life update : ¡hola salamanca!

13:08

Life Update: Hola Salamanca!
Last Sunday, the day finally arrived. I flew to Madrid then took a lengthy coach journey to my new hometown for the year, Salamanca. It couldn't have felt any less real.

For the first few days, I stayed with a lovely Spanish girl, Patricia who I found through Airbnb, so that I could find a permanent flat to live in for the rest of the year. My first evening in Spain was spent getting stuck into a truly cultural Burger King in the Plaza Mayor with Miriana and her Italian parents who spoke neither Spanish nor English (cue many silences throughout the meal). 

I had met my two flatmates through Facebook, and myself and Miriana went searching for a new flat the next day after enduring horrendous queues in the Law faculty so she could enrol on her course. Honestly, nobody is exaggerating when they tell you that Spanish administration is slow. We were waiting for over 2 hours in order to see her coordinator. I've not yet enrolled in the languages faculty, but I'm certainly getting there early as I can! 

One thing I've noticed so far with Erasmus in Salamanca, is that there are hardly any Englist students! I've only met Irish, Italian or French so far which I found pretty surprising! Despite this, everyone I've met has been lovely, and I'm starting to branch out and meet more people now I've settled into my flat. The last few days have been spent desperately trying to sort out WiFi issues (I'm currently writing this post in McDonalds, a sorry story indeed). Again with admin and techninal services, we were told that the process to get the problem sorted would take up to 3 days, to no avail so far. It's frustrating because many Erasmus can only communicate through WhatsApp or Facebook Message, whilst I can only use texts and calls for free.

Internet issues aside, Salamanca is a beautiful city. In the centre, there's the old town which is mostly cobbles, off-white marble and rustic-looking buildings. The outskirts are a lot more modern but have lots of green areas. The languages department is right by the centre, and also by the well-know Catedral. Another aspect which has surprised me is how little Spanish people speak English here. Patricia told me the first day that English in schools here is taught pretty poorly, combined with the fact that English tourists aren't that common here, meaning that I have to speak Spanish a lot more than I thought. This however can only be a good thing, and since arriving here I've mostly spoken Spanish, only reverting to English with other British Erasmus students.

Now I'm starting to get to know the city more, it's pretty easy to navigate, but I frequently got very lost the first few days! The people here are very welcoming to Erasmus students, with many Erasmus aimed nights out running throughout the week! Yesterday I went by coach to Valladolid, the capital of Castilla y León which has a huge Ikea and Primark which was certainly helpful! I'm starting to feel comfortable and used to the city, which can only improve once our flat is totally sorted.

Thanks for reading!

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