¡Hola! I’m Dora, your typical Informatics student from The University of Edinburgh. You know, I’m one of those guys walking around with a big picture of Appleton Tower stamped on their fun colored hoodies. I’ll embark on my third year at 21 years of age, but this is only because we, Bulgarians, graduate high school at 19, so please go easy on me. I’m leaving for Barcelona at the end of August where I’ll spend the next 10 to 12 months studying in Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya.
Now that I’m done introducing myself, I’d like to congratulate everyone reading this, because if you are, then you are most probably thinking about going on an exchange next year. I believe this is something you will not regret. How do I know? Well, for me going to study abroad in Edinburgh is kind of like a four-year exchange, so I’m familiar with trying to fit in a new place where you don’t know anybody and you don’t speak the language fluently. All I want to say is that once you get over the initial shock, it all starts to sink in and gets pretty amazing by the end. This is how I envision my year in Barcelona – full of new and exciting experiences, lots of learning and exploring, meeting new people, getting lost in the city, buying the wrong food or light bulbs, etc. These are all stuff I’ve done and I want to go through at least once more.
Preparing to leave for a new place yet again is not all sunshine and flowers – the bureaucracy of it all is pretty boring and needless to say – time consuming. Firstly, I had to get an European Health Insurance card, for which I needed to update my insurance since I haven’t been home in half a year. The whole process consisted of 2 hours of standing in a queue of only 1 person, not including myself. The only bright side was that I witnessed a 5-year-old boy trying to buy a Pepsi from the vending machine, but ending up with a beer instead. Someone needs to come up with a reliable screening system for the underage public using those machines. Not to mention the fact that they sell beer in a government building.
I also had to find a flat to live in, which turned out to be not as simple as it was in Edinburgh. Catalans want to meet you before they accept you as their flat mate (which is pretty normal, I think), but I don’t remember having that problem when I was flat hunting in Scotland my first year.
Oh, yes, and most importantly I had to choose the courses I wanted to take which required a lot of research and time from my part only to find out that at the end I may get stuck with completely different courses than those I have chosen. Well, if studying in a Spanish language high school taught me anything, it’s that everything in Spain gets done ‘mañana’ (tomorrow).
That’s all from me for now. I’m very into photography, so you should expect loads of pictures once I get to Barcelona.
Only less than a month to go… ¡Hasta luego!