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Erasmus+ Journal (Issue 4) 2015/16

Alexandra Vollmann, University of Huelva, Spain, Mobility for Study, PHSt

This should be done before going abroad

Contact: University of Huelva

 Departamento de Educación- Facultad de Ciencias de la Educación- Campus de

«El Carmen»

Avda. Fuerzas Armadas,

s/n. 21071

Huelva Coordinator: Juanjo

Teléfono: +34 959 219245

Fax: +34 959 219224

University of Huelva

The University of Huelva is a huge Campus with 12.000 students and per year there are nearly 1.000 students part of the exchange program. It gained its independence from Seville University in 1993 and continued to grow. In Huelva exist three University Campus:

“Campus el Carmen”

It is incredible big with a lot of buildings and faculties. You have really a lot of space to study, a big library as well as two cafeterias. Further, it is the newest campus. You can find the Faculties of Experimental Sciences, Law, Humanities, Education Sciences, Labor Sciences, the School of Nursing and the School of Social Work. All my University courses took place in El Carmen.

“La Merced“

It is the Faculty of Business Science in the city center of Huelva.

“La Rabida”

It is the Polytechnic and located on a hill in the western part of Huelva.

University courses

Spanish A 1-6ECTS

learning spanish language

Attention to diversity in early childhood-6ECTS

A pädagogic subject where you learn a lot how to work and include disabled children

Espécialisacion Fútbol y Voleibol - 6ECTS

A subject where you learn how to prepare for a trainingslesson and how to teach to different ages of players.

Nuevas Tendencias in Expressiones corporales - 6ECTS

Learn how to prepare an Aerobic session and how to teach it


All needed informations about the registration can be found on the platform of the university. There is an extra link for Erasmus + incomings with all usefull instructions. http://uhu.es/english/erasmusplusincoming/. Furthermore there are some meetings you have to go.


All in all living in spain is cheaper in some ways. My favorite coffee was for 1,20 Euros in a Restaurant. Living is cheaper. You pay about 160-190Euros for a room. Additional to that all two months water- and electricitybills are coming. For going out, drinks are cheaper than in Austria. Skincareproducts like showergels, shampoo, suncream are more expensive than in Austria. A good option is to shop at Lidl. It's fresh and cheap.

Review of my study abroad in academic terms:

The courses at university startet one week after I arrived. It was quite hard to find courses you like. I had to change my learning agreement 3 times, because also if you looked it up it may can happen that some classes overlap, or are at different times like it is written in the timetable. In addition to that, it is the most important thing, that you have your Appointment meeting in the international office very early, because the case is, who comes earlier wins. I mean if you are to late, maybe your chosen courses do not have space anymore for you, because other Erasmus Students had their Appointment earlier, and you have to change your learning agreement again, because if you want to study in english, the courses are very rare. You can not influence it a lot, but if you arrive in Huelva you should go as soon as possible to university to the international office, which is situated next to the cafeteria.

In addition to this, you get a map with all the important informations you need and your date of Appointment meeting. Don't lose your paper were this date of Appointment is written down! Otherwise you get a new one which is after all the other Appointments that didn't get lost, and as you can imagine than you will for sure not have the full choice to select your courses.

Different to home you get so much more ECTS Credits for a subject. To improve my spanish i took the language course spanish A1, the teacher was from germany. Additional I took two other sport courses which were taught in spanish to get in contact with spanish students and to practice spanish. It is amazing when you have the chance to study in another country, in a foreign language and to get in touch with people their mothertongue is different. I really love spain! The people are so openminded and even talk with you if you don't speak spanish at all! They want you to feel included.

Social and Cultural Review of my stay abroad:

On sunday the 07th of february my journay should start. I was so excited of being in another country for 5 mounths. You can not imagine this feeling. I took the plane from the munich airport to Sevilla. It was a direct connection and I arrived around 14 o'clock. When I left the airplane with my two Austrian collegues, we recognised some other Erasmus students from Germany. Two really nice and openminded persons, Igor und Verena. After two minutes of talking Igor offered to pay my busticket from Sevilla to Huelva, because I had no cash with me. First day and two new friends are won.

By bus, we travelled now together to Huelva. It is amazing how fast you get to know other Erasmus people. It's a way of becoming family. For the first three nights in Huelva, I took a room in the hostel. It was also quite nice and filled up with Erasmus students. The Wifi only worked in the shared space. The people were also very friendly. The flight was quite long and we didn't take a lunch, so in the evening Selina, Daniela, Verena and me wanted to go for dinner, we were all very hungry. We found a quite nice place and decided to have dinner there. It was seven o'clock, so a quite normal time for Austrians to have dinner. Not for spanish people! They told us to wait until eight. Finally it was 9 o'clock when we could order our meal. Always remember in spain, time is different! In the following weeks I recognised that even more. When you want to copy something in the university you should not go to the copy shop during siesta time, which is from half past one to four. Also the meal in the mensa has different times.

You can get a cheap meal from half past one to three. In the city the siesta is even longer. Most of the shops and some supermarkets are closed from two o'clock to half past five. Before I went to Huelva, I got the information that very less people speak english, but as you can maybe imagine, I didn't expected that also the recepcionist of the hostel, or the waiter in a restaurant not even understand a word of english. If you go to Huelva you should know at least some spanish words, otherwise it will be quite hard.

Flats and living

After three days in the hostel I found a flat. It was quite easy to find one, because we got some informations before. I searched with the company Housing Huelva. It was really easy! All the flats they showed to me were more or less central situated. All the showed flats have all the furniture inside you need to live, like a washing maschine, kitchen and stuff like that. If you want additional stuff you have to ask.

For me it was important that the flat has WIFI, because otherwise it will be hard to study for university or stay in contact with my friends and family at home. My choice fall on a flat in the fourth flour next to the shoppingmall Hipercore. Especially the flatmates I should get influenced my decission. I think it's the most important thing to live with people you like and I saw it on the first glance that we will become really good friends. So I moved in. The rent was compared to Austria so low. The roooms i saw were all between 160 and 180 Euros. Additional to that all two months water- and electricitybills are coming. What is also different to Austria is that everybody is heating his water with gas. You can refill it at every petrolstation.

Mobilephones - Spanish Pre Paid Card

I tried to get a spanish sim card. It was really, really hard and took me about one hour till the seller of the phoneshop understood what I wanted. Come on! Pre paid is not so far from the spanish word pre pago, even if you are in a phone shop. Finally it worked and I got my spanish number. It was a daughtercompany from orange were i got my simcard, it's called mundo. Furthermore it was really cheap. It costs me all in all ten Euros(and a lot of time), inclusive simcard and inclusive 9 Euros for one GB Datavolume. It's much easier to organize something with friends if you have a spanish number, otherwise you need a big vallet.

Temperature and Climate

The most important advise for months like february and maybe part of march is, that you should pack a lot of pullovers, jackets and also warm stuff in your suitcase. Spain is not always hot. The difference between day and night is about 20 degrees. Furthermore the most flats do not have a real heating system. I had luck because we have as many rolling heaters, as we have rooms, but the electricity bill will, of course, suffer under it. From the months may to july you need an aircondition, because its incredible hot. Going to the beach is a good way of cooling down.

Travelling and Erasmus:

After breathing first spanish University air, there was the first ESN(EuropeanStudentNetwork) trip. I joint and we went to Madrid. Madrid is huge and totally different than Huelva. Huelva has this small town charming feeling. Madrid was different. The good thing was, suddenly everybody spoke english, but on the other side everybody to whom you spoke just adviced you to care for your bag, because there are so many thiefes. If you are on Erasmus, you are always busy. Mostly busy, because of your free time. You meet so much new people, actually really good people. Good friends. The problem is you just have 5 months of spending time with them and live with them. It's a way of becoming family.

One of my favorite hobbies is traveling. Here in Erasmus i found a lot of people who share this hobby. My target was it to see all the amazing cities in Spain and Portugal I have heard about, like Sevilla, Tavira, Cadiz, Gibraltar(UK), Granada, Faro, Malaga, Torremolinos, Madrid, Barcelona, Toledos, Lagos, Lagoa, Sagres or Lissabon. And guess what... now I have seen them all!

Did you gain any learning experiences you wouldnt have gained without staying abroad?

Of course! You maybe never have the chance again to live and study in another country for 5 mounths. You are getting used to a new culture. Furthermore you get in touch with people from all over the word. You get more confident with your language skills and feel another way of life.

Do you think staying abroad provided benefits for your future job (as a teacher)?

A lot of new experiences passed my way and changed my view of life in a new position. For my further job I got a lot of impressions and new ideas of teaching as well as to improve children's social inteligence.

Did this stay abroad affect or change your personality?

I'm much more confident with my English and Spanish. Since studying abrout I love to speak with people in another language. I am open minded for travelling every weekend and live new experiences in new countries with different cultures.

Praktikum in Collegio El Puntal Bellavista

The first day in school was really exciting. I went by bike with my two Austrian colleges. It was quite an adventure because the school was in another village next to Huelva and till now nobody of us had been there. We looked up the way for bikes in Google-Maps before we left, the way should take us about 23 minutes. The school in Spain starts at nine o'clock, so we left at 8 o'clock to be early there. After some kind of highways we arrived five minutes before nine o'clock. The school in spain starts later than in Austria. Between the first four lessons the children have no break, just a teacherchange. At midday is half an hour lunch break.

During the practicum we were allowed to see five different teachers: Ramón, Evýta, Maria, Fernando and Juani. It was really great because we could do our praktikum when we had time to. Otherwise it would not have been possible to do the praktikum beside the university courses.

Different than in Austria the children wait outside of school for the teachers to pick them up. Nearly all of the children don't wear their backpacks with all the school utensils on their back, they use rolls like a trolley has. Most of the children came to school with their parents. This school next to the city Huelva has 13 primary school classes and 28 teachers. Beside their is also a kindergarten included in the school building complex with 5 additional classes. A lot of children in spanish school wear a school uniform. In Bellavista it is not obligatory, but every child gets one and is allowed to wear it.

I always remember the first day when we entered in classroom everybody was so excited and interested to get to know who we are. They had an English lesson with Ramón Martin. The content of the lesson was how the children went to school. The accent of the lesson was on the right pronounciation of the words. Everybody was allowed to tell us some questions and we had to answer with yes or no. On this way the pupils should guess where we come from and how we went to school. They were all very impressed that we went by bike, because people in Spain do cycle, but just as a hobby not as a transfersystem.

In the beginning of the school praktikum I did not speak a lot of spanish. I for my part think school was a good the best way of improving english. They really want to speak with you, when you don't understand they will show it with hands and feet. I always had the feeling of being welcome.

I was really impressed of this school. I could be part of so many great and special days. For instance there was the trafficlesson day for the children in the age of 3, 4 and 5. The older children from the 5th grade where there to help the teacher building up some trafficsigns and to help and care for the younger children. It was amazing to see! They treated them like they were their parents. I for my part think the relationship between the children of different ages is much closer than in Austria. There are so much more mixed activitys where different age groups are part of one.

Different to Austria in Spain primary school lasts for six years from the age 6 to the age of 12. In Austria we have a four years system, from the age 6 to the age of 10. It's a great feeling which gets transfered in this school: We are all different, but we are equal! Also children with mental or physical disorders are much more part of schoollife. They are part of the class and everybody talks and plays with everybody.

Furthermore the relationship between teacher and pupil seems different than in Austria. One time I went with Ramón in a classe were the normal teacher was sick, so he had to suplie. The hole classe ran to him and huged him. It was so nice to see! There are also much more teacher called shadows for children who need more careness.

The chosen teaching methodolegies often followed the frontal teaching. If the time and the noise level was ok, there were also time for discussions. In some classes there were weekly targets to fulfill. They worked for instance together on a Presentation, Plakat our other groupworks. In conclusion I can say that, it was a great experience to do a praktikum in the school of Bellavista. I hope to come back soon.

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