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Andrea Santos is a Spanish student from Barcelona who studied a semester at NBS. Learn more about her experience in Hamburg and at NBS:

My Erasmus experience in Hamburg

"I never thought that an international experience would change me that much."

My name is Andrea and I come from Barcelona. When first I heard about the Erasmus Plus Program I got so interested. A Program which enables international mobility to university students? That was made for me! And on my 4th year of my bachelor’s degree I had the opportunity to do a semester in Hamburg, Germany. It wasn’t my first experience abroad though. In the past, I’ve lived in Montpellier and did my internship in Evian-les-Bains, both locations in France. Those experiences allowed me to discover a new country and to improve the language. Therefore, I though that it could be a good idea to do the same in Germany. However, there was something that I hate from that city… or maybe I should say from the country in general. I’m not going to lie, as a Barcelona citizen I’m used to winters which have no lower temperature than 0º or -5º maximum. As you could imagine, even already prepared for it, some days were a nightmare! But every single place has their pros and their cons, right?

A huge "pro" were all the people that I met there. My group of friends were people from Egypt, France, Israel, Turkey, United Kingdom, Colombia, Germany, Italy, Denmark and United States, and none of us were from the same country. They call us the international group wherever we were going. The funny thing is that, even though we all had different languages as mother tongues it was no barrier for our friendship. I actually see this group as a reflection of the city: There’re people from everywhere in Hamburg, it’s a big and cosmopolitan city, and the great thing (and I talk about my experience) is that nobody is going to treat you differently for that. On the other way, they will have curiosity for your culture and some of them will try to say something in your language.

My advice for anyone who is doing their Erasmus in this gorgeous city is that, even though there’s always something to do in Hamburg, it’s also really easy to travel around in a very cheap way. Besides, if it’s your first experience in this country, you will see the contrast of a flat city as Hamburg to others like Munich with their mountains. Do not be afraid to join every single group in Facebook about international students, or I would recommend you search if there are people from your own country living in the city that you are staying. It’s always helpful to be around a community that may have had the same problems as you are.

Finally, I would like to encourage anyone who is thinking about it to do a semester or a year abroad. And I would like to emphasize how wonderful it was to do my Erasmus in Hamburg and to attend my classes at NBS. I really could feel how the lecturers or the coordinator were there for me. In fact, I asked them tons of advices or even talked about my future after my bachelor and they were always trying to help me as much as they could. Therefore, if there’s anyone wiling to do an experience abroad to Hamburg or to Barcelona, do not hesitate to ask my contact to the international coordinator. I’ll be happy to help you as much as I can! And remember: If you decide to go abroad, it will change your life for good. No jokes here.