I had the chance to go abroad for a semester, and as I wanted to improve my Spanish, Murcia was the perfect option...
I spent February 2019 until July 2019 in Murcia. And to be honest, it was the best experience during my bachelor. Spending half a year in this beautiful city is something I could advice everyone!
I will shortly introduce myself; my name is Anouk Greeven, I am 23 years old and I recently graduated my bachelor Sport Sciences. My hobbies are sports, music, reading, writing, learning, exploring new places and being surrounded by friends.
During my 3rd of my bachelor I had the possibility to study abroad for half a year. My preference was to go to Spain, as I was already practicing Spanish and would like to improve in it. Furthermore, I’d love to live surrounded by the Spanish culture. During my secondary education I had 2 years of Spanish, however these were quite basic, and I forgot most of it. In my 2nd year of my studies I followed a Spanish course to recover a bit of my knowledge.
The university I attended is University Católica San Antonio de Murcia (UCAM). Here you are offered a Spanish Intensive Course, which starts 3 weeks before the regular semester starts. This is helpful to obtain the basics of the language (quite necessary in the stores in Murcia), or, if you are already familiar with the language, there is a group for advanced students. It is also a good opportunity to make your first friends.
After those 3 weeks, you will have to make an exam to check your level of Spanish. Based on this exam you will be placed in a class of your level. I was placed in the class of B1.1, which I thought was a bit enthusiastic, but after all, I learned a lot and had a great time with my classmates and teacher.
The university itself is a huge beautiful castle-like building. I had never experienced such a beauty of an University. Besides the beauty, UCAM has her own marked benches and a souvenir shop. They also have a lot of possibilities to attend sports and they are known for their professional athletes and teams, for example basketball and soccer.
Next to Spanish I took 5 other courses at UCAM. My major is sports sciences, but I preferred to take courses in another discipline. UCAM offers a lot of different disciplines, so there was plenty of choice. I ended up with taking 2 sports courses; water sports and sport psychology. Both of them were very interesting, and water sports even offered trips to the coast to practice! Besides that I took 2 courses in tourism, those were in Spanish, however the teachers were really helpful and made sure I felt comfortable in their lessons. Last but not least I attended ethics, I really liked this course as the teacher explained everything in an interesting and clear way.
Murcia; a beautiful city with a lot of international students. This is due to the 2 universities which offer a lot of studies for international students. To be honest, I didn’t know the city Murcia even existed, but I was interested in the university. Murcia is everything but a touristic place. This is something I experienced as positive. Mostly you are surrounded by Spanish people and internationals who live in the city. However, there is still enough to do in the city. There are plenty of bars, there are some nice typical Spanish ‘plazas’, there are sport possibilities, a big shopping mall, a cinema and a lot of restaurants. And, Murcia has a lot of enjoyable festivals and celebrations during the semester. During these festivities you can really see the Spanish people know how to party, and of course we joined them!
I met most of my friends during activities organized by the University or ESN. This included day trips to other cities, a tapas night, weekly language practicing nights and more. Therefore, I visited more cities than only Murcia.
Nowadays, I still use and practice my Spanish daily. This is as I am still talking to some friends I made in Murcia. Additionally, I am using the application Tandem, which gives you the possibility to talk with people who also want to practice a language. Thanks to this application I found some people in the Netherlands to practice with! I also watch a lot of Spanish series and listen to a lot of Spanish music. I feel like my Spanish is still improving every day. In the future I would like to study and live another year (or more) in Spain. I would also be happy to use my Spanish travelling in South America!
I made a list of pros and cons. That’s when I knew I had to go to California.
This could be your story! Interested in exploring your study options in Spain?