My Erasmus Experience at Santander, Spain by Mary
Why did you decide to go to Santander, Spain?
I could choose to go either to Santander or Barcelona. I chose Santander because, compared to Barcelona, the only language spoken there is Spanish and there is no dialect. For me, this was very important so that I could learn the language.
How long does the scholarship usually last and how much money do you receive?
My scholarship lasted 6 months. I received 230 euros a month from the European Union and 100 euros a month from my home university. Out of the total sum, you receive some just before you leave and the rest when you return to your home country.
What's the university environment like at Santander?
It's great! I loved that there were students there from all over the world there and that all the faculties are on one campus. There are also lots of Facebook groups for activities and events in the town for students, so there is plenty to see and do!
Would you recommend the city and the University of Santander to other students?
What's the food like in Spain?
Spanish food, like all food from the Mediterranean, is excellent! Of course, there are always small differences in flavour and taste from place to place, but on the whole it's very good. It's important to remember that we you won't always be able to find the foods you normally eat at home, but this helps you to adapt to the culture of the country.
Was it difficult to find accommodation at Santander?
No, not at all! When you enrol at the university, you are provided with a list of addresses of apartments for rent in the town. You can then contact the landlords to arrange viewings and signing a contract. There are also plenty of other websites, such as 'easypiso' where you can find places for rent. If you decide you want to move somewhere else during the year, there are always spare rooms in other apartments to rent.
How much does it cost to live in Santander?
Not much! It's definitely cheaper than other big cities in Spain, England, France and Italy.
How did you find learning the language? Did you attend any language courses at the university?
I found the language relatively easy to learn. I ended up speaking Spanish almost all the time with the other students. My friends, especially those from Latin America, also helped me a lot as I was learning the language. In the end I didn't need to attend language courses.
What was the cheapest way for you to get to Santander from your home town?
I had to take two flights from my home town, but one of them was with Ryanair, which was really cheap!
Where would you recommend for a night out in Santander?
Retros, The Corner, Ocho, Zeppelin... My absolute favourite would have to be 100 Montaditos though!
Where are the best places to eat in Santander?
The sandwich shop/pub at 100 Montadito is one of the best. The pizzeria 'Mamma Mia' was the only place I could find real, Italian pizza though!
What would you recommend visiting?
The peninsula, the Magdalena Palace, the Pronillo Palace, the area around México square and the maritime museum near the quay.
Do you have any advice for future students?
1) Go for a walk to the lighthouse at Cabo Mayor - the coast is beautiful there!
2) To get into town from the university or vice versa, use the funicular! You'll be able to enjoy the beautiful view of Santander on the journey.
3) Make sure to make the most of the cheap flights with Ryanair from the airport at Santander. Not only can you visit other cities in Spain with just a short flight, but also destinations across Europe!
4) Enjoy every moment!
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