Interview with Nerea

Nerea was here in our school for 3 months. She came from the Basque Country with the Erasmus program.

Can you tell me a little bit about yourself?

I like to hang out, listen to music, and read books. I would describe myself as a normal teen.

Can you tell me about what the Basque Country is like?

I live in Beasain which is a small town that has a population of 18 thousand people. The nearest city is Donostia which is 40 kilometers away. It has a beach and that’s like the biggest city in Basque.

What languages do you speak?

I speak English, Spanish and Basque.

So, Basque is an independent language?

It’s not official but yes it does, we speak Basque.

If i’m correct you’ve been here for 3 months now, what do you think about the school?

It’s a lot different than the school I’m from. For example, we don’t have ten minute breaks and when we have a break it’s not inside it’s in the school garden that has a basketball court and a football pitch. The classes are also different there because we are separated into groups and we work in teams. You can ask your classmate for help. Also, here in the morning you have to stand up until the teacher comes into the classroom.

What is the hardest subject for you?

I don’t have it here but in my hometown physics is the hardest in my opinion.

What’s your favorite subject?

Biology. I feel like biology is different here because in the Basque Country we have biology and geology together, usually 2 months of biology and 1 month of geology. Here it’s just biology which interests me more and the teacher teaches it in an exciting way.

Are you staying with a host family?

Yes I am but this is the second host family that I live with. The program is with two host families. I stayed with the previous one for 1 and a half months and I’m staying the rest with the current one.

Have you tried traditional Hungarian foods?

Yes I tried a few. The one that had the biggest impact on me was pasta with jam on it. At first I thought it was a joke, there isn’t something like this in the Basque Country.

Have you learned any Hungarian words or phrases?

Yes, because I’ve been going to Hungarian classes and I learned a lot of single words like alma and víz.

What do you find the most different about Hungary compared to your country?

I think the people are different because everyone views spanish people as funny and laughable people and everyone here looks so serious on the outside.

What do you think of Szeged overall?

I really like it. I have been to the typical places for example Mars tér which is like the central point of Szeged. Also, I’ve been to the Móra Ferenc museum and the bridge next to it and I think it’s super pretty.

Have you made any new friends?

Well, most new people I met were my host sister’s friends but new friends that I made are my exchange classmates Janka, Lujza and Sophia.

Do you have a favorite memory while being here?

Probably the time we went ice skating with my friends here in Szeged. I fell a lot of times and it was really funny.

What did you miss the most while being away from your hometown?

The feeling of being closer to people because I feel like people here are more distanced from each other than in Spain.

Have you had to face some hard challenges due to the exchange?

Studying is harder here because I just had a big biology test and it has a lot more things in it than what a big test does in my hometown. I think the studying quantity is bigger here.

Do you have different classes than your classmates?

Yes, there are some optional classes that you can take if you want to, like art or music. I got a list of classes I could choose from.

Were you able to express yourself in English?

Yes, very well I think. The program’s main objective is to learn and speak better English and learn to express yourself and I feel like it has helped my English a lot.

What motivated you to take part in this Erasmus program?

Seeing it on social media  my brother applied for the one before this and sadly he didn’t get to go. But mostly because I asked myself: why not?

Do you see yourself taking part in another Erasmus program like this one?

Yes because this showed me that there’s a world outside of your own country and your own friend group.

What do you think about exchanges like this one?

I think they are really helpful mostly because you learn to do things on your own, without being attached to your parents.

What advice would you give to people who have not participated in a program like this?

If you have the chance to apply for an Erasmus program, take it because it’s an amazing experience.