featured image taken from: http://www.uv.es/
Realising that this Blog is actually meant to help and advise future students, I’m going to throw everything that you need into one blog post. This blog post is pretty long so I’ve split it up into smaller sections.
1. Money & Bank Accounts
3. Local Transport (Bike – Valenbisi, EMT Bus, MetroBus, Taxi, Tram, Metro)
4. Long Distance Transport (Coach, Train, BlaBlaCar, Flights)
5. Phone Contracts & Phones
6. Student Mobility Office/International Relations Office
7. Erasmus Co-Ordinator/ Mobility Officer at UV
8. Getting Stuff Photocopied or Printed
9. Erasmus Groups in Valencia
10. Shopping (Clothes Shopping, Food Shopping & Supermarkets, General Stuff for Your Flat)
11. Correos – Post Office
14. Universidad de Valencia – Modules
MONEY & BANK ACCOUNTS
I’d only suggest opening a bank account if you’re doing an assistantship or getting a job. The way I’ve managed my money here is getting a Post Office Currency Card from the post office at home, it’s a free card that you top up using the app taking money from your normal bank account and then use it as a normal debit card with no extra cost for euros. I’d also suggest a Caxton FX Currency Card which I believe is better than the Post Office Card but as I’ve had a Caxton FX card in the past whilst traveling I was unable to order another card from them. The only downside to the currency cards is that it costs to take money from a cash point. My way around this is using my normal Santander Debit Card from the UK. By using Santander ATMs here in Spain (and only Santander ones) it is free to withdraw money (ALWAYS press ‘No for Euro’ or ‘Without Conversion’ to avoid the charge).
It’s a bit of a faff at the beginning getting used to using certain cards for certain things but I’ve found it’s also a good way of budgeting, I only load a certain amount each week onto my Post Office card and only take a certain amount out in cash.
Everyone I know that has opened a bank account over here has opened one with BBVA. I’m not too sure on the process but I don’t think it’s that hard. There is also a Santander at the university along the Blasco Ibáñez Campus, where they speak English so I’m sure they would be able to help too.
I thought finding accommodation in Valencia was pretty easy, although I know that some people found it a lot harder than I did. I have just taken what I wrote in my first blog post and put it below.
To find my flat I started looking online in late July/early August as I had a family holiday booked to the area for early August so I would be able to book viewings for then, my aim was to find accommodation by the end of week I spent in Valencia so I was stress free by the time September came around. I used websites such as Easypiso and Idealista however many people who I contacted wanted me to stay for the whole year rather than 5 months, because of this I contacted a school friend who had just returned from Erasmus in Valencia and asked if she had any advice. She gave me the details of the company that she used and after looking at their website I emailed to ask to view 6 rooms, I viewed all of the rooms in one evening, chose one and paid my deposit ready for moving in on the 1st September. The company I used is ROOM2RENT.ES.
Having spoken to my friends here in Valencia, the ways in which they have found their accommodation is through;
– Facebook groups (one to be careful with though, I have heard stories of it all being a con and people have lost their money)
– Amigo Flats
– Room 2 Rent
I would recommend to live in Benimaclet or Blasco Ibáñez, both are student areas close to the university. Blasco Ibáñez seemed to be the most popular area this year however I have been told that last year many more people lived in Benimaclet.
You can get a lot more for your money here in Valencia than back in Nottingham. For €250 I have a room in a shared flat (queen sized bed, desk, desk chair, lamp, wardrobe, bed side table, shelf, pin board and my own balcony), we have a kitchen and a living room/dining room and a bathroom to share between 3. We also have a cleaner that cleans the communal areas fortnightly. My landlord has split my rent into €200 for rent, €40 for bills and €10 for the cleaner each month. It works out as €62.50 per week so £50 per week including bills.
Without a doubt my favourite way to get around Valencia, its cheap (basically free after you’ve paid your initial €30 and don’t go on trips over 30 minutes), it’s also the most reliable, it’s available to use 24 hours a day meaning that no matter where you are there is a way to get home.
Valencia is also one of the flattest places I have ever been so there is no fear of being too unfit to cycle here.
To get started with Valenbisi you can buy a plastic metro card from the offices in the Metro stations or any of the tobacco shops. Once you have got the card you head online to http://www.valenbisi.com/ where you can follow the webpages to ‘sign up for a subscription’, the subscription lasts a year for €30 or a week for around €15 so it makes sense for me to get a year even though I’m only staying for 5 months.
The other way is to head straight onto to the website and when you ‘sign up for an annual subscription’ you are able to select that you don’t have a card, they will send one out in the post (Correos – more on that later), it usually takes about 3 weeks and during that time you are able to use a code.
There’s a 30 minute ‘limit’ on the valenbisi bicycles, after 30 minutes you then pay €0,52 for the next 30 minutes and then it goes up again for the next hour. I have only ever gone over once and that was due to me and mum getting lost in the Turia Riverbed. I usually use the Valenbisi at least twice per day so it’s pretty impossible to go over the free 30-minute period.
I’ve only ever taken the EMT buses (the red ones) when I visited in summer and when my mum came to visit me. They’re €1.50 for a single ticket and you can buy it when you get onto the bus.
The BONOMETRO is a card you can buy and ‘reload’ (called ‘recargar’ on the machines) and although I only have the one that is valid for Trams and Metros, there is one that you can get for all 3, so buses as well.
The one positive of the buses (I’ve not yet used it though) is that they run 24 hours a day, so it is possible to get the bus after midnight when the metros and trams have stopped running.
There’s an app called EMTValencia, it has all of the bus routes on it and you can plan your route to and from anywhere using the app.
The downside to buses in Valencia is that there isn’t a timetable, instead it will say that they run from 7:00-22:00 every 15 minutes, so standing and waiting is your only option.
They are quite often very full too, if this is the case and it’s too full, the bus will continue driving past the stop and you will have to wait for the next one! I’m not too sure if this is common all year round, however in summer with my family it happened a couple of times.
The MetroBus (the yellow one) gets you to the massive shopping centre so what more could you want?!? (Bus 160 from outside Angel Guimera Metro)
Its €1.45 for a single and I think they do slightly longer distances but I’m not too sure, the bus stops for these also are yellow rather than the red ones for EMT buses.
I’m not too sure if there’s an app for MetroBus but if you search your route using Google Maps, these buses, their times and where the bus stops are shown.
All taxis here are run by the same company (I think) and they all look the same, really easily noticeable from the green light on the top when they are free and then a yellow number 2 or 3 when they’re not.
Taxis here aren’t that expensive, obviously more expensive than any other mode of transport but it’s still reasonable. From the city centre to Benimaclet it usually comes to between €7-€10, which split between 3 or 4 is still quite cheap.
There’s a minimum during the day (€2.10 I think) and a higher minimum during the night.
You can flag taxi’s down here and there is quite a lot of them and it usually is safe to flag them down. I would recommend sharing a taxi with friends when you can for safety as I had a bad experience in the first week here when the taxi driver stopped and let another man into the taxi, all ended safely but it’s worth being aware at all times!
Uber isn’t a thing here in Valencia, but MyTaxi is, it’s an app that functions near enough the same as Uber and it saves you hailing one down on the side of a road. It’s the best option for safety although it usually does work out as more expensive than a normal taxi.
The tram only services part of the city, but luckily for me it runs through Benimaclet, which means I get a direct tram basically from my front door to the beach!
With the BONOMETRO (a 10 use ticket for €7.20) you can use it on the Metro and also the Tram, it also works out as a lot cheaper than buying singles at €1.50 a time!
The Tram is part of the Metro system but over ground, and you’ll get used to it so quickly once you’re here, especially as everyone lives near different Metro and Tram stops all on different lines.
An advantage of the Tram is that its starts running again at 5.30ish in the morning, so if you go out anywhere near the beach, you can always get home fairly cheaply if you don’t want to get a taxi.
Other than Valenbisi, the Metro is my most used form of transport. If I ever go into the city I will use the Metro as its much quicker than cycling and I don’t have to navigate any of the roads in the city which are much busier than the ones in the student areas.
As I’ve said above the BONOMETRO is the most cost efficient way of using the Metro system, I don’t think the Bonometro has a ‘expiry’ date so even if you don’t use it frequently it’s still worth the money.
My MOBILIS card is used for the Metro and Tram as well as being my Valenbisi card, it’s really useful to only have one card for everything as you don’t have to think about what to take with you.
The app I use for the Metro times is MetroVLC and it’s really useful to be able to check metro times wherever you are. The only annoyance is that if the Metro arrives early at a station it will also leave early, so you can still be 2/3 minutes early for a metro but you will still have missed it!
LONG DISTANCE TRANSPORT
I took the coach to Barcelona the first time I went and it was quite good! The website to check coaches is ALSA.ES (other than Valencia-Madrid, for some reason they don’t do this route, but I think another company does ‘AVANZA BUS’). We found out the hard way that there are different coaches run by ALSA, on the way there we had booked a Supra bus, one fitted with less seats, more space, each seat had its own entertainment system where you could choose different films and series to watch, music to listen to and you were able to use the internet, all in the screen fitted into the seat in front. However, on the way back we booked ourselves into Normal (that’s why it was cheaper, we just thought we had found a bargain), the Normal coach on the way back was any standard coach but just rammed with people.
I’m currently writing this on the train to Barcelona and what a train it is! Its fitted with a row of two seats on the left and a single row of seats on the right, I have a ridiculous amount of space (got my suitcase and rucksack in front of me, yet can still stretch out my legs). The seats each have a charging point and an earphone slot to listen to the radio. Yet the best part is that they are electric seats, I can make it recline to any position that I want and I can also use the buttons to bring out a footrest from underneath to make it into a sort of bed! The table is hidden in the armrest and it lifts and folds out.
Depending on when you book the trains, they can be affordable but they can also be extortionate. My return to Barcelona has cost me around €35. Seems quite a lot when you consider the fact that my sister is flying to meet me in Barcelona and her return flight isn’t much more.
RENFE is the train company here and their website is pretty easy to use, especially as you can change the language to English.
Getting through the train station in Valencia – Joanquin Sorolla was simple yet you have the hand luggage checkers like you do in airports. One good thing is you can use the Wallet app on an iPhone for your ticket and they’ll just scan it.
Getting the train back from Barcelona was similar to the coach, I again had really good and high-tech transport on the way there and just the normal on the way back. It was only annoying that I was unable to charge my laptop on the return train.
There is more than one train station in Valencia and I’d advise you to check if you do book a train. I didn’t and ended up departing and arriving at different train stations. All worked out okay in the end as I was closer to a Metro station, but it’s always a good one to check.
Claire and I got a BlaBlaCar to Alicante and back and we had a good experience on both. It’s by far the cheapest way of getting around but it’s always a risk of what you’re going to get.
We’ve heard horror stories of lifts not turning up and another of the campervan breaking down and people being stranded on a motorway!
They’re really easy to book and all you need to do is head to the BLABLACAR WEBSITE and make an account, you’re then able to book a car. Once booked you get the drivers mobile number and you are able to contact them (usually by WhatsApp) to confirm the meet up and drop off points as well as the time of departure.
Once the journey has ended, you give the driver the code you received in your confirmation of booking text and you’re all done. If anything, it’s also an amazing way to practice your Spanish as you’re stuck in a car with someone for an extended period of time!
Probably the most important thing for getting to and from your year abroad!
I live close to Gatwick at home so I have access to flights all year round, whereas I know for some people here the fact that there are no flights from Valencia to/from East Midlands during winter is a massive annoyance.
The other thing I found out before I came is that if you’re booking flights pretty close to the date, it may be cheaper to book with a more expensive airline like BA rather than EasyJet or Ryanair as BA have luggage included and it can work out cheaper in the end.
If not, I’d suggest checking frequently online to see when the best price for flights is and they can be really really cheap!
I’d also recommend internal flights if you’re planning on travelling round Spain during your year abroad, I’ve just got back from Madrid and we flew with Air Europa. It’s a 50-minute flight once you’re in the air and it works out quite cheap, especially if you look at how much time you’re saving by flying!
PHONE CONTRACTS & PHONES
I changed my UK phone contract to include Unlimited EU Calls + Texts, alongside EU & UK Internet, although it is pricier than buying a rolling SIM only contract here in Spain and then again in Italy, I am able to continue with my contact at home and I am also able to still get my upgrade near Christmas.
I do know that most people have gone with SIM ONLY contracts since arriving in Spain, allowing them to go to a shop or go online each month to continue the contract. The most popular companies for Erasmus Students are MásMovil and Orange and I think most SIM Only contacts are between €8-€15 for a fair bit of data and a little bit of calls and texts.
Calls and Texts aren’t really important at all here in Spain (I can’t remember the last time I opened my messages and sent someone a text) as WhatsApp here is HUGE! You are able to message, group message, call and video call on WhatsApp, which is amazingly cheaper than calling or messaging foreign numbers.
Most people have bought their phone contracts from the Erasmus Offices on Ramon LLull.
Carrer de Ramon Llull, 21, 46021 València, Spain
+34 693 22 26 66
Carrer de Ramon Llull, 21, 46021 València, Spain
+34 634 300 402
GETTING MY PHONE FIXED
I had an absolute nightmare of a day after arriving back from Barcelona, not only did we run out of gas at our flat meaning no hot water or cooking on the hobs, we then had a power cut that blew the fuse and broke the oven and then to top the day off I dropped my phone and completely lost functionality of the screen, it didn’t even smash the screen, instead everything looked fine but the touchscreen function just didn’t work at all.
Luckily just under my flat there is a phone repair shop (I hadn’t noticed it in nearly 3 months until I googled it and realised) called FIRDOS MOVIL, Calle Emilio Baro 45, 46020 (closest Metro is Benimaclet), I got my phone fixed for €50. It was a bit pricey for a pretty poor Erasmus student however without my phone I’m a lot worse off than if I had broken it in England as I would be unable to contact anyone once I had left my flat. The repair shop spoke some English which was really useful and they were quite fast in the repair (I dropped it off in the evening and collected it at 9am the next day). He was also really thorough when I collected my phone the next day, asking me to open each app and use it as I normally would as he wanted me to check that everything on the phone functioned as normal.
Servicio de Relaciones Internacionales y Cooperación
(STUDENT MOBILITY OFFICE/INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS OFFICE)
Name: Servicio de Relaciones Internacionales y Cooperación
Address: Plaça de Cisneros, 4, 46003 València
Opening Times/ Office Hours: Monday – Friday 09:00-14:00 (Closed Every Afternoon)
How to get there: It’s in the city centre rather than at any of UV’s campuses. It’s probably best to put it into Google Maps as I’ve never visited this office but it’s not far from Torres de Serrans, so that’s probably a good starting point.
What do they do: Any issues you have with mobility and Erasmus, that’s the place to go (NOT modules or course stuff, that’s dealt with by the Secretaria of your faculty)
UPDATE 21/02/2017: I visited this office at the end of my stay in Spain because I ran out of time and I had problems with the departure form using the online system. My last exam was on 27th Jan and I left Spain on 31st meaning I had 4 days to pack and leave alongside getting all of my forms signed.
One bit of advice is do what the departure email from UV tells you, if you don’t apply for the certificate on the day of your last exam, you won’t be able to get it easily.
The module forms are to be done individually by each of your lecturers, however the departure forms, transcripts etc can be done at this office.
Head in and take a number from the machine on the left of the room (directly right of the receptionist), your number will then be shown on the screen with what desk to go to.
They couldn’t have been any more helpful which was also amazing as I left when the second semester Erasmus students were arriving so the office was chaotic!
ERASMUS CO-ORDINATOR/MOBILITY OFFICER AT UV
Name: Cristina Gómez
Opening Times/ Office Hours: I think it’s the same as above (Servicio de Relaciones Internacionales y Cooperación) but couldn’t be sure as I’ve only emailed her.
UPDATE 21/02/2017: During my semester Cristina wasn’t available so instead we were given;
Maruenda Bataller, Sergio
His office is in the Facultat de Filologia, Traducció I Comunicació, where I had all of my lectures, I think it was on the 6th floor but couldn’t be 100% sure.
GETTING STUFF PHOTOCOPIED OR PRINTED
There’s so many things I should have printed for my year abroad and completely forgot until I got here!
The university does have printers and computers that you can use to print (2nd floor on the far right of the Facultat de Filologia, Traducció I Comunicació building) I think it’s 0,05€ per page to print black and white but I’m not 100% sure.
The other option to print is one of the thousands of photocopy shops dotted around the university and the student areas. They’re usually 0,02€ for black and white and a little bit more for colour.
I made a checklist of things to print and bring to my year abroad and I’ve updated it a little since being here;
– Passport photos
– Copies of passport
– A copy of the year abroad insurance
– Learning agreement (and copies, in case you have to keep changing modules because they’re ALL full!)
– Copy of the results from the OLS Language Test (in case you need to prove your level of language, I also originally wanted to get a job out here but I’ve changed my mind since arriving)
– Erasmus Grant Form copy (and acceptance or entitlement, not too sure if we actually receive it)
– Acceptance to UV
– Copy of my birth certificate (I read online that someone on their year abroad had been asked for it, but I don’t think it’s necessary and I haven’t needed it!)
– Copy of my driving licence
– A document of all my important information and details (Passport number, EHIC details, DOB, my NHS number, my student finance number, doctors details in the UK, home address and contact details for my parents – I know this one seems extreme and a bit OCD but I know someone here who had everything stolen from a hostel as soon as she arrived, to have this document available online, on your phone or even in person would be amazing in an awful situation!)
– A document of important contacts at NTU (YA Coordinator, Rachel, Betty and Phillip for the blog)
– Copies of the NIE form
– Copies of the end of semester forms to say you have attempted the exams.
ERASMUS GROUPS IN VALENCIA
Name: Erasmus Life
Address: C/ Ramon Llull 21, Valencia, 46021
Telephone: +34 634 300 402
WhatsApp: +34 634 300 402
Opening Times/ Office Hours: 10am-9pm
How to get there: Just off Blasco Ibáñez, at the KFC/ Burger King roundabout. Head up the road towards Tarrongers Campus (it’s the road where KFC and 100M meets Blasco), the office will be a couple of minutes walk on your left. Next door to the Happy Erasmus office.
What do they do: Erasmus Trips, Erasmus Night Outs and Events, SIM cards for mobile phones, Spanish Classes etc.
Name: Happy Erasmus
Address: C/ Ramon Llull, 21, 46021
Telephone: +34 693 22 26 66
WhatsApp: +34 693 222 666
Opening Times/ Office Hours: 10am-10pm Monday – Friday (Summer reduced hours 2pm-10pm)
How to get there: Just off Blasco Ibáñez, at the KFC/ Burger King roundabout. Head up the road towards Tarrongers Campus (it’s the road where KFC and 100M meets Blasco), the office will be a couple of minutes walk on your left. Next door to the Erasmus Life office.
What do they do: Erasmus Trips, Erasmus Night Outs and Events, SIM cards for mobile phones, Spanish Classes etc.
Name: ESN Valencia
Address: ESN en UV, Despacho S12 – Aulario Sud, Avenida de los Naranjos s/n CP: 46011, Valencia
Opening Times/ Office Hours:
Monday 16h-19h, Tuesday 11h-14h, Wednesday 11h-14h & 16h-19h, Thursday 11h-14h & 16h-19h, Friday 11h-14h
What do they do: The most recognised Erasmus Group all over Europe is ESN however it’s not as big as Happy Erasmus and Erasmus Life here in Valencia. I think they do the same by organising trips etc., however I haven’t used them at all.
There are so many places to do your clothes shopping in Valencia, which probably isn’t a great thing because it’s pretty hard to save money over here!
Firstly, near COLON METRO there are loads of shops on the little walk down towards Plaza de Ayuntamiento, and also loads more round Colon in all directions!
EL SALER is also a massive shopping centre near to the City of Arts and Sciences. Arts and Sciences isn’t the easiest place to get to but it is walkable and if not you can cycle with a Valenbisi and drop it off at a station nearby.
However, by far the best place to shop in Valencia is BONAIRE, it’s a massive shopping centre in Manises, near to the airport. The best way to get to it is to get the Metro to Angel Guimera, then take the 160 MetroBus straight to Bonaire. The bus drops you off and picks you up in the same place at Bonaire, so it’s pretty easy to navigate! Not only is there one shopping centre at Bonaire, there is also the Outlet Shopping Centre across the carpark. There’s a discounted Mango, Nike, Adidas and loads more!
There’s also a Primark at Bonaire, which is amazing once you realise you’ve made a massive mistake thinking Valencia will be tropical weather all year round and you slowly start to freeze, making you in desperate need for a coat. Zara, Mango and Pull & Bear are all a lot cheaper over here so that’s a massive advantage!
FOOD SHOPPING & SUPERMARKETS
MERCADONA will become your life. There is what seems like enough for every citizen to have their own one and yet not one of them has a clear or understandable layout. But fear not, you will get used to it!
Mercadona is the main supermarket, the most common and the cheapest (although all the supermarkets are cheaper than in England).
There is also a supermarket called ‘CONSUM’ and another called ‘DIA’. They’re pretty much the same as Mercadona although somethings you can buy in smaller packages (1 potato rather than 3 kilos).
The huge superstores that we are used to in England just don’t exist out here unless you take a little trek. CARREFOUR is a French supermarket (I think) and they are huge if you find one. There’s one near the Nou d’Octubre Metro, which I only stumbled across during a very hungover trip to the BioParc (the zoo). I also know there is another one near the City of Arts and Sciences, but if you’re going for a big shop a bus or taxi would need to be taken.
Spain is still very much a country that loves its individual shops so its cheapest and freshest to head to the greengrocers for your fruit and veg and to the butchers for your meat! You can’t miss the greengrocers as they have half the shop outside!
It’s also possible to visit the Markets (Mercado Central, Ruzafa etc.) to buy fresh produce. I’ve not done it though as there isn’t a market close to my flat.
GENERAL STUFF FOR YOUR FLAT
The ‘tiendas chinas’ will surprise you every time you go in, I can honestly say that no matter what you are looking for, they will absolutely 100% have it. From pots and pans, laptop cases, new underwear and make up to children’s toys and suitcases it’s pretty much the shop of your needs. There is usually one on every road called ‘Bazar’ or something similar, although my local one was very creative by calling theirs ‘El Hogar’. They’re also very recognisable by (for some weird, unknown reason) having plastic potted plants outside.
Supermarkets usually have a small section for small things for the house (plates, pegs, cutlery etc.), EL CORTE INGLES is a good shot if you want something bigger (a radiator, a fan, a duvet etc.). I have an ‘Electrodomesticos’ shop on my road that sells anything electronical and I think is the cheapest place to buy a fan (an absolute necessity if you don’t have air con in the hotter months).
PRIMARK in Bonaire is also a cheap place to buy duvets if you need one.
CORREOS – POST OFFICE
Pretty much functions like one at home except they have yellow post boxes. If you miss a parcel delivery (100% of the time because they don’t actually ring your bell) they put a yellow piece of paper in your post box and you can collect it the next day (exactly the same system as Royal Mail at home). The only difference being that you MUST take your passport with you to collect anything.
To post anything back home, you head into the post office and collect a ticket from the machine (gives you the options Enviar, Recoger or Enviar y Recoger) and then wait for your number to be called. When it’s your turn just head up and ask for them to be sent to England, I think it’s just under €1 to send a postcard.
When getting stuff sent to you from the UK, it’s pretty useful for the letter to have your full address on in the format;
– Street, Number of Building, Number of Flat, Floor
– Postal Code
My mum hadn’t put it in this format, missing the floor off and I had a little telling off when I went to collect the parcel from the post office.
I haven’t done it yet as I’ve been told it’s not important and it’s not fully necessary. However, if you are going to get one as you’re getting a part time job out here or you’re doing British Council you need to MAKE AN APPOINTMENT ONLINE, you can’t get an NIE without an appointment and if you wait until you get here you will be waiting months.
Info on the NIE and what you need to obtain one can be found here: http://www.interior.gob.es/web/servicios-al-ciudadano/extranjeria/ciudadanos-de-la-union-europea/numero-de-identidad-de-extranjero-nie-
To get an online appointment, you need to:
2. Choose Valencia from the drop down list > Aceptar
3. Choose Asignación de N.I.E. from the drop down list > Aceptar
4. Click Entrar
5. Select Pasaporte and enter the details it asks you to (Passport Number, Name and Surname, Year of Birth, Nationality (Gran Bretaña), ReCaptcha) > Aceptar
6. Enter ReCaptcha > Solicitar Cita
7. Select Bailen, 9 (VALENCIA) from the drop down list > Siguiente
8. Enter the details it asks for (Telephone Number, Email and Email Confirmation) > Enter ReCaptcha > Siguiente
9. 3 boxes will appear with 3 available dates and times on them, select the one you want. (I’m looking now on 12/12 and the first available date is 25/01/2017, so you will probably need to book the appointment a month and a half in advance. > Siguiente
All the information you need is here: https://sede.valencia.es/sede/registro/procedimiento/WEB_ASSET_CRG_0073
Again, I haven’t done this although I think I probably should have as I think you only have 3 months before it’s a requirement to let them know you’re staying here and where.
UNIVERSIDAD DE VALENCIA
WHAT MODULES TO TAKE
The modules I am taking are;
FONÉTICA Y FONOLOGÍA ESPAÑOLES – 35744
It’s not a bad module once you get your head around it. I would suggest taking it if you’ve ever done linguistics before. If not the phonetic symbols can be really confusing and a bit like learning a whole new language again.
It does start to get harder as we are expected to do both Phonetic and Phonological Transcriptions in class and it will also be expected in the exam. If you have an interest about in-depth language, then this is probably the module for you.
However, the hardest part of the module is reading the graphs (spectrogramas) that are made when we speak. Somehow we are expected to know what each letter and sound looks like on the spectrogram and then read what it says…
The work from the module is doable, we have weekly in class ‘prácticas’ that we start and finish in class and hand in, if they aren’t finished you can finish them at home and upload them into the AulaVirtual. The work is done in groups so it’s pretty easy to complete.
The module has an exam in the January exam period.
UPDATE 21/02/2017: Turns out if you complete and hand in the weekly work in class (everyweek, do it and hand it in the same lecture), it can be marked as a group. However if you choose to do the work at home, it has to be individual. We found this out the hard way when we did them as a 3 and uploaded them yet we didn’t get any marks, meaning we failed the coursework part of the module.
The exam was also a tipo-test and then a phonetical and phonological transcription of a text. You had to gain 1.5/4 marks in the transcription to have the first part of the paper marked. i.e. if you dont pass one section of the paper you will fail the whole thing.
LENGUA ITALIANA 1 – 35732
I wouldn’t agree and say this is Italian 1. They do teach really basic stuff to start off with but its taught in fluent Italian, something I couldn’t grasp as its meant to be for total beginners, however I was told by Miriam that because it’s similar to Spanish, all of the students could understand Italian when spoken.
This is a text book that goes along with this module, however I didn’t buy it as it is an extra cost and I have similar text books at home. Instead I’ve been finding the exercises at home online or I’ve been taking a picture of someone else’s book. However mostly I have been keeping up with my own Italian revision ready for semester two in Italy.
I 100% would not recommend this module unless you are studying Italian and a module is compulsory.
UPDATE 21/02/2017: Same as any language exam really, written exam had a reading comprehension, grammar tasks, a writing and then a listening. I then had a separate oral which was not an A1 level. In class they had read short stories and then you had to choose one to discuss in the oral. This was alongside preparing small texts about myself, daily routine, last holiday, my hobbies, my family , future jobs etc.
The oral started off with me presenting myself and then turned into a conversation about my university at home and my studies and where I will be going in Italy. Not a bad conversation however I was really put off by having revised for a more structured oral and the real thing being nothing like I had prepared.
As for the discussion of the short story, I chose ‘Le Scarpe Rotte’, and genuinely wouldn’t recommend anyone to read it. Its a very odd story which I’m sure has loads of hidden messages and themes but my Italian is no where near advanced enough to be discussing that and the time period in which it was written!
NORMA Y USO CORRECTO DEL ESPAÑOL – 35660
This is probably the most useful module I take, we go through individual parts of the Spanish language and find out the rules which strengthens our understanding of Spanish. There are separate classes for Spanish students and Erasmus which is both useful for level of understanding however it hinders the ability to meet Spanish people in modules.
TRADUCCIÓN GENERAL, INGLES/ESPAÑOL – CATALÁN – 35617
Useful but not easy at all. The first part of the course is the theory of translation and we have had 3 mini tests where we needed to reach an average to even be entered into the final exam. Here in Spain, if it’s a multiple choice exam and you get an answer wrong, you receive a negative mark, meaning that you get lower than you expected. Apparently if you don’t know the answer you are meant to leave the space blank, as its completely different to what we have always been told in England I ended up with not achieving the average needed and I’m not sure if I’ll be entered into the final exam.
The rest of the module is translation of texts. You receive the text (photocopy office on the far left of the second floor of the filologia building) and have a couple of days to translate it, you then bring it to the class where it is corrected as a whole and you go home and do a second draft. This has been every week for a couple of months. These texts are practices for the exam, the texts are usually written in English to be translated into Spanish. I’d say it’s a difficult module but useful if you want to take the translation module in final year at NTU.
UPDATE 21/02/2017: I didn’t take this exam in the end because my average marks over the 3 minitests weren’t high enough to be entered. Our lecturer did tell us that there is 2 options for this exam. 1st being 3 mini exams (theory) and the final exam (practical) in January. or 2nd option being a final exam in June that is both the theory and practical, I also think you can try both 1st and 2nd option to improve your grade but not too sure.
ESPAÑOL PARA EXTRANJEROS – 35537
Its not learning Spanish for foreign people. Instead its teaching Spanish to speakers of other languages. I can probably talk for most Erasmus students and say this module wasn’t what we expected when we started, however it’s a really useful module, especially if you’d like to become a language teacher or any teacher in the future.
We kind of have a head start in this module compared with the Spanish students because we have learnt Spanish in the way that they are trying to teach Spanish students to teach Spanish. I’d also say this is a good module to take.
UPDATE 21/02/2017: The exam in this module was near enough impossible and there’s absolutely no way that an Erasmus student could pass it. The exam was written, which was different to every other exam that has been multiple choice (es; tipo-test). Some of the words they had used in the paper really questioned my ability to speak Spanish and I left the exam feeling a bit deflated as I couldn’t understand the questions and therefore couldn’t form any answers.
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