My name is Amran, I am 21 years old and I am studying International Business. I always knew that I wanted to go abroad for a certain amount of time. This was one of the reasons why I have chosen this study as well. In my second year I finally could do an internship abroad and I choose Spain; because it’s far away, but not too far for the first time.
On the 29th of January the time was there. I was going to Spain for five months with two big suitcases packed with things. It was really exciting for me to go to Spain, but the place where I was going to live even more because my internship was going to take place in a small village. After investigating on how to reach the place, it was not really clear to me how I could get there. But with a lot of confidence I got on the plane.
Around 1 PM I arrived in Málaga. It was quite a search where I could buy tickets for the bus. But after a little while I was in the bus that directly went to Marbella. After this bus to Marbella I had to wait three hours for the next bus, which was going to take me to the small village. I went out to buy a ticket for the second bus, locked my suitcase in the lockers and got to know Marbella by foot.
The bus from Marbella to the village did not even take an hour, but the road was even scarier than a rollercoaster; the bus took some real sharp turns on the edge of a mountain. When I arrived in the village, it wasn’t easy to find the address; every alley was very small and everything looked similar.
At more or less 6:30 PM I arrived at the apartment in the village where I got a warm welcome from my landlady. She even prepared diner for me!
Social life in a village
The first two months I did most of the things on my own, even though I had a Spanish room mate. This was because we weren’t interested in the same things. I did not mind, because I did a lot of fun things on my own. I did day trips with Málaga South Experience (MSE), a organisation which organises cheap trips to the most beautiful city in the southern of Spain! Thanks to Joost of JongLeren.es who recommended me this company.
In my last three months I met other students from Kenya, South Africa, Philippines, the Bahamas, VS and from Vietnam whom all lived in the same village and went to the International Academy just outside of the village. Before I left I even was invited to their end of the year party, where I saw a real fashion show and met even more awesome people.
If you go abroad for the first time, you must be independent. Whenever you are homesick (and those moments will be there), it is important to think about the reason why you wanted to go abroad in the first place. You have to be prepared that things will go differently than expected, definitely in Spain. The culture here, comparing to the Netherlands is very different; the busses are never on time, Spanish are direct, to those things you have to adjust.
In the evening it can get pretty cold in Spain, so make sure that you take some sweaters or a jacket with you!