Challenges for International Students
Challenges for International Students
Before talking about the main challenges for International students, I have to say: I’m glad you made it so far. Also, to remind you that this will be the best time of your life. Simply being an Erasmus student gives you strength to get over any dummy choices or unexpected situations that you might encounter.
Expectations VS Reality (Challenges)
So, are you curious about Alcoy? Don’t be! Well actually, I shouldn’t say that. You must understand that for me it was a very bad experience. Why? Because I thought I was going to Valencia and trust me: those two cities have nothing in common except the Spanish people. On the other hand, I met many nice Erasmus students there, who had the time of their lives. You might want to be one of them. It just wasn’t my case because of what I had in mind and what actually happened.
If you don’t know what I am talking about, you might want to read the previous story here.
One "challenge" never comes alone
Getting back to make you understand why I “saw the Devil” in there. Don’t think that after signing those papers, I found out that I am going to Alcoy. Also, don’t even dare to imagine that I found out when I arrived in Valencia. You see, the funny part is that it took me to sign some other papers to unravel the mystery. Guess what papers I am talking about… I think nobody could imagine but hell yes! We just signed the apartment renting contract for 6 six months. We also paid the deposit and the first rent so we’re all covered!! Where? In Valencia of course. Who is we? Me and Mosoiu. (partner in crime – next story is all about her)
Want to hear something even sweeter? We found out that Alcoy is waiting for us in the day we were supposed to start our classes. You want to know our secret …click here. But wait cause that’s not all…Let’s go back a bit…
Leaving your home country (Timing)
This is one of the soft challenges for International students, especially if you don’t know anyone in the selected country. You know when you start classes but …when should you get there?!
Now, we are “smart girls” so we thought that it was best for us to get there before we started classes. We had two set of reasons: responsible reasons and irresponsible reasons.
Basically, me and Mosoiu decided that we should go to Valencia 10 days earlier. Looking from the responsible perspective: we needed to find accommodation close to the university. (Funny …right?!) We were of course checking for apartments in advance but you need to see them and make sure that they are Ok from all perspectives. You don’t want to sign a contract before you know how it’s going to be. (We were almost cautious.) Besides, we wanted the apartment fast so we have enough time to get used to the way to university, see where all the shops are and get a bit adapted. Of course, it had to happen until we started studying, because studies would have covered all our time afterwards. (This was a joke)
Now let’s also talk about the irresponsible reasons. Well…we wanted to have a bit of time to “taste” the life in Valencia. Basically, we wanted to enjoy the sun, get to know the city, meet new people randomly on the streets and see where were all the good parties at.
Finding accomodation (Close to university)
Again, this is one of the MAIN challenges for international students.
It’s mostly because you might need to compromise even before and after you settle. You don’t know if you end up with the right mates, if you find, where you find blabla. (It can give you a lot of headaches.)
Although, one thing is certain: you need to make sure that you are close to the place you have to visit most often, right? Of course, you wouldn’t like to spend money on trips back and forth.
With this being said, we booked tickets, found a VERY cheap hostel (8 euros / night) and went to Valencia. We didn’t care about how the hostel looked like because we just needed two beds to sleep before we decide which apartment we should get. (POOR STUDENTS BY THE WAY)
Fast forward, we found an amazing apartment, pretty close to the university, not far from the “Party area”, with a wonderful view and even pretty nicely decorated. It was at the 7th floor, had two balconies where you could enjoy all the sun you could get. One of them had a “killer” view at the main street. (Don’t know if you are a gamer but the “GTA Vice City” kind of view)
It was an apartment with four rooms but we had some money aside and we felt in love with it so we decided to take it. We relied on the fact that there were many Erasmus students on the way. For sure we could have found someone very quick to take the other 2 rooms. Selection
of flatmates will also be another crazy story.
On board (Challenges over?!)
“Hell yeah dude”, we are on board. Valencia is waiting for us! In another dose you will find out more about “You were assigned to the Campus from Alcoy” part. It’s a fun story but I know you have a weekend to catch.
Probably you should know that Alcoy is 2 hours away from Valencia. More accurate…1 hour and 52 minutes if you live in the train station. See here that I am not joking.
The thing is that, we never thought we needed the train, so we took the apartment closer to the Universitat Politecnica de Valencia (Campus Valencia). With this being said, we rented an apartment about 3 hours away from Alcoy. In order to get there, we had to walk, exchange metro, take bus, then train and walk again. Not to mention that it had to be a perfect timing to make it happen in about 3 hours.
Now there’s some International Student challenges… but nope…we didn’t GIVE UP!
Lesson for today: Make sure you are in the right place and at the right time before you settle down…otherwise reality might hit you.
Have a wild weekend and think about becoming an International Student!
I MEAN IT!