“My name is Julia, I’m 19 years old and I’m from Austria. I study Journalism and I’m doing my exchange semester at UFV. In Austria I live in a small village near Vienna. I actually really enjoy living in the countryside because like 5 minutes from my house there are fields and woods, and here I’m living literally in the center of Madrid, at Plaza de España, and I have the city in front of my door.
I choose to move out from my parents’ house and I actually only realized how huge this was when I got here. When you go abroad your whole environment changes: you’re in a new city, you have a new home, you have new friends, and I think at least a small identity crisis goes hands in hands with every exchange semester. And that’s where the Mentoring Program comes.
The people working there were like moms for us at the beginning. At the first mentoring session I actually just needed someone I could tell all my problems to. My mentor is a person who also did an exchange semester so she knows which challenges I’m facing here and she can help me with that.
The Buddy Program really helped to find new friends, because there are both Erasmus people and Spanish people doing activities with each other, and that’s usually very, very much fun. We also did excursions, a cooking competition… In my opinion the mentorships and the Buddy Program definitely changed my Erasmus experience in a positive way.
I don’t know yet how it will turn out because my Erasmus luckily isn’t over yet, but what I definitely wanna take home to Austria is the ability to dream and the ability to believe that everything can come true if you just want it and if you work for it, and that’s what I learned here, that’s also what I learned through my mentorships and that’s what I definitely want to take home.”
Julia Wendy, Journalism student, 2018