Things to know before going on Erasmus in Spain
Are you coming to Spain this semester for your Erasmus? Well, get ready because this will be a life changing experience!
Before closing your luggage there are a few things you need to know:
  • Sanitary Assurance and Documents: If you're an international student coming to Spain, it's important to ensure you have appropriate health insurance coverage. If you're from a European country, make sure to bring your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) or your new European Health Card (EHIC) if it has been introduced. If you're from a non-European country, you might need to arrange for private health insurance. Additionally, don't forget to bring your identification documents such as your passport and any required visas.
  • Apartment Hunting and Scams: Finding accommodation can be a bit challenging, so be prepared for the process to take some time. There are unfortunately scams out there, so be cautious when dealing with landlords or agencies. It's a good idea to use reliable partners or platforms recommended by your university or to help you find legitimate housing options, or use Spotahome, Mi Casa Inn, which are partners of ESN.
  • Public Transportation Card: Depending on the city you're studying in, a public transportation card might be a convenient investment. It can save you money and make it easier to navigate the city. Look into the options available and see if you can get your card sorted before you arrive to avoid any transportation hassles.
  • Language Preparation: While many people in Spain speak English in big cities, having a basic understanding of Spanish can greatly enhance your experience, most of all if you are going to little towns or villages. Take some time to learn common phrases and expressions. This will not only help you communicate with locals but also make everyday tasks easier.
  • Health and Well-being: Prioritize your physical and mental well-being. Know where medical facilities and your Centro de Salud are located, and if you're on any medication, ensure you have a sufficient supply. If you ever feel overwhelmed, seek support from university counseling services or local resources.
  • Cultural Differences in Timing: Spaniards have a different sense of time compared to some other countries. Meals, especially dinner, tend to be served later in the evening, around 10 pm. Lunch is around 2 pm. This is a cultural norm, so be prepared to adjust your schedule accordingly.
  • Street Drinking: Unlike some places, public consumption of alcohol on the streets is generally not allowed in Spain. This is something to keep in mind to avoid legal issues and to respect local customs.
  • Varied Climates: Spain is a diverse country with various climate zones. Depending on the region you're in, you might experience very different weather patterns. Research the climate of your destination and pack accordingly.
  • Packing Considerations: While it's tempting to pack your entire wardrobe, it's often wiser to pack lightly and buy clothes as you go. This gives you the chance to adapt to local fashion and ensures you have space for any new items you acquire during your stay.
  • Embrace New Experiences: One of the primary reasons for participating in an Erasmus exchange is to immerse yourself in a new culture. Make the most of it by trying new foods, engaging in local traditions, and exploring your surroundings.
  • Embracing the Short Duration: Your time as an Erasmus student might seem brief, but it can be incredibly impactful. Make the most of every moment and build meaningful connections with people you meet. Remember that it's not just a year on your academic calendar; it's a year that can shape your personal growth and perspective.
  • Erasmus as a Life-Changing Journey: The Erasmus experience is often much more than just an academic exchange. It's a chance to step outside your comfort zone, build lifelong memories, and gain a deeper understanding of different cultures. Approach it with an open mind and a willingness to learn and grow.