Our plans got concrete – as a member of the Mi5 Student team, I started my stay at Las Palmas de Gran Canaria yesterday.
Ahead of my 6 months stay, I had to prepare lots of things, such as renting out my room in munich, applicate for the practical semestre at my university, changing bank account in order to obtain money, emtyping my old room, packing luggage (that was harder than expected!) and finally, saying goodbye to family, team and friends for half a year.
After a 4.5 h flight, I took the bus to the City of Las Palmas. For a start, I booked a temporary accommodation for one week. It’s a shared old fashion appartement in the old town of Las Palmas. The host was really nice, while she introduced my to the neighborhood, lent me a bicycle and also went out and met her friends on saturday. I will use my first week to visit long-term appartements and find a place to stay until october.
So far I can say, that people are really welcoming and helpful, especially when they recognize, you are not here for the typical tourism activities. Some people even said, the south with its completely touristic environment is “a completely different island” for them.
The level of english varies a lot. Therefore my rudimentary spanish skills are challenged a lot.
Over some facebook erasmus group I got in contact with an exchange student from Britain. She invited me to an international diner on thursday, where everyone brings food from its origin country (I will bring “Käsespätzle”).
On my first full day, I took the bike and went for a scout tour through the city. Even though I was struggeling with a cold for the last few days, I couldn’t resist going for a swim in the ocean.
First lessons learned:
– If you look at the bus plan, make sure your watch is set to the canarian time zone first.
– A T-Shirt won’t protect you from sun burn here
– Facebook helps you get in contact with people everywhere
Finally some facts on the island, that I found interesting:
- The south coast of the island is dominated by tourism, residents feel parted from that
- There can be snow in the moutains
- Las Palmas has 380.000 habitants
- The University ULPCG has more than 25.000 students