viernes, enero 25, 2008

Erasmus in Vigo? hmm

This is the word that comes to my mind since time ago, but recently it's becoming a big word. And it will be until 7th February with my last exam. Hmm I'm wishing all this ends soon :S
Well, this time I will talk about the Erasmus in Vigo.
You know that I logged into the help program for erasmus in my university, and I was asked to help one polish girl, Karolina.
Well, I have to say that this is much different than I could think.
The International Relations Office of Vigo (ORI) wants helpers for making the dark work or dirty work, as we call here in Spain and I didnt know that before...
So, when I logged in, I was thinking, wow.. at least I will feel useful with people from abroad... helping them and organizing at least some activities, and involve somehow in all this, even if I had to lose some of my free time.
I remember when we arrived to Tallinn, just those days there was a big party in the university, and we were asked to go with other volunteers and more internationals that we didnt know yet. After that, tutors organized an international dinner the next week, after that they organized trips, and trips, and visits, parties, christmas parties, wellcoming parties for the new ones of the spring semester, more trips... activities...
They had their own meetings to value what things they could do, how to get best prices in hostings and trips, even I think they had a budget (I am not sure of this).
They knew each other between them and they were friends, they knew almost every student, and every student everyone of them, and tried to introduce the new ones to the rest.
All that was so amazing, so well prepared, such a good organization and the most important, people who were involved and liked that. I have only good words when someone ask me about every single one of them or the organization for the internationals. I couldnt even imagine that in such a small country as Estonia they had all this.
So I just logged in here when they asked for people because the taste of all this was really good still in my mind. Besides, I got used to speak english and to meet new and interesting people every few time, and I didnt want to lose at all that.
Finally they called me to pick up Karolina.
And the ORI told me.. "you just have to pick her up, take her to a hostel the first days, then bring her here and we will show her some flat offers. Then join her to the addresses. That's all"
And until this date, this is all that I did.
I am quite disappointed with all this. I expected a bit more, maybe not like the almost perfect organization of the Erasmus Tallinn, but .. something.
The International Relations Office just want us for making that "dirty work" that they dont want to do, after that, we are useless, and we dont decide, we dont take part in any event, even they dont send us any mail informing about activities. They just let to know this to Erasmus people. And of course, crew of the International Office are members of the few trips they had, but no one else can join (not like in Tallinn that everyone could join until one top number of people). By the way quite crappy trips, you cannot go to Santiago de Compostela for one Saturday afternoon! come on! what kind of trip is that???
They should go at least from Thursday to Sunday (like those trips in Tallinn).
Of course I know those trips thanks to my erasmus friends here, who, sure did some more (most of their visits to neighbour towns) by their own.
I feel enough embarrased of my university...
About the other.. volunteers (it's not fair that I call myself "tutor", I am not doing nothing for Karolina, I feel quite useless), I just know some few, all guys, I found no girls at the moment. The reason is quite obvious, the few I know they want to flirt with erasmus girls. So, I guess there would be no companionship even if I knew all them. Anyway I am not interested in.
So this is the ambient here.
If someone is thinking about coming to Vigo to make an Erasmus, I would advice to choose another city. It's, on the other hand unavoidable to think that foreigners who dont speak spanish will find lots of problems, with people... even few young people can speak well english, and the most important, many teachers dont know other language than galician and spanish. I have one slovenian friend that is suffering with this, cause she arrived here without speaking spanish.
I guess this is general all around Spain.
I would advice to go to other country, like Estonia, no doubt.
I guess people who want to come to Spain to study they are searching for late hour parties, and lots of "fiesta"... my answer is ... whenever you make an erasmus it will be fun, and you will love that city, because it's different, it's funny, no worries, new people, new experiencies, independence... lots of matters join at the same time in the same place.
That's why although all my words talking bad things about my university and the International Relations Office, I am sure the students from abroad will have a good time here. But that's not reason to not to tell organization for them sucks. And people from that office are lazy, not involved, and very closed (I guess they are 3 or 4 persons). They are also having a big budget (as I was told for making all those possible events, but money fades on the way without apparent reason (... typical spanish).
So I am really thinking in leaving the volunteer's program.
I was asked by them to pick up again one czech girl at the mid of February. And maybe that will be my last help to them. I dont want to make the job that office doesnt want to do anymore.
But on the other hand I met some (because I guess I dont know more than 1/4) erasmus people, and it's always interesting to meet nice people, knowing different cultures and showing things from my land and culture.
I am still hesitant about that decision.