Let me first introduce myself I am Remco, 21 years old, Dutch and I study International Technology Management at the Hanze University in Groningen. Within this study there is an opportunity to do a study abroad period, I decided to do this in Valencia.
It all started the 8th September of 2008. I made the decision months before, based on recommendation of a friend. He promised me that the weather, the study, the people and life in general would be great. This made me come to Valencia with high expectations, my only fear wash that I set my expectations to high.
Two other people of my study joined me and with them I shared an apartment. So at the moment of my arrival I already new two people. We found a nice apartment and we were joined by a fourth guy from Iran, who was one special guy.
I applied for the “European Project Semester” (EPS) at the Universidad Politecnica de Valencia. The project started the 23rd of September which gave me two weeks of freedom to explore the city. These two weeks gave me a nice impression of the city and especially the beach and the nightlife.
But then it started, the study period of EPS. One of the things I immediately did not like about EPS was that there were no local students. No Spanish students to talk with and no opportunity to improve my Spanish. Do not get me wrong the Erasmus students were great. I got so many friends within the first weeks that I did not know how to keep in touch with all of them. There was only one solution: to go out almost every night!!! This was great for the first two months. But after this I realized that I also wanted to get more out of my time in Spain. I joined a soccer team and started again with judo, but still I had the feeling that I could do more. It took a while but in the end I did found something; the foundation Universitas.
To get a complete picture of Spain I tried to travel as much as possible. I went to Barcelona, Madrid, Granada and a lot of other places. These places showed me that Spain has a lot to offer and that it is a really beautiful country. It also made me realize how much I liked Valencia and why I liked Valencia so much. Valencia has everything that a big city can offer; sightseeing, culture, sports, nightlife and more, but the most special thing in Valencia is the atmosphere. This made me want to stay for a longer period. I started looking for an internship in Valencia, eventually I found one and that is one of the reasons why I am writing this article.
During my time in Valencia I also met a Spanish guy named Setu. He was actually my first Spanish friend. He introduced me to the foundation and he helped me with a lot of other things, for which I am really thankful. He also told me the purpose of the foundation and he asked me if I wanted to participate in it, which I wanted.
Concluding, Valencia did not only concurred my heart and fulfilled all my expectations and more, but it also gave me a new insight into life.