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My First Week in Spain

My semester started at the very beginning of the New Year 2010 on January 7th. Because the date was so close to Christmas, I was not able to arrive in Barcelona a long time before university started. My first day was an introduction day where we got most of the important information about the university, the lectures, and about Barcelona in general.

From the second day on we started with our normal lectures and courses, and it did not take long for me to find out the first differences between the system here and the system at the EBS. A very obvious difference was the size of the university; there are around 5,000 to 6,000 students here, which people here say is a small university!

Generally, the whole system is more similar to high school. In the lectures here there is a maximum of 30 students. In every subject we have two two-hour lectures and one exercise group a week, which means most of the learning is done in class. Additionally, our participation during the lectures and our weekly homework (!) make up around 30%-50% of our grades in most of the subjects. The only difference which is not similar to my time in high school is the times our lectures start. As all of us know, punctuality is more important in Germany than in the majority of the more southern countries in Europe. Our lectures don’t ever start before 10 minutes after the official time they are meant to start. Well, viva España!!!


Why I Chose to Study Abroad in Spain

Currently I am an exchange student at the UPF (Universitat Pompeu Fabra) in Barcelona, Spain. You might be wondering how, out of all the countries in the world, I decided to come to Spain. The first decision I made was to go to a Spanish speaking country because I am studying Business Languages. Finally, I wanted to get my Spanish skills to a standard where I would be able to speak fluently. Additionally, I had already been to Spain several times and enjoyed the culture and the mentality of the people a lot. The open-mindedness, the music and dances, the food and the laid back and generally sociable attitude of the people are some of the things I really enjoyed.

Regarding my choice of university in Spain, the UPF is the second best business school in Spain and is a short distance to the beach-- in addition to the good weather. These were factors that made it even easier to decide to come here. At the end of the day, the semester abroad is not supposed to be solely about academics but also a time where we as students are meant to experience different cultures and different systems of learning. It is a time where we are able to meet new people, where we have to show that we are able to adapt to new surroundings, and where we have to learn to organise ourselves and be more independent.


EBS Bachelor Blogger: Maike

Hey everyone,

My name is Maike and I started my Bachelor studies in General Management at the European Business School in September 2008. I am currently in my second year at EBS where my focus is on business languages, particularly Spanish. In January 2010 I will be going to Spain for my semester abroad.

I came to the EBS from Hamburg, in the north of Germany, where I was born and where I lived for most of my life. However, the last two years of secondary school I spent in a boarding school in England. I was 16 when I went to the small village of Worksop, located at the northern edge of the Sherwood Forrest. It was an interesting experience living in a different country, meeting new people and being without my parents. Over my two years abroad in England I became a lot more independent, learned very much about myself and got to know another culture. One of the most interesting things about being abroad was being a foreigner and a stranger in a new land, specifically entering a new environment, realising how many differences there were and, by the end of my time there, managing to fit in. The year after I graduated from school I took a gap year where I did some internships and was a leader on an interchange with children from Colombia.

Although I have been at the EBS for nearly one and a half years now, it feels like a lot longer because so many things have happened. EBS expects a high level of academic excellence, which takes up a lot of my time, but there are several other non-curricular activities I enjoy as well. I have attended numerous congresses and was able to help organize some of those events, have had many opportunities to meet and listen to the talks of representatives of a number of companies, have participated in competitions, and have enjoyed spending time with new friends.

This was a first brief insight into my life, and I hope I will be able to give you some interesting information about the EBS in general and my study program, as well as a few cultural insights from my own experiences.

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#šest – Nasvidenje (Rehearsals for Departure)
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