Daniel: 5 Tips for Feeling at Home in your New Home

Almost 3 months down in Granada and I am super happy to say I’m feeling fully settled and like I’ve found a second home here. But although I’m feeling great, I’ve had my share of down days, and feeling like I’m never going to settle.

I knew this was coming – it’s never gonna be 100% smooth sailing moving to the other side of the world, and that’s ok! So, for those aspiring or current 360er’s who may be feeling this way, here’s what I’ve done in my 3 months that has led me to both survive and thrive in my new Spanish life.

  1. Put yourself out there from day 1
    On my very first night in Granada, I had the choice of staying in my hostel and sleeping or going to a tapas event with a group of total strangers. Boy am I glad I went. This introduced me to people who to this day are some of my closest friends and made the idea of meeting all these strangers a little less daunting. I know this isn’t easy for everyone, but I cannot stress how important it is that you at least make the effort. Join the international student FB groups (for those in Spain, try ESN, Emycet and Bestlife) and keep an eye out for the thousands of events they put on for exchange students. At the end of the day, the people you meet are going to make you feel the most happy, comfortable, and at home – not the place.
I met these gorgeous people in my first week here thanks to all the student events!
  1. Go hard on the flat hunting
    Obviously you’re not going to find a 4-story mansion, nor can you spend your whole 6 months searching for the perfect flat. But I say this because I’m a big believer in going with whatever feels right, and I personally wasn’t able to get a good feel for the flatting sitch just by looking online. I highly recommend staying in a hostel and going flat hunting in person – at least in Granada, there is always something on the market as students are constantly coming and going. You’ll be able to meet your flatmates, see the place and get a vibe for the city too!
My wild, hilarious and always entertaining flatmates ❤
  1. Bring little bits of your old home to your new one
    This one is super easy and a great way to get a sense of familiarity on those homesick days. I’m not allowed to stick any photos on my wall, so that method was ruled out. For me, I’ve found that listening to some kiwi music every once and a while actually makes a huge difference – keeping up with Drax Project or Six60, or even a classic banger from Stan Walker gives me a few minutes to picture myself back home with friends and whānau and I’m good to go. Whether it’s a weekly call home or wearing a classic leavers hoodie from time to time, try to have something that’ll help ya remember your roots.
Yet another feature from Liv, but this time visiting me! One of Granada’s many lookout spots, San Miguel Alto
  1. The exact opposite of no. 3
    I don’t mean to backtrack, but I do want to emphasise that you shouldn’t be recreating an NZ bubble in your new country – keep that for days you’re really missing home. In fact, diving into the social and cultural world of your new country is an even better way to start building a new home that is just as special. I’ve started listening to Spanish music, am visiting the quintessential Granada spots like the Alhambra and constantly challenge myself to find new cafes/bars/other magic spots hiding in the city. The more I get to know the city and force myself to immerse myself in the Spanish lifestyle, the more I feel like I’m fitting in and becoming part of the city.
One of the many funky café’s I have found to get some work done, definitely becoming a regular
  1. Accept that things are different
    Above all, the ultimate thing you have to do is accept within yourself that every country, or even every city, has their own way of doing things. One of the most valuable lessons this experience can teach you is that there is no right nor wrong way to do certain things – once you’ve accepted this and just go with it, you’ll start to enjoy yourself 100 times more.
Even the simplest little streets have a little love

So. I’ve slowly (and at times, painfully) adjusted my body to the Spanish food schedule of dinner at 10pm, learnt to avoid afternoon shopping as siesta hours are definitely a thing and I’m even getting used to the wonderful yet challenging Granadino accent. It took a bit of time, but I’m feeling a bit more like a Granadino, and hopefully my experiences help some of you settle in, so you can enjoy your own adventure.

Until next time, ¡hasta luego!


Daniel: Starting Life as a Granadino

Although I started my Auckland 360 application almost a year ago, it never felt like an actual thing until I finally stepped foot into my new home of Granada, Spain after a 30-hour flight to London and a contiki around Europe. It’s been a whirlwind to say the least (an incredible one), but I’m gonna start off my 360 blogs with just a few thoughts and feelings so far!

A warm, loving welcome from Granada

On preparing to go:

Preparing for exchange comes with all sorts of admin and paperwork (which I’ll talk more about in later blogs), but I wanted to focus on the mother of all my pre-exchange stress: my visa. Research EVERYTHING there is to know about the visa you need. And do not, I repeat, DO NOT plan your travel until this is sorted. Luckily, my pre-booked travel plans worked out, but this came with a mountain of stress that I could have avoided if I’d been a bit more patient and organized. It doesn’t have to be that hard – learn from my mistakes! The same goes for all your paperwork. Sounds lame, but its gotta be done (and it is aaaaall worth it in the end, trust me).

On life in Granada: Highlights

Tapas. Granada is the promised land of tapas. Head to almost any bar, order a drink (1.50 – 2.50 euros) and you’ll get a complimentary side dish of chicken wings, calamari, hamburgers or a whole range of other stuff. 2 drinks + tapas and you’re sorted!


Just a few of the many types of tapas you’ll be served in Granada

Cheap travel. I’ve had a day trip and full tour of the beautiful city of Córdoba for about $30 and enjoyed a whole weekend away in Sevilla for less than $100 all included. Lets not forget my $50 flight to Oxford – Europe really is a budget traveler’s paradise.

Me and Liv enjoying the little snowfall Oxford put on for us

Lookouts. Granada is blessed with probably the most beautiful lookouts I’ve ever seen. Walk in any direction and you’ll end up watching the sunset over the buzzing city life, the peaceful Arabic-inspired Albaicín and the mountains of Sierra Nevada.

Breathtaking..how is this my backyard!?

Mi gente (my peeps). The endless amount of Erasmus activities offered have introduced me to a whole new world of wonderfully diverse people from all walks of life. Whether it’s out for tapas, dressing up for a carnival or escaping the city for a weekend, I now have a big multicultural family to share all these new experiences with, which has gotta be the biggest highlight so far.



Spanish. Ahhh, español. You are a beautiful language, but boy have you tested me. The people of Granada have a very distinct (yet beautiful) accent which threw me right off – that mixed with my friends from all over Latin America and my brain has had quite the intense workout. That being said, I couldn’t be happier. I am learning at lightning speed and already feeling way more comfortable – sink or swim, right?

Uni. I’m honoured to be able to study in a university rich with over 500 years of history, but I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t tough adjusting to how it all works e.g. more weight on exams, and of course, everything being in Spanish. My advice would be to stick it out as things WILL fall into place (they slowly are for me, I promise!) and communicate with your lecturers so that they can help you out, or at least be aware that you may be struggling!

There’s a million other things I could tell ya’ll about – like adjusting to eating dinner at 10pm, joining a salsa class or Spanish flat hunting – but I’ll save those for future blogs. To round up, I’m absolutely loving life here in Granada and I just know I’m going to learn and experience so much that I’ll be able to pass on to ya’ll. Thanks so much for reading, catch me next month for another update! ¡Hasta luego!

I would also like to share my most heartfelt condolences for those affected in the horrific tragedy in Christchurch on March 15th, especially to our Muslim whānau and community. My love and thoughts are with you all. Kia kaha.


Reflections: Bianca

Where do you even begin when you’re asked to sum up six months of your life? There is no possible way to explain/describe every experience, feeling and achievement. So, rather than make a rather poor attempt at it, I thought I would focus on the five skills the 360 International team say we will master while on exchange – although I can only speak from my experience and I’m sure that it is different for everyone.


Google maps will quickly become your best friend, I know it became mine within the first week. However, don’t forget about good old traditional maps, they provide by far the best over view of a city as they have the advantage of showing the whole city/area in a reasonable level of detail, while I find to see the same level of detail on google maps I end up having to zoom in and only look at a small part of the city. Like in any city you will quickly become familiar with your regular or daily route but I would encourage you to mix it up every once in a while or not to follow the map and just wander around. This is by far the best way to see things you might have otherwise missed.


Going on exchange to a country that speaks a different language adds a whole new level of complexity to an already challenging experience. While communication isn’t only about language, it is a key component. Regardless of where you go and what language is spoken you will have to work on your communication. Not only will you be interpreting slang that you may never have used before, but you will also have to adjust how you communicate to make sure that you are understood. At no point was this clearer to me than when I was meeting new groups of Spanish students on a daily basis. But even when I would meet other English speaking students from different countries, I found myself having to adjust how I was communicating to make sure that I was being understood – you would be surprised how many don’t understand that we refer to ourselves as “kiwis”, I had to explain this many times.

Time Management

I don’t think my time management skills improved all that much, maybe they did and it just doesn’t feel like it? I was still no better at starting my assignments early, finishing them a little before the due date so that I could check them or starting to study for a test well in advance. This may be down to the fact that I spent quite a few weekends away, travelling in the north of Spain, but it may also be related to the fact that we were not given an exact plan for the semester. The one thing I do think you learn in terms of time management though is what a good balance between studying and socialising is for you. Everyone I met on exchange did this differently. I know one of my neighbours would go out till 10 or 12pm and then return home and spend the whole night catching up on the study she missed as a result of this. Something like this would never work for me!!


Being responsible for everything is both a great feeling and a huge challenge, especially for someone like me who has never lived away from home.  I have really made the most of being the one in charge. The sense of freedom that comes with living by yourself is incredible but I did face my share of challenges too. Having the freedom to do what I wanted when I wanted meant that my self-discipline had to improve a lot, there was no one standing over my shoulder telling me that I couldn’t watch the next episode or that I should get to bed before midnight when I had early mornings. Although it can be easy to forget being on your own and so far away, it is always ok to call friends and family from home for advice when it comes to making some decisions. As the semester went on and I found myself growing into my sudden independence I didn’t have to call home for advice anymore.

The Art of Conversation

I have two things to say on this topic. The first is that it is very hard to notice your own confidence growing, it isn’t until you compare how you acted around new people at the beginning of your exchange to how you are acting around them when you are getting ready to leave. The second is that during the course of my exchange I didn’t feel like I was more willing to start conversations with strangers, let alone in another language! But looking back now and comparing my behaviour I would definitely say that I find myself being able to make friends much easier than before my exchange experience.


An exchange is a huge opportunity for anyone, it is an opportunity to grow and have experiences that you would never normally have. My advice to anyone considering going on an exchange is to do it! But remember that it is still real life and that the experience won’t be perfect or a walk in the park; you will experience the same ups and downs that you experience at any other point in your life.

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The Catalan Question: Bianca

I’m not entirely sure how much coverage this situation got in the New Zealand media, but at the very least after the last few months I am sure that you will have heard about Catalonia and their attempt at independence. I am not a journalist or even studying journalism but after reading some of the reports from the BBC and other international media outlets I thought I would add my opinion of what has been going on, as someone who is living in Spain as it is happening.

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I guess the best place to start when considering recent events is the referendum that was held on the 1st of October in Catalonia (for those who do not know Catalonia is one of the regions of Spain with Barcelona as its capital). Personally, I almost forgot the referendum about the referendum, with so much going on at uni and a number of deadlines fast approaching, it wasn’t until minutes before 6pm that I checked in on the progress. I was incredibly shocked to see a number of reports about the police brutality, particularly in Barcelona. After speaking with a few people in my residence about what we were seeing on TV it was pretty clear that none of us knew the explanation for the violence. What we did find out in class a few days later was that the referendum had been declared illegal by the Constitutional Court of Spain in September as it was in breach of the 1978 constitution – which the Catalan people voted in favour of at the time. Not only had the referendum been declared illegal by Spain, but the High Court of Justice of Catalonia had also given orders to the police to prevent the referendum, which included orders for the arrest of various individuals who had helped to organise it. These orders were not followed by the Catalan police, with videos being posted on the internet showing police officers walking past voting stations, waving and smiling. It is for this reason that the Spanish Civil Guard was deployed to carry out the orders that the Catalan police ignored. Based on the way that I have seen these facts represented in the media I believe that the Catalans played a much smarter game in regards to media coverage, almost every article that I read had the Catalans looking like the victims and the Spanish government portrayed as the oppressor.

Not only was the referendum illegal, it also did not meet the minimum international standards for elections. We found video footage showing people bringing the – supposedly empty – ballot boxes into one of the voting stations before the start of the referendum. This footage shows one of the ballot boxes being dropped and rather than being empty a whole sheath of voting papers fell out, all marked in favour of independence. Usually in a referendum or vote there is only one ballot per person and you are signed up to vote in a specific station, however during the Catalan referendum, the electorate were able to vote at any voting station and print the ballot at home to bring to voting stations; this resulted in there being no limit to the number of ballots one person was able to post in the ballot boxes.

The question on the ballot to which voters could answer “Yes” or “No” was “Do you want Catalonia to become an independent state in the form of a Republic?”. According to the official results of the referendum the “Yes” side won with 92.01% of the votes. However, when everything that we were seeing in the news is taken into consideration along with less than 50% voter turnout with a high proportion of the “No” voters not attending due to being asked not to by the constitutional parties, doubt is cast on the validity of the result.

What I heard from a few of my classmates with family in Catalonia is that their family had voted “Yes” during the referendum and at the time strongly believed that Catalonia both had the right to be an independent state and that it should be one now, were beginning to doubt in their decision. It only became clear after the referendum that if Catalonia claims their independence from Spain they will no longer be part of the European Union and that they will not be recognised as a country by the United Nations. This fact was made even more real by the round 1400 businesses that pulled out of Catalonia in the aftermath of the referendum and the sudden spike in unemployment that this caused. Historically and still today Catalonia is one of the most affluent and successful regions in Spain. The fact that they have always had to pay more taxes to the state because of this has always been a point of contention for the Catalans. They see themselves as a different nation, first Catalan and second – if at all – Spanish.


The question that I heard over and over during the course of the last few months and the one I want to leave you with is: does every nation have the right to its own state? As an extension of this question: Should the Catalans be allowed independence from Spain?

If you want to discuss this further or have any questions about and exchange in Spain feel free to send me an email to bsta867@aucklanduni.ac.nz.

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Campus Life: Bianca

I guess we all have a certain expectation of what campus life will look like at university, I know I did starting UoA and again coming here to Oviedo. However, the expectations of clubs, events on campus both specifically for exchange students and all students in general and in general just hanging out with friends on campus, have not been met by my experience here at the University of Oviedo. Now please don’t take that the wrong way, that there is nothing to do here and that I am having a horrible time because that is NOT true. What is true though is that I have to organise all my own fun, there are very few organizations on campus, there are no restaurants on campus and the campus life that we are used to just doesn’t exist.

Before you all make up your mind that there’s no way you want to come to Spain, let alone Oviedo, let me explain a little.

Timetables vary depending on what faculty you study in and which year of your degree you are in. For example, all the classes that I take in the faculty of economics are between 9am and 12:30pm (there are also afternoon classes if you prefer to sleep in). While in the faculty of chemistry, if you are in your first year your classes will run from 9am to 2:30 every day, with a few exceptions for field trips and tests. However, if you are in your second year of a chemistry degree your classes start at 1:30pm and run till 7pm. Personally, because of the mix of classes I take at both faculties I have class Monday to Friday from 9am to 2:30pm, three days a week I have a short break in the middle, while Wednesdays and Fridays I have 6.5 hours of class without a break and I am always late to physics because I have to run from one faculty building to the other. This is because unlike at UoA where classes start at 5 minutes past the hour and finish 5 minute early (or they are supposed to) here classes start at the scheduled time and finish at the scheduled time, assuming they are both in the same building this isn’t a problem.

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I think I have mentioned this before, but the University of Oviedo has 7 campuses, so living in the university residence means that I live on one of the smaller campuses. In my opinion there aren’t really any campus traditions that I have been able to find. The residence I live in has a few but again I feel more like there are routines that form throughout the semester/year. Although the residence does have a few students who have lived there for up to 4 years so there are some traditions that happen every year. One that I have already spoken about is the Novatadas, so I won’t go into detail about them again, but they are like initiations for new residents that want to participate and they are a great way to get to know the people that you are living with. Another one that I had almost forgotten about because it is such a long time ago now, is a welcome ‘dinner’ they have every year in the second week of classes. This starts off with a meeting in the salon held by the Director of the residence and by the previous year’s student representative. After the meeting has concluded, we all go into the cafeteria for a tapas style standing dinner with unlimited beer and sangria. The part that made this seem like a tradition to me was that half way through eating the food all of the previous residents broke out into song, singing the residence’s songs.

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Talking about campuses, the faculties of the university are split between campuses. The campus I live on has all the sports facilities (running track, gym, pool, indoor courts) and the faculty of information technologies. This means that the Sunday football games are played, quite literally, across the street from where I live and every Sunday there is a group of students from this hall that take a drum and go support the universities team! Meanwhile the campus I study at, is quite a bit larger, housing the faculty of economics, law, biology, chemistry and a research facility. Each faculty has a cafeteria in it, my top tip would be to make use of these. They have a range of sandwiches for one euro each, reasonable coffee for less than a euro (or so I’ve been told considering I don’t drink it) as well as a daily menu i.e. a three course meal for 6 euros.

When it comes to uni organizations/clubs I hadn’t found or heard of any since I got here, so to make sure that it wasn’t just me I asked a friend (a Spanish student from Oviedo), she only confirmed what I thought, while there are about 5 clubs that she is aware of, none are advertised and neither of us knew how or where we would be able to join them. The only club that I have seen any activity from is the feminist association, they have hung posters around the campus about violence against women.

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The one group that I have seen a lot of and who regularly organise both events and trips is ESN or the Erasmus Student Network. Their most famous event is their Martes de Tapas, or Tuesday tapas nights. These take place in a different tapas bar every week and ESN provides tapas for all. They are a lot of fun and a great way to meet a lot of people, but due to my schedule I haven’t had much chance to go.

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After a tapas Tuesday, everyone is up for a bit of fun

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I am really enjoying my time and have had a lot of great opportunities, however if you are expecting the kind of campus life from UoA or from the movies it just isn’t a part of the culture here. Although there are a lot of other things on offer, you just have to be prepared to make your own fun.

Until next time, Bianca.

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Food, Glorious Food: Bianca

As you can tell by the title of this blog, it is about one of my favourite things: FOOD! I will warn you now that this post ended up being a lot longer than I planed… Before coming to Spain all I thought of when someone mentioned Spanish food was paella, tapas and Spanish tortilla BUT there is so much more especially when you come up north. The most famous foods around the food are those that are typically eaten in southern Spain, while you can also find a great deal of these in northern Spain (for example I have been eating Spanish tortilla for breakfast nearly every day) they also have their own culinary traditions up here.

Traditionally Asturians are farmers, Shepherds and fishermen; this is reflected in the local gastronomy. The native breed of cattle here is prized for its milk and over 10 different types of cheese are produced from various milks in the region, 6 of which I have been lucky enough to try. They are delicious! I have always been a huge fan of goat’s cheese and they do it really well here, there is even a restaurant where, among many other types of pizza, you can get goat’s cheese pizza, delicious! The most famous cheese of the region is a blue cheese called Cabrales cheese; I will admit that this is the only food I have tried so far that I do not want to try again. It is a very strong blue cheese and as someone who does not usually like blue cheese, it was way too much for me.

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Asturias has 1300km of coastline and their history as fishermen means that seafood is also a big part of their food. One thing that I couldn’t get over to begin with is how much tuna the people here eat! I do live a catered uni residence and at least 4 times a week we have tuna, be it tuna steaks or tuna in the daily salad. I admit that I have come to really enjoy having tuna in my salad but we also have the option of tuna in our breakfast rolls and anytime I go to buy an empanadilla there is always a tuna option. The slightly more unusual seafood dish that is very famous here is Pulpo or Octopus. This is a dish that is also very famous in Galicia. The way it is served here is cut up octopus tentacles on potatoes seasoned with paprika. I was quite apprehensive to try this for the first time but octopus doesn’t really have a taste, it is just the texture that is a bit strange.



I have found two new favourite foods since arriving in Spain, Emapanadillas and Cachopo. Empanadillas are pretty similar to empanadas that we know from Argentina; however here they are they are made with two different kinds of pastry. My personal favourites are those made with fluffy, flaky pastry, rather than those made with a short crust kind of pastry as these can often be too dry. As I mentioned earlier will there are many varying options for filling you will always find a tuna option and I have found that this is often one of the better options. Cachopo is similar to cordon bleu. It consists of two large veal filets that are fried with breadcrumbs and served with potatoes and preserved capsicum.  What makes it special is that it is filled with ham and cheese between the two filets and that one portion of Cachopo is big enough to serve 2-3 people. It has become my new go to meal when I can afford to go out to dinner and I have had it a few times but the best one was at a restaurant called ‘El Gato Negro’. This is a wonderful restaurant with many typical dishes and very popular with the locals, but I would highly recommend if you are going with a group of people, we almost didn’t get a table!



I will try and keep the next bit short so this post doesn’t get too much longer but I cannot talk about the gastronomy of Asturias without mentioning Sidra. It’s not too difficult to make the link from the name that Sidra is Cider, the traditional drink of Asturias. It is made from locally grown apples and has been produced since ancient times. The Sidra is always bottled in the same dark green glass bottles (so it is really easy to recognise) and there is a very special method to pouring and drinking it. The waiters serve the Sidra by holding a large glass in one hand and the bottle in the other; he raised the bottle over his head and lets the Sidra fall into the glass which creates some carbonation. This method of pouring is called escanciar and is really hard to do well. Tradition also dictates that no more than a few centimetres of Sidra is poured at once and it must be drunk immediately. The best place to go to drink Sidra is a Sidreria and some of the best are found in Calle Gascona, it is here that you can also find one of the best restaurants in Oviedo: Tierra Astur.


Side note: Los Premios de la Princesa de Asturias

I imagine it was covered in the news in New Zealand, but for anyone who may not know; the All Blacks received a Princess of Asturias Award just last week. The awards ceremony was held in the theatre here in Asturias and I found myself outside the theatre in the crowd while the All Blacks were receiving their award for sport. Among the other winners for this year were noble prize winners and a musical group from South America. The All Blacks also hosted a training session for rugby players here in Asturias as part of the lead up to the awards. These are some of the most prestigious awards in Spain, so congratulations to the All Blacks!



Accommodation Awards: Bianca

When looking for accommodation I wasn’t sure what I wanted, I’ve never moved out of home before so I knew this experience was going to be one of many firsts. When choosing accommodation for my exchange here the University of Oviedo offered 3 options: finding my own flat with other students or professionals, living in a university residence or living with a home stay family. I ended applying for a spot in one of the University of Oviedo’s three student residences; El Colegio Mayor san Gregorio, El Colegio Mayor America and the Residencia Universitaria de Mieres. The odds were in my favour and I was lucky enough to get a room in El Colegio Mayor san Gregorio (my first pick!), and it is now the place I call home. While I had been hoping to get an individual room, I have ended up in a double which is slightly cheaper and I now prefer. I got really lucky with both my room and my roommate!


Accommodation Award for best size and location:
The university residences here are a lot smaller than the ones in Auckland, having between 94 and 112 beds, this means that all the staff get to know you and learn your breakfast orders! While the location is not quite perfect for me, because of how long it takes me to walk to my campus; the location of the Colegios Mayores is excellent! They are located on one of the University’s 6 Campuses in Oviedo and I feel as though I live in a huge sports complex. If you are studying computer sciences or sports medicine these residence would be ideal for you because you would be living 100m away from the faculties! While my walk to uni every morning is a bit long the walk to and from the centre of town is around 10 minutes which is perfect for going out, which everyone here does! If you decided to live here you should be prepared to hear people coming home from a night out between 5 and 8am particularly on weekends.


Accommodation Award for making life as easy as possible for students:
The residences have a cleaning service that cleans all the rooms’ everyday of the week except Sunday. They come in while we are at uni, make the beds, clean the floor and the bathroom. Towels and bed sheets are also provided by the residence and those get changed every Wednesday by the same lovely ladies that clean our rooms. They also feed us! Unfortunately the food is not included in the price of our rent, however I just pay for everything at the beginning of the month. When it comes to food they have a few options for how you can pay. There are a few people here who have bought their own fridges with them and use the communal microwaves to cook their own meals every day. You can also pay for individual meals, the complete menu everyday or as they call it here the media pension, which is what I do. The media pension means that I pay for breakfast everyday and get either lunch or dinner included in the price, which is perfect for me because I am always still at uni for lunch.


Accommodation Award for most intense beginning to life in a residence:
One thing they don’t tell you about living here is that for the first three weeks of semester they have novatadas (initiations) for all the new residents who want to take part. It was pretty strange for me at first because I had no idea what everyone was talking about, what are these novatadas? But as my Spanish has improved over the few weeks I’ve been here I’ve begun to understand what is going on. I was told that this year’s initiations started off a lot easier than last years to prevent everyone quitting in the first week like in the previous year. Unfortunately the novatadas a pretty exclusive thing, so if you aren’t part of it you can’t watch any of the activities they plan. For example this week they had a talent show for the initiations, while eating dinner we saw they all head into the common room and thought we would join them, however before the show started they said that anyone who was not taking part wasn’t allowed to even watch. So while it is a great way to get to know some of the other students living here it is a pretty exclusive ‘club’. Some of the activities that were part of this year’s novatadas were waking everyone up to run laps around the track at 4am, staying out till at least 3am every night despite having classes the next morning and blindfolding people and tricking them into believing they were jumping out of a second story window.
Compared to the other accommodation options I had, I really do think that this was the best option for me. I am really enjoying always having people around and always having someone to go out with on the weekends. However, if you prefer your own space there are plenty of well located reasonably priced apartments around to rent. The University of Oviedo also has a housing office with regularly updated lists of available rooms and flats close to the different campuses. All of the Erasmus students I have met since coming here found their own flats and they are finding it really good to. Many flats are a combination of Erasmus students from different countries but there are also flats that are made up of predominantly Spanish students.

Until my next update!
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