Lucy Donnelly – Universidad de Malaga, Spain

Written by Lucy Donnelly, BSc Economics, ISEP Study Abroad 2022/23.

19 Oct 2023   1 min read

Lucy Donnelly – Universidad de Malaga, Spain

ISEP Study Abroad programme 2022/23

“An unforgettable experience that I would give anything to repeat.”

Memorable moments

There were so many to choose from but the most memorable moments for me would definitely be all of the travelling. I had the opportunity to visit Barcelona for a city break, explore the culture of Cordoba, go skiing down Sierra Nevada and hike along the Caminito del Rey!

Spanish culture

Everyone in the city is so friendly! At the beginning of my programme, I struggled with speaking Spanish but the locals were very patient and just appreciated that I was making the effort to speak their language.

One major culture shock was how late everything starts and ends in southern Spain. Many shops open in the morning, close for siesta at 2pm, and will open again at 5pm until midnight! Most restaurants keep the kitchen open until 12:30am and you would be seen as crazy to head out to a bar or club any time before 11pm.

New challenges

I found the teaching method in the university quite challenging. Most of the classes were graded with exams, whereas in my course at Ulster, I focus mostly on coursework. I had to make changes to the way that I normally study which took some practice but I got there in the end.

Similarly, in some classes presentations were necessary. I found it extremely nerve-wracking having to present in front of Spanish students and professors.

Making friends

The university had a large international students population and hosted many events for incoming students to meet and mingle with each other. These social events helped me to meet the majority of my friends whilst abroad.

My flat consisted of girls from Korea, Japan, and Mexico, so my friends group was very international! I made some deep connections whilst in Spain and I am counting down the days until I can meet my friends again.

Advice to share

Push yourself out of your comfort zone as much as possible! You can show up to social events by yourself and meet people - it's not embarrassing that you're on your own, everyone is in the same boat!

You should also push yourself to get involved in as many events and activities as you possibly can. This is absolutely the best way to meet new people and make new memories.