Spain as tools to help teach the language. By the time the user reaches the advanced level, each podcast is a conversation between a man and a woman who talk about different issues and topics. Listening to these would help incoming students improve their Spanish and get used to the accent they will have to deal with upon their arrival in Spain.


The following video is a vlog of a student who will be studying abroad in Barcelona. Just like she would in a blog, she shares her thoughts about her experience and keeps family and friends updated through it.

While this last video is not quite the traditional vlog in that it is not a user talking about her experiences, I did find it on Videoblogs. It promotes tourism to Spain, in this case Ibiza. As every student coming to Spain wants to first have fun, then travel, and only then study, tourism maintains a high level importance for students studying abroad. 

Written by gstmaurice

October 14, 2009 at 11:56 PM

I-Podcast do U-Vlog?

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I bought an I-pod several months before moving to Spain.  I walk a lot in Spain, so having an I-pod has really made life more enjoyable during my 30 minute walks to work or home from classes.  I-podding isn’t just music;  these days an I-pod can provide you with movies, music videos, and my newest favorite, podcasts.

The term “podcasting” was first used in 2004, and now only 5 years later it is used across the spectrum to create episodic, downloadable, and thematic programs.  Podcasts are created by podcasters.  I-tunes and Winamp are examples of podcatchers, or software that automatically finds and downloads the new episodes as they are released.

I would like to use this website to recommend a few podcasts that I found particularly interesting and pertinent to the topic at hand.   Voices in Español is a bilingual blog and podcast created for intermediate to advanced Spanish speakers.  I found that it has a lot of stories regarding intercultural relations, albeit most are about Latin Americans living in the United States.  These stories and anecdotes told by native Spanish speakers can both help to improve your Spanish speaking, as well as improve your understanding of intercultural interactions.

Another interesting blog/ podcast I found, Notes From Spain was put out by a bi-cultured married couple who now live in Madrid.  Ben from the UK, and Marina from Spain write and speak about Spanish culture, interesting destinations, fiestas, beaches, landscapes and towns around Spain.  They also discuss some of the cultural differences they experience as a married couple coming from two very different cultures.

Vlogs are another form of information and entertainment.  Vlogs are blogs made with videos rather than words.  Vlog International is a fascinating collaboration project made up of many Spanish speaking vloggers from many different countries.  You can read about Vlog International at Global Voices or simply watch the posts on their site.  This site could also help a non-Spanish speaker like me to improve their vocabulary and pronunciation.

Armadillo TV is a video blog created by a Colombian journalist who until recently was living in Spain.  He created this blog to document his personal experiences.  Although he recently moved back to Columbia, his blog has many interesting video anecdotes about his life as a foreigner living in Barcelona.

Written by iamandreaholm

October 14, 2009 at 11:20 PM