As students around the world get planning their gap years, we talked to our student Ryan James about just that. Ryan joins us from Trinidad and Tobago and is studying with us for a full course.
Check out what his daily life is like here in Valencia and how his gap year is going so far…
1. Walk us through your day to day routine.
I wake up, check my emails, eat breakfast, then depending on the day, I start working from home or I ride my bike to Euroace for my Spanish classes.
After class I have lunch with my friends and/or explore the city a little. Sometimes I go to a cafe and draw a little and try to meet new people and make some friends. It is a little difficult these days because of Covid and also because my Spanish is not great yet so it’s hard to talk to people if they only speak Spanish. I have dinner and chill out at my apartment in the evening, and talk to my friends at home or play a game/ watch a movie with them online.
2. How many Spanish classes do you take per week? Is it enough?
I take three classes a week. I think it’s enough for me right now because I have to work. If I didn’t have to work, I would probably take more classes so I can learn Spanish faster!
3. Do you get to practice Spanish outside the classroom too?
I don’t get a lot of opportunities to practice outside of class. I work from home and so I’m not always around people. Thats why I try to be around people and meet people in class, at the school, and in the city after classes.
4. Why did you choose to study Spanish in Spain?
I was given an opportunity to visit Spain specifically. I am studying Spanish because I am in Spain so I figured, why not? This is the best place to learn the language. So I want to make the most of the opportunity and the situation!
5. What are the benefits of studying abroad in a city like Valencia?
The change of scenery, new people, a new culture, lots of things to do, and the weather is great. The women are beautiful too lol. I think it’s important to explore the world in general.
Valencia is the first city in Spain I’ve ever been to but I can say that I really like this city, it’s big but not too big so I don’t get overwhelmed, and the cost of living is very affordable for me.
It’s a beautiful city, it’s very different to what I’m accustomed to in my home country. It’s near the sea which is great, I’m an island boy, so it’s nice to know that the ocean is only a bike ride away if miss it.
6. Have you made many international or local friends?
I’ve made a few friends and I am happy with them. They’re mostly international and we are all learning Spanish so we can bond over that. It’s harder to make friends with locals if they do not speak any English because my Spanish is not good enough yet to keep up with them. So it’s harder to connect and bond. But for someone who is in a new country, who doesn’t speak the language well, and during a worldwide pandemic with everyone wearing all masks….. I think I am doing pretty well on the subject of making friends lol
7. Do you feel your Spanish has improved so far and why?
I think my Spanish is improving little by little. I’m able to speak and say more in Spanish than I used to. It’s still hard speaking to “only spanish speakers” or speaking to people who speak Spanish very quickly, but I’m getting there. Listening is still the hardest part for me!
8. Would you recommend studying abroad in Valencia to your friends?
Oh yes of course! It has been a wonderful experience so far. Even with Covid and all the restrictions I don’t regret coming here at all. It’s been a lot of fun, I love my new friends and I’m excited to see more of what Valencia and Spain in general has to offer! I would always recommend travelling when you’re studying. Travelling broadens the mind!
Thanks for the insights Ryan! For more useful insights from our students, interns and volunteers, be sure to go to our Student Interviews.