Ramona Lang and Gabriele Grübler from the University College of Teacher Education Styria give an overview about their staff-training-week in Huelva, Spain.
We arrived on the airport in Seville early on Saturday, 3rd of May, because there was no other possibility to fly without endless flying times. Our first experience was, that Spanish people, regardless of whether taxi drivers or ticket sellers don’t speak English very well. Unfortunately Gabi and I were not speaking Spanish at this time, so the conversations were really difficult.
On Monday, we saw the university the first time and we were very impressed by its grandness.
More than 10.000 students are studying there on three different campuses: Campus la Merced, Campus el Carmen and Campus la Rabida. The biggest one is “el Carmen”, with seven different faculties. Most of the activities from our training programme occurred there.
After the warming welcome from the international office in the morning and a meal in the Mensa, we were attending a sightseeing tour from people of ESN (Erasmus student network). In the evening we get to know the other incomings better during a “tapas-dinner”. It was a mixed group of professors, staff and teachers.
On Tuesday we had our first Spanish course with ten of the other incomings. It was very interesting to learn the language and to use it immediately in practice. Afterwards, we had the “official welcome” by the rector of the university, Prof. Dr. Francisco Ruiz Muñoz and the head of the international office, María Losada Friend. In the afternoon, we met our outgoing students to talk about their Erasmus- Semester.
On Wednesday morning we attended the Spanish course again. Afterwards we had a meeting with the administrative staff from the international office to talk about the registration and matriculation of the students there. It was very interesting to see, that there are many similarities to our standard operating procedures. For example the change from a “6-semester-bachelor” to an “8-semester-bachelor”. In the afternoon we were advising students, who were interested to study abroad on a “studying abroad fair”. In the evening we were invited to a supper organized by the university. A traditional group of musicians from the law faculty surprised us with a great performance. The university college of teacher education Styria was involved with a dancing and guitar performance.
Later in the evening, we attended the “shining-party” from the Erasmus Student Network.
On Thursday we were visiting many presentations and lectures. In the afternoon we collected our documents and were “networking” with the other incomings. It was very interesting to talk about different universities and the different economic conditions in other countries, like United Kingdom, Turkey, Ireland, Greece, Chile, Latvia, Czech Republic, Poland and Spain of course.
Summarizing we can say, that this week has been a really enriching experience. The possibility to collect international experiences this way is great and we think, that it’s necessary for your own professional and even personal further development nowadays. A further plus is the language aspect. The used language on the international week is English, and it is not only a challenge to speak English the whole time, it is rather a great possibility to train your verbal English abilities.
Universidad de Huelva