Antoine, from Belgium to Spain
Some weeks ago we interviewed Camilla, who spent five months in Valencia and met Antoine. Like we did with Camilla, we asked Antoine to answer to some questions about his Erasmus experience in Valencia. He decided to show us some pictures from his experience and to tell us why Spain is a fantastic country.
What is your name? Where are you from? What do you study and where?
My name is Antoine Deventer. I studied Communication in Brussels, Belgium.
Where did you go with the Erasmus program? When did you go (period)? Why did you choose that city?
I took part in an Erasmus journey in Valencia, Spain from late Junuary until the end of June 2015. I decided to choose Valencia because it seemed a different Spanish city. I’ve been to Madrid and Barcelona many times and I wanted to experience something new, unknown. I wanted to have sun, good food and good party. I wanted my Erasmus to be full of new experiences.
Tell us about your experience with three photograph that is important to describe your Erasmus.
First of all, the food. I love mediterranean food and Valencia is where the paella was born. Besides this speciality, Valencia has many other delicious things to offer. Their cooking is full of colors and different flavours but the Spanish cooking is also open to other influence, such as Asian.
Secondly, the Spanish lifestyle. Like I said I wanted to break my habits and experience other culture. At the beginning it was difficult for me to do the siesta and eat so late but I adapted myself on the spanish schedule. I also really loved the Spanish way of life because they never rush themselves and are much more well coming and friendly. Also at the end of the day, you feel like you’ve done so many things and have been very productive.
Finally the culture and the falls. I was really impressed by all the religious and traditional activities in Valencia. It really never stops and you are very surprised every week end by all the parties and processions. The Spanish remain very proud of their identity and are still very religious. I find that beautiful to have such a strong identity and a love for traditions.
What differences have you seen between the university system in your “home university” and in your “host University”?
To be honest, I was in a low-profile public university in Belgium and I found myself in a very good private university. The infrastructure and the teachers were great compared to my former teachers in Belgium. There are active or former professionals with a very good understanding of the market.
I really like the way they teach with seminars and private lessons and efficient group work. The materials and the ideas are really modern. There are also a lot of people involved to welcome you and guide you through the university.
The bad thing was that the university was far from the city centre where I lived.
Teaching in Europe seems to be considered as a “woman job”, according to the last datas form Bruxelles: do you agree?
I really disagree. I have good and bad experience with both sexes. To be a good teacher, you must be enthusiastic, charismatic and be very communicative. You must engage your audience and keep them interested.
What were your expectations before leaving? What are your ideas now that you are back home?
Before leaving, I wanted to speak spanish correctly, learn more about Spain, discover a new city and meet some cool people. I wanted to open my mind and erase some cliché. I wanted to embrace life in the South and enjoy as much as possible.
What did the country where you have been give to you (positive/negative) and what are you going to take with you forever?
Spain gave me a good attitude when it comes to solving problems and be positive no matter what happens.
Negative point is that sometimes spanish people are a bit cold and don’t like to approach foreigners and learn about them. They have a very bad problem with communication.