WE AfriHug #StoriesofImpact

Charity Beren | Spain, University of Girona

In 2022, I had an opportunity to participate in the Erasmus+ Programme for one semester at the University of Girona, Spain. This was the best thing that ever happened to me. It was my first time in Europe, and this was a dream come true as I had always wanted to travel outside my continent. The programme was an eye-opener on many levels, as I got to experience new things.

The learning approaches and models offered at the university differed from what I was used to. Incorporating field trips was the best part of learning as you apply what you have learned in class to real-life situations. The trips also provided a chance to tour different parts of Spain, and this was the perfect chance to immerse ourselves in the beautiful culture and interact with wonderful people. Studying abroad was a great blessing in my life. 

Despite the academic experience, I learned many things by putting myself in a somewhat exciting but uncomfortable position. First, there was an issue of language barrier, which was challenging, but I had to work hard to learn enough to get around. Other than language, Spain has a different culture and behavioral norms that helped me appreciate the world’s diversity. This was coupled with interacting with students from other parts of the world who were also part of the exchange programme, and this gave me a whole different view of the world as it is. This led to a journey of self-discovery on a whole new level. The skills and knowledge acquired from the programme helped me contribute more to tourism development programmes in my country as I got to collaborate with different stakeholders in the industry and participate in projects that lead to tourism sustainability. This is an opportunity that every student should experience as it is life-changing.