Oskar Andersson, a Mechanical Engineering student at University West, reflects on his transformative exchange experience in Madrid at UC3M. Describing it as the best decision he made during his studies. Oskar expresses, "I have gone to so many beautiful places, done so many new things, and met so many extraordinary people. It has been a great time and definitely the most fun experience I have had since I started studying at the university."
The highlight of Oskar's exchange was the multitude of trips both in and outside of Spain. He particularly treasures the weeklong trip to Morocco during Easter and the numerous hikes, with the one to Manzanares el Real standing out.
One of the biggest surprises for Oskar in Spain was the openness and friendliness of everyone he encountered. Despite language barriers, people were warm and receptive, making the experience even more enriching. Oskar notes, "Meeting new people from all over the world, not just from Spain, was my favorite thing about my studies abroad."
However, Oskar also encountered some challenges, especially dealing with the before mentioned language barrier. While courses at UC3M were in English, navigating daily tasks like document translations and communicating with teachers posed difficulties. Simple activities such as asking for directions or making phone calls became a bit challenging in Spanish.
Offering advice to prospective students interested in studying abroad, Oskar highlights the adjustment required for different academic structures. Dealing with all courses simultaneously, including exams, midterms, homework, and labs, posed a significant challenge compared to the Swedish system of splitting courses into two periods.
As Oskar bids farewell to his exchange period, he expresses that what he will miss the most are the people he met. Forming close bonds with individuals from various countries through classes and Erasmus events, saying goodbye after months of connection can be emotionally challenging. Oskar has made lifelong friends and plans to make an effort to see them again in the future.