I am Laura Fernandez, a 23-years-old girl from the north of Spain. I have the diploma of Business Sciences and I am studying the last subject of Economics.
Two and a half years ago, I decided to apply for the Erasmus studies program, so in September 2011 I arrived to Ljubljana to start the adventure which I am still in. I passed the scholar year 2011/2012 studying in Faculty of Economics at the University of Ljubljana. That year was one of the best years in my life, so in that time I decided that I didn’t want to go back home so soon, so I started to look for something after the Erasmus studies. Looking and looking and looking during a few months I discovered that I could apply for some practices (internship) in school, so I applied for the Erasmus internship to be one year as teacher assistant in OŠ Rakek.
What can I say about this year? Nothing bad, for sure. I am improving my CV, which for sure will help me in the future. I am learning two new languages (Slovene and Italian), improving my English level and having the opportunity to teach my mother-tongue (Spanish). I am passing I think the coldest winter ever in my life, I can see now how it is to have snow for four months in a row (never saw it before) and be waiting and waiting for just a little bit of sun. Also I can check how people see Spain from outside, what they feel about it, if they like it or not…
If I need to speak about some differences between Spain and Slovenia the first one that comes to my mind is the size of both countries. The second one is probably the weather and the light time, here people wake up much earlier than in Spain, here the sun-shine is early, the same that the sunrise, so probably due to this there are differences in the timetables. In Spain primary schools usually start at around 9.30 in the morning. Another difference that had a big impact on me is that here people are used to live in villages, and they prefer it instead of the cities, in Spain it is totally the opposite, we are used to live in cities and for us it is really hard to move to villages if it’s not just to spend some relaxing holidays.
My principal conclusion is that all people should have the opportunity for an exchange in their life. I really think that it is one of the best experiences that you can ever have, it makes you grow like a person, learn how to live outside of your country; without your family or your friends, it helps you with your future career, you will meet awesome people and see awesome places that you couldn’t imagine, you will learn how the people live in other places, you will see other cultures, other ways of living.
After all of this I can see just one negative point. When you apply for Erasmus exchange you will always get some scholarship, but in 90% of cases the money that you will get is not enough to live in the country where you will move to, of course this money will help you, but you will have to have your own savings as well to be able to move, because also this scholarships are not given at the beginning, you get the money part by part, and the last part is always after you are back home, so the truth is that scholarships do not help much and never cover the total of the expenses that you have per month.
Laura Fernandez Fernandez