So, you are planning a year abroad where on earth do you start? It’s already overwhelming thinking that you are going to be away from home for a whole academic year. Moreover, you’re not sure what to expect? Here a few tips on what I have done to reduce anxiety and what I had to organise before my departure!
One great help…
Moving to a new home
Looking for accommodation can be a nightmare, especially when you are looking at adverts in a different language and you don’t have the right level of the language to understand what’s going on? *What am I looking at facial expression!?*
The first thing I did was I used the world of Facebook and found a page where they advertised accommodation in Murcia (the city where I’m going to do my exchange). I requested immediately to be part of the group and luckily, as well as Spanish students, there are students from England or who speak English that made it easy for me to communicate and look for a new home. I also requested to be part of the student group in Murcia which is helpful for events and meet ups to make some new friends 😊
Secondly, students coming back from their year abroad were helpful when I asked them about their accommodation and even recommended and offered me their landlords contact number to get in touch if I was interested.
Alternatively, I used many Spanish websites that my receiving university had online for incoming students. Including, websites that my Erasmus co-ordinator suggested to our year group.
Overall, search the internet, use your social media tools and don’t be afraid to ask around 😊
Financing my year abroad
Money money money *rolling eyes* I cannot stress this enough with living in Manchester I have learnt some tips on ways to save money and also making sure I have enough to live off. One big help was getting a part-time a job whilst in Manchester and so of course this is my plan in Spain. My plan is to give English lessons or do some babysitting once I arrive by posting on the Murcia students page (thank God for Facebook!)
Secondly, how I’m I going to use my bank card in a foreign country? The Post Office offer a travel card that allows you to send money from your English account by using the mobile app or online with no cost. Other cards you can potentially use are Starling, revolt and Monzo 😊
It’s important to keep in my mind what you would like to get out of your year abroad! and also to get you excited🎉 Here is a list I have made on what I’m looking forward to for my year abroad.
- Learning to dance flamenco 💃
- Going to Spanish university- a different university.
- Making new friends- living with 3 other Spanish girls to improve my Spanish!
- Exploring a different city and country 😊
- Hopefully learn to cook well (lol)
- The opportunity to visit other parts of Spain such as Madrid and Seville😍.
Overall, even though I’m very nervous I’m soooooo looking forward it! and can’t wait to see how I grow and develop as a person from this experience living away from home.
I got this!