Thursday, 26 May 2011

Exams are finished...¡por fin!

Finally our 3rd year exams are finished! Most of my exams went pretty well although the Marketing was a tough 2 hours. Now it's time for me to start learning the every day Spanish words that university has failed to see fit to teach us =D Sure I could maybe talk about drugs, education and new communication methods, but I'm not quite so confident with vocabulary like fregadero, cuchillo, lavavajillas and colchón! They obviously just expect us to learn that stuff on our own, which is fair enough I suppose. 

I've also set my departure date now for the 16th of August! I'm going to San Javier on the coast of Murcia with my parents for a week. Now that the date is official I'm starting to have moments of panic due to the realisation that I'm moving away for a year! I'm really going to miss my family and friends but I know I'm going to have such a great time and people can visit me while I'm there. The amount of forms and paperwork that we have to fill in right now is very frustrating. There are various SAAS forms, passport applications, EHIC cards, insurance forms, university applications and Erasmus forms, all with different deadlines and criteria, which is getting slightly confusing. Some of the forms can only be completed upon arrival and after enrolling in classes, including forms that need to be sent to Glasgow University if I want to receive my grant from the Stevenson Scholarship. Ahh!!! 

Anyway, I have decided to take a day off of piano teaching on Saturday so that I can (for once) go out on a Friday night with my friends! I'm going to a Mexican themed party at a club called "Stereo" in Glasgow, which I'm really looking forward to. Spanish language music, piñatas, moustaches and ice-cream...what more could you ask for? I'll post again after that, hopefully with some photos. 


Friday, 6 May 2011

Pre-Erasmus Blues

I thought I would take a break from all the studying for the looming exams to talk a bit about this strange time when you've finished classes at Uni, but still have exams and a summer holiday before you get to leave for your year abroad. Unless you are one of those lucky people that has enough money to spend the whole summer in the place you're going to be for a year, I think this time can be very frustrating. 

So you've heard about the 'Post-Erasmus Blues' right? This phenomenon that everyone seems to experience after coming back home from the best year of their life. Well, I've been speaking to some friends who are also doing Erasmus 2011-2012, and the general consensus seems to be... meh! Nobody can be bothered with studying for their exams as they just want it to be summer so they can start arranging things for going abroad. The fact that we have horrible exams just now, coupled with the not-so-summery weather and the apprehension about the coming year, seems to be making us all feel like there's a big cloud hanging over us. That's one of the reasons why I picked such a beautiful scene for the picture to this article. There's this dismal storm cloud filled with worries drifting over us, but we know that once it lifts, the sun will come out and everything will be fine. I feel like we can see the light at the end of the tunnel and we're all in such a rush to get there, that we're not really considering the possibility that we'll fail our university exams and have no Erasmus grant to support us! 

Nobody warned us about this in the meetings! I knew I would have worries about going away but I feel like I need to get things sorted NOW! A flat in Spain, money, a whole new wardrobe, a camera etc. In this case it's actually a shame that the Spanish are so relaxed about things like flat-hunting, because it's such a big step for us. Being British, I think that I want to have things very organised and secure in advance so that I can enjoy my year. But the Spanish 'mañana' attitude seems to tell them that you'll find a flat in 2 days, BING BANG BOOM you're sorted. I wish I were so relaxed about it!

 I'm also extremely glad that we live in a time of Skype where we can easily keep in face-to-face contact with friends and family both at home and in various European countries. That fact is giving me a bit of reassurance as I know that if and when I miss people, they are just a click away. I'll no doubt post another article once my exams are done. Cannot wait =D xox

Monday, 2 May 2011

May 2nd 2011 - Introduction

Ok so this is my very first blog post ever!! I have created this blog in light of my recent award from the Stevenson Exchange Scholarship at Glasgow University. I am going to document my whole Erasmus experience from my feelings before going away, until my eventual and no doubt unwilling return to Scotland. This blog will hopefully include pictures, a list of my monthly expenditure, a diary (both written and the occasional video), video interviews with local people from several regions in Spain and any other cultural and linguistic information that I happen to find interesting. This should allow me to have a better understanding of Spain when I come back, to improve my spanish linguistic skills and to give future Erasmus students going to Spain a better idea of what the daily life of an Erasmus student is like.

So, a bit about me. My name is Stuart Taylor, I'm 20 years old (soon to be 21!) and I'm currently studying International Business and Modern Languages (IBML) at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, UK. The principal subjects I study are Marketing, International Business, Spanish and French. I am a piano teacher at the Brian Laurie Paisley Academy of Music where I also play in the accordion orchestras and showbands that take part in local events, UK championships and regular tours to Germany. In July we will be travelling to DisneyLand Florida to play our own individual concerts and also to be part of a "super showband" comprised of accordion orchestras from all over the world.

As you can see, my two main passions in life are music and languages so I hope to learn a lot about music in Spain whilst I'm away. So for anyone interested in Spanish music, keep your eyes peeled for updates!

That was my first blog post! I hope you follow me during my time in Spain and if you're reading any of this and have any questions, go ahead and send me a message here or email me:

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Hasta luego!