On the 6th of September we had our first day at school. I was really excited because now my life here was really beginning. Meeting the other Erasmus students and see my new school. We took the bus to Eskoriatza, because that is the town where the University is located. When is saw the building I was astonished. The building was really old with an open square in the middle. It looked really beautiful. You can see the sky while you are in the building.
Inside the Mondragon University.
In the classroom I saw all the other Erasmus students. A lot of the students are from Holland. I didn’t expected that at all. Because the info I got said that there were 2 students from every country. We are with 2 people from Estonia, 2 from Belgium, 1 from Finland and 8 from The Netherlands. But I think we are going to have a lot of fun. So we are with 12 Erasmus students. 4 in Media and 8 in Education. In the beginning of october there are coming more Erasmusstudents, from other countries as well. I am really excited about that.
The Erasmusstudents from the education/media faculty.
After we introduced ourselves we watched each other’s houses. Just to know how and where everybody is living. After that we all took a siesta. In the afternoon we went for a drink together, to get to know each other a little bit more. In the evening we went out for a pizza with the people that are living in Mondragon. It was a really nice pizzeria. After the pizza I went home. My roommate was home and we get along really well. So we talked a lot about the Bask country and the differences between here and The Netherlands. She told me about her hometown called Bermeo. And we decided that we are going there soon because it is a really authentic and beautiful town on the coast. After that i went to bed, beacause meeting a lot of new people is really fun but exhausted.
- I went to San Sebastian with my “Laguna”. A Laguna is a buddy from the University that helps you with everything you would like to know. We took the bus and from Mondragon to San Sebastian. It took us about one hour to get there. I wasn’t feeling very well because of the wobbling of the bus.
When we arrived in Donostia (San Sebastian in Basque) the weather was really nice.That made me feel better in a second. Cause in Holland the weather already sucks so I was really glad with the 32 degrees and full sun!!
Beach La Concha. The island Santa Clara.
We had to walk twenty minutes to arrive on the beach. When we got closer I already smelt the salt air that was coming from the sea. I loved it. When we arrived at the beach I was amazed. It was so pretty!! It was a bay with a little island called ´Santa Clara´ in the middle. The beach was surrounded by mountains and the sea was really blue. The first thing I did was take off my flip-flops and walk in the sand with bare feet. We walked the whole coastline with my feet in the water. Oh I was so happy that moment! My nausea disappeared like snow in the sun and the only thing I was hearing was the sound of the ocean.
After the walk we went for a bite to eat. We went to a beach pavilion. We ate a bocadillo. You really get a big one so it was way too much for me. Well better to much than to little. After lunch we walked to the other side of the beach where we saw a few tourist shops. And afcourse I am a real tourist so I loved the shops.
A lot of times we have dinner outside the house. This time we went for a sandwich in bar Taupa. It is across my house. The owner of the bar is my roommates boyfriend. I was really hungry because it was already ten. That is a normal time to eat here. You have lunch around three or four and dinner around nine or ten. I have to get used to that.
A lot of times they eat sandwiches or tortillas in the evening. The sandwiches are called bocadillo’s, and you get half of a baguette. A lot of times people eat meat on their sandwich like pork or chicken. I had a sandwich with chicken and cheese. They also put big sweet peppers on the sandwiches.
After I had a little siesta we went out in Mondragon. Together with my roommates and Wilco we went to different bars. It is very normal here to go to a lot of different bars, have a drink in one and then go another. They call this “Txikiteo” what literally means, from bar to bar.
The bars are very different than in Holland. A lot of them are not really nice to look at( in my opinion). No nice tables or lights . Just a room with a lot of people drinking and bright light. The music is also different. The play a lot of punk. This is the music where a lot of people listen to around here. Also a lot of people have their own band or play in one. I drunk my first Kalimotxo, this is cheap red wine with coca cola and a lot of ice and a lemon in it. It doesn’t sound that nice, i agree. But it is a really bask drink and i actually like it!!
A funny thing is that they all drink dutch beer here. In every bar they have Heineken and Amstel. They also are familiar with shots. At least my roommates are:P
Tequila, Wodka y lima (which i like the most) and Wodka Negro. From the last one it is better to drink just one shot because your tong and mouth are turning black….
We did so much things this weeks that I feel like I am already here for one month instead of one week. So where do I start? Ah yes, at the beginning…
I arrived in Santander on Saturday morning . Together with Wilco, the other Erasmus student from Windesheim, We took a flight from airport Weeze(Dusseldorf) to Santander. I thought I was going to cry a lot saying goodbye to my mom and boyfriend, but I kept it dry! When we arrived in Santander, we had to take the bus to Bilbao. The bus took about an hour and a half to get there. The view was so beautiful. Mountains everywhere, with a lot of green and deep valleys. In Holland everything is flat so I was fascinated by all the pretty nature here. When we arrived in Bilbao my two new roommaes picked us up . They took us by car to Mondragon. At the way over we talked in the car. They are so funny and crazy, I think I am going to like them both very much. My house looks real Spanish with a lot of wooden closets and hooked curtains. My room is nice as well, with a big wooden closet and a desk in it. The view from of my balcony is really pretty.
You can see a couple of real Bask houses and behind that the green mountains. The first thing i did when i arrived was eating pasta and sit on the balkony! The sun was really warm(In Holland it is allready cold) and the view incredible. I think I am going to have a lot of fun here!!
In the beginning of October we had our first working day at the EITB station. When we arrived they gave us our own cards to enter the building. Nora (our accompanist) came to pick us up. She showed us our working places. I was really amased. It was a really modern building. They had the different kinds of media in one building. The televisionstudios, paper and internet department.
The EITB weatherstation. The EITB workfloor.
We are going to work for the english seccion of the internet department. Too get started she explained how to make a photogallery , how to make the photo news and how to put an article on the webpage. It was really a lot of information. After that we had to try it ourselves. I worked together with Natalja. We were behind the same computer and we had to renew the photo news. This is a slideshow of pictures that people can see on the front page of the paper.
Because there are only 3 people working in the English department of the newspaper they sometimes don’t have time to do that. This was really a little difficult to do because the program that we have to use is totally in Spanish. So I wrote down all the steps.We had to search for a short text to go with the picture. So we translated some texts from Spanish to English. After I finished this it was really cool to see that the pictures we just published were in the site for everybody to see.
We are getting our own blog on the EITB site. She showed us where the blogs were going to be on the page. On the bottom of the front page they have a seccions with stories from people all over the world. They write about their experiences in The Basque country. Looking forward to write about my experiences here!