You are preparing to study oversea? You are interested in Spanish Culture?
This post discloses real and deep experience of international student life in Spain. Hope it helpful for everyone new to this country. It may make your long trip in Spain become smoother. International students, welcome to Spain!
- WEATHER AND CULTURE
When you move to a new country, it takes time to adapt new environment, weather and culture. Spain has nearly 300 sunny days per year and it is quite dry there. However, there is a big difference of temperature between the day and the night. For this reason, you should pay attention to the effects of weather changes to your health. Tips: Prepare clothes for both warm and cold weather, NEVER forget sunglasses with you.
People in Spain are always friendly and open. It is normal if someone salutes you warmly at the first time. Let’s learn some common words to start a day with new friends: Good morning, Thanks, Have a great day… Local people are so helpful but they are not really good at English. Furthermore, Spanish has a weird timetable and habits. Everything seems to be later than other country. For examples, you will have lunch at 2pm – 4pm and take a snap called “sieta” to sleep 1 – 2 hours. You will have dinner at 9pm or even later. Shops and banks usually open at 9am or some at 10am. Don’t be surprised, you will be alone if you go to the night club at 1am as people start a party at 2 or 3am. Thus get ready for new routine and new lifestyle!
2. CITY CHOICE
Many students choose big cities like Madrid, Barcelona to study because of its convenience and jobs. In addition, there are many well-known universities and international schools for international students in these big cities. Nevertheless, if you would like to study Spanish and enjoy daily life as vacation in Spain, you should choose smaller cities. Why? Mountains and beaches located in different parts of Spain. You will pay less for renting and living; the city is not overcrowded and noise. And every day is your holiday. If you begin an exchange course or short studying program in Spain, don’t hesitate to live in beach cities such as Valencia, Alicante, and Malaga…
3. JOB MARKET
It is significant aspect of international students in the long-term study plan. If you are planning to stay 2 – 4 years in Spain for universities, unfortunately Spain won’t offer many jobs for international students. It has a rate of nearly 20% unemployment in this country and even local people are in trouble to find a job. However, it doesn’t mean there is no job for you. Instead of being unmotivated, you should have a fund or enhance your languages and skills for a specific job.
You are able to learn Spanish in your home country or start to learn this language in Spain. Remember, without Spanish, everything becomes challenges from buying a metro ticket to making a bank account or documents. The majority of Spanish people don’t speak English because Spanish is a popular language. Recommendation for students: take advantage of learning Spanish for your long term stay and a job in Spain.
5. DOCUMENT SUPPORT
Document process in Spain is so annoying. To apply for a NIE card, student card or resident permit, it takes a long time and patience. You should check the list of documents needed such as original papers, documents, scans, photos and photocopies…because the process can up to 6 months and when you receive the card, maybe it is time for renovation or it is expired soon. The tips are: preparing papers before your coming and making an appointment as soon as possible because you may wait a month or longer for an online appointment booking. Don’t forget to ask for student support from your university or school!
To sum up, language and culture awareness are crucial skills for any international students. It is hard to balance your studying time and find a good job for new expat but it is a wonderful experience to develop your maturity and career path. Enjoy your new journey with enough preparation!