‘¿Oye tío, por qué hay tanto guiri aquí?’ was a phrase I heard that stuck with me for days after. I was in a bar in the centre of Seville with a group of other friends from the UK, when some locals began laughing and chatting about us in Spanish, unaware that we could understand them.
By Sarah Cross, Sciences Po Toulouse, Toulouse, France.
After almost ten months living in Toulouse, it was finally time to depart for my journey home! I was lucky enough to be able to do this journey by car, despite flying on the way there. Whilst it was a long 3 day trip, I got the opportunity to visit even more little towns in France, and see the beautiful countryside on the way!
Months before I arrived in Milan, I had to complete an accommodation application, from which I gained a spot in their ‘exchange student’ accommodation. Many people didn’t because it was first-come, first-served, leaving them to find their own accommodation. When I arrived, however, there weren’t as many exchange students as expected, with many first-year Italians living in our accommodation. There were similar issues with not enough spaces being provided in different modules – a great choice but with limited space.
The main difference I have noticed is with the style of teaching at Bocconi. There are only lectures – no seminars or workshops – which are three hours long with a fifteen-minute break in the middle. I personally enjoy this much more because you may only have the module one day per week, however some days can be very long (10.15am-7.45pm on a Tuesday is not fun, although I’m lucky to have a Friday and Monday off). Although there are only lectures, there is a heavier workload than in Manchester, potentially covering up to 150 slides during one lecture. The modules are very in-depth and specific, which is beneficial for future careers because it is so focused. I feel as though I have learned much more about each topic which I never would’ve gained. Lectures aren’t recorded, so attendance is extremely important, and each module has different attendance requirements.
One factor that I find extremely beneficial is how much the university invests in students’ career prospects. In my three weeks of lectures, I have had guest speakers in from Balich Wonder Studio, Wavemaker, and even Red Bull, who have set our group project and will be there when we make our presentations. The industry-specific knowledge they provide, alongside all of their opportunities, is incredible.
Full-time Bocconi students are required to have knowledge in many fields, with many courses having only one optional module. This means that many modules available to exchange students have pre-requisites, and you must be knowledgable on such otherwise it will be extremely tough. I had to drop Marketing Analytics due to not having enough statistical knowledge, however, Bocconi students had to study statistics in their first year, making them more well-rounded.
One issue, however, is that some modules require you to purchase the textbook for their courses. Each module is different, some wanting you to buy it, others not using a textbook at all. This can be extremely expensive, alongside some modules requiring software and licenses to be purchased to complete coursework.
My favourite factor is that exchange students have the option to complete their exams in different sessions, for example, before and/or after Christmas. This takes the stress away from Christmas because you can choose to take them all before, allowing you to enjoy the break!
Despite my conflicting opinions, I’m enjoying my time at SDA Bocconi School of Management – it’s very different to Manchester and will take some getting used to!
It has only been 10 days since I moved to Milan, and it already feels like a new home. To be honest, I did not have the best of welcomes, since the day I arrived we were on a government alert for heavy rain and the flight was delayed several times. However, the amazing experiences I have lived so far overweigh the chaos of the first days.
By Isabelle Lydon, Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest
On my year abroad, I attended Eötvös Lorànd University (ELTE) in Budapest. ELTE is considered one of the best universities in Hungary and is in the top 2% of universities worldwide. It consists of 9 faculties and has over 20,317 courses. They have 528 Erasmus partner universities and luckily UOM was one of them. I study Law at UOM, so I was a part of the Faculty of Law at ELTE which has to have been one of the most stunning university buildings I’ve ever seen.
Looking back after the most fantastic year I thought I would write a cheat sheet of things I wish I knew before my year abroad. Some of it will be generic and others will be specific to Bergen, but I hope it helps anyway!
If you’re dreaming of sun, sand, food, and architecture, then Valencia is your place. From beach bars playing Reggaeton to pools and a vibrant party scene, they’re full of summer fun and relaxation. The popular Malvarrosa Beach and El Saler Beach offers a beautiful and serene backdrops. Known for its iconic dish, paella, Valencia boasts the authentic flavours of this rice-based delicacy, made with fresh seafood or tender meats, and infused with aromatic saffron. Head over to the The city of Arts and Sciences and get a feel for one of Spains 12 treasures.
Almería is a city that embraces its close proximity to Morocco, infusing its streets with a delightful blend of Islamic and Moroccan influences. Wandering through the vibrant alleyways, you’ll feel like you’ve stepped into a whole new world. The architecture reflects the rich Islamic heritage that has shaped the city’s identity.
During my stay in Almeria, I stumbled upon a Moroccan cafe just a stone’s throw away from our accommodation, and it DELICIOUS. From tagines to fluffy couscous and delectable pastries, every bite transported me to the streets of Marrakech. But it wasn’t just the food that made the experience unforgettable. The ladies at the restaurant were the epitome of warmth and hospitality. They greeted us with genuine smiles and treated us like family.
Granada is a city that truly knows how to party. From sun sets to sun rise, the streets are full of energy and people. Granada’s nightlife scene offers something for everyone. Get ready to dance the night away, mingle with locals and fellow travelers, and create memories that will last a lifetime.
As you navigate the hilly terrain, prepare to be rewarded with awe-inspiring vistas at every turn. From the iconic Alhambra, a stunning fortress that seems to have sprung from a fairy tale, to the picturesque viewpoints of Mirador de San Nicolás and Mirador de San Cristóbal, you’ll be treated to panoramic vistas that will take your breath away. And let’s not forget about the enchanting botanical gardens. Nestled in the heart of the city, these lush green havens provide a serene escape from the hustle and bustle. Lose yourself in the maze of exotic plants, fragrant blossoms, and tranquil ponds. It’s a peaceful oasis where you can relax, unwind, and connect with nature.
Take a leisurely stroll along the riverbank and you’ll stumble upon lively bars and cafes lining the river, where locals and visitors alike gather to sip refreshing drinks, dance flamenco, and revel in the infectious energy of the city. Sevilla combines the two seamlessly. The Maria Luisa Park, an oasis in the heart of the city, is a must-visit. Take a leisurely stroll amidst the lush gardens, marvel at the stunning fountains, and find a cozy spot to relax.
And let’s not forget the Royal Gardens, nestled within the breathtaking Alcazar. This UNESCO World Heritage site is a true masterpiece, with its intricately designed gardens, elegant courtyards, and stunning architecture. Game of Thrones fans, the Royal Gardens of the Alcazar in Sevilla is the filming location for the world of Dorne.
The river that gently flows through Cordoba. Take a leisurely stroll along its banks, and you’ll find yourself enveloped in a sense of tranquility. The river provides a serene escape from the bustle of the city, offering a peaceful spot to relax, enjoy a picnic, or simply soak up the natural beauty that surrounds you.
Cordoba is a place where history and culture mix. One of its most iconic landmarks is the Mezquita-Catedral, a breathtaking fusion of a Christian cathedral and an Islamic mosque. It’s a testament to the city’s rich past and the cultural exchange that flourished here.
The city comes alive in June with the Cordoba Flamenco Festival. Several stages are erected across the city with dozens of artists and dancers performing throughout the festivities.
The Festival of San Isidro is a week-long celebration in Madrid honouring the city’s patron saint, San Isidro Labrador. The festival occurs between the 6th -15th (the 15th being the official feast day) and includes numerous and varied events and activities such as: concerts, music, procession and parades.
by Aimee Kinniburgh, Universiteit van Amsterdam, Netherlands
Having lived in Amsterdam now for nearly 9 months, I think I’ve finally earnt the right to talk about some of my favourite, lesser-known places in Amsterdam to go for a coffee, study or for a pint in the all be in very limited, sun. So if you happen to find yourself in Amsterdam feel free to use this list to get away from some of the tourist, and TikTok, traps.