Daniel Lee, studying in A Coruña, Spain
I’m Daniel, a 20-year-old Language student from Bangor, Wales. Waving goodbye to my family at the airport was one of the hardest things I’ve done, but I knew that my next chapter was about to begin.
I was travelling to A Coruña, Spain for my first Erasmus+ placement of my year abroad, the pinnacle of a language degree.
Upon entering the departure lounge, the realisation that I was on my own still hadn’t sunk in, but the free upgrade on my flight helped with nerves. The airport was small and it didn’t take long until I had my suitcase and belongings and headed out to find my designated ‘buddy’ Jacobo.
The staff for my accommodation were very welcoming and showed me to my room. Oh. My. God. It was amazing!
However, my time there was cut short due to its awkward location and poor facilities. Jacobo took me to the housing agency where I was able to see some flats in the city centre that were still available. I put my name down for one of these flats with two other international students, one Brazilian and one Romanian.
Three days after paying my deposit and first month’s rent, I had moved from halls to my new place. My flatmates helped me to unpack my stuff and then, onwards for a drink in a local bar!
Since arriving, there have been many events in A Coruña! Every Thursday night there have been different themed parties such as; a traffic light party, a Spanish party and a white t-shirt party. The discounted drinks definitely help to celebrate another week in this beautiful city! As well as the parties there have been trips to places around Galicia such as Vigo and the Costa da Morte as well as to other major cities such as Madrid and Lisbon.
So, what problems have I faced and how did I solve them?
The first of them was living in a different county, where I am the only British student. Luckily this hasn't turned out to be a problem; I have made friends that speak Spanish, so I am able to communicate with them and others from Ireland.
Our ESN Coruña group leaders have organised a ‘Tapas Night’ every Tuesday, which has been really sociable as it brings the Erasmus students together to catch up. My biggest challenge has been dealing with homesickness. During my first week here I Skyped my family every day, but since then I have dropped the daily calls to once per week! I realised many people have felt the same and it’s great that we can talk about it and support each other.
Daniel Lee is studying Spanish & Italian, currently on his Erasmus year abroad.