My amazing Erasmus+ experience during the winter semester of last year was at the beautiful University of Madrid “Universidad Ray Juan Carlos”. I have experienced, seen and learned a lot and I am sure that many of my discoveries and memories will accompany me for the rest of my life. In the end, I not only lived in Madrid, but it also remained as a second home with many new lifelong friends.
As with any "fresh start", my first two weeks were basically about navigating the urban jungle, finding an apartment and finding the people I would like to spend my time with. In Spain, there is the "idealista.es" website that almost all of my Erasmus+ fellows visit and check on a daily basis. I was lucky and didn't have to spend much time searching for a room: a Spanish friend from Madrid provided me with a central and beautiful room in a 3-bed apartment. So, I had enough free time to meet all the interesting people in my intensive Spanish language course at Erasmus+ University. Unfortunately, there were some Bulgarians among them, which made it difficult to speak Spanish. Nevertheless, a ridiculously small group of Germans, Greeks, Canadians, French, Portuguese and Mexicans had formed relatively quickly, contributing to the multicultural environment. In retrospect, it must be said that the mix of many different nations is more important to my time in Spain than to the culture in which the whole work took place. Other Erasmus + programs in Padua, Valencia or Istanbul also confirm this experience: the meeting of so many countries is characteristic of Erasmus+.
Overall, my semester abroad has taught me to manage my time properly and to be responsible when it comes to learning. Of course (despite the great temptation to speak English or Bulgarian), I have also improved Spanish and established my own connection with Spain. However, my biggest souvenir is the connection with all those people who live different lives than me, who come from different cultures and regions that have different ideas for a successful life and a successful evening, and that look to the future with different eyes. Although everyone is unique at home, Erasmus+ has let me know how different these things can actually be.
by Rosen Ivaylov