In this section are recent interviews of European students who were asked about their experience in Talavera de la Reina via the Erasmus+ Programme.
Hi, I’m Laura Verhappen. I am a Veterinary Nursing student in St John’s Central College Cork. I applied for the Erasmus+ Programme through the college and had the opportunity to work in Talavera de la Reina in Spain.
I worked in a farm followed with amazing teachers who gave me every opportunity possible. From working with cows, horses, sheep, chickens, rabbits and so on, I have gained experience in large animals as I only worked with small animals in Ireland. The class that I was with were so warm and welcoming and spoke English to me. They also taught me some Spanish. I also assisted in their English classes and worked with them doing their animal practicals.
Talavera de la Reina is a great place with various historic buildings and a humble atmosphere. I came here with 3 girls that I clicked with straight away which made my time more memorable and enjoyable.
We had opportunities to travel around Spain on the weekends and experience the real Spanish culture. Time went very fast in Spain and I enjoyed every minute of my trip.
I want to thank St John’s Central College and San Isidro Institute for giving me an amazing opportunity that I will remember forever. Everyone should apply for Erasmus+ as it is a once in a lifetime experience.
Laura Verhappen, 19, Veterinary Nursing, St. John’s Central College Cork, Ireland – Erasmus+ Programme May 2018
Hi I´m Katharina Poller. I´m a Science and Laboratory Techniques student at St. Johns Central College. The Erasmus+ Program gave me a unique opportunity to work as an assistant of two amazing teachers in the Biology and Chemistry Laboratory of I.E.S Ribera del Tajo College in Spain. The students in the class have been so kind and welcoming that I am thinking about becoming a teacher myself!
I can´t encourage you enough to do your best in your course and take the opportunity to become part of the Erasmus+ project. Talavera de la Reina itself is a very welcoming place and the students and teachers of the college are great. I have gotten to know a beautiful culture and a country that possesses an incomparable history, gorgeous art and unique music. Never have I thought that I would make such good friends while being abroad for three weeks. The time flew by and I even learned a bit of Spanish (which I will continue to learn until I am back here – hopefully very soon!). It has been an unforgettable time with a lot of great memories and adventures.
In our free time we climbed up a hill in Talavera to watch a beautiful sunset, saw a parade in Toledo at a bank holiday called ´Corpus Christi´ and spent a weekend in Valencia. Furthermore we are going to visit the natural pools in Candeleda before spending our last day in beautiful Madrid!
Huge thanks to St. Johns Central College, I.E.S Ribera Del Tajo and everyone who made the Erasmus+ Project happen- great work!
Katharina Poller, 22, Science and Laboratory Techniques, St. John’s Central College Cork, Ireland – Erasmus+ Programme May 2018
I´m Elzbieta Wiernicka, I´m a student at St. John´s Central College. I study Tourism & e-travel. I came to Talavera de la Reina for three weeks and I had my work experience in I.E.S Ribera del Tajo.
I made brochures about ceramics in Talavera. I translated them into Polish, English and with Kata´s help into German. I also organized a tour in Talavera for the students of one class of the college. I had to collect information about monuments in Talavera and present it to students. I had also a few hours per week classes with students. In those classes I told them about Poland and Ireland. Some of the groups asked me a lot of questions about it and some of them were shyer. We were also talking about their life, hobby, family, etc…
Erasmus+ Project is not just a work. In these three weeks I met three great girls. We spent a lot of time together. We visited a few different cities, for example Toledo, Valencia and Madrid. We were talking to Spanish people, tried Spanish food and got to know the Spanish culture. In Toledo I ate paella for the first time and I fell in love in this dish, it was amazing. In Valencia the architecture is wonderful – I never saw something like that before. We didn’t see every place that we wanted to see because those three weeks were too short for it!
Erasmus+ Project is like holiday and work at the same time. I enjoyed this time so much and I learned a lot as well. If some of my friends would wonder if they should take part in this project, I would say YES, YOU SHOULD! This is an amazing adventure and you may not have the chance to experience it again.
Elzbieta Wiernicka, 22, Tourism and e-Travel, St. John’s Central College Cork, Ireland – Erasmus+ Programme May 2018
My name is Niamh and I am a student from St. John’s Central College Cork in Ireland. I applied for the Erasmus+ KA102 Programme through my college and got the opportunity to work in Talavera de la Reina Spain, in the IES Ribera del Tajo College for 3 weeks. I was nervous about going at first as I was the only girl travelling, but I am so glad I took the opportunity as it was a once in a lifetime experience. Everyone in Talavera and in the college I was working in, were so friendly and welcoming. I met people from England and America that were currently teaching in Talavera, along with others from different countries who were studying, working and even on Erasmus+ projects themselves. They also were brilliant, they were really helpful! It took a while for me to get used of the Spanish language as I don’t speak it, and the language barrier was a bit intimidating at the start with the locals. But since everyone is so nice in this town, I started to feel more comfortable after the first few days and started learning the basics of the Spanish language. It is a town that is easy to get around as it is walkable, and is the perfect place to get a real experience of the Spanish culture, and what it is like to live in Spain. And a bonus is that you are guaranteed good weather, higher than 30 degrees when I was there in May 2017! Also, it is a good base for travelling to other parts of Spain such as Madrid, Toledo, Salamanca, Valencia and Barcelona. I visited Toledo which is an amazing tourist city, Salamanca, Valencia and Madrid. These can all be reached via public transport as there is a bus and train station in Talavera with routes to these destinations. Renting a car is also a good idea which gives you more freedom to travel when you want and is cheaper if you are visiting Salamanca and Valencia! Overall, great place, great weather, great food, great people, and even better experience that nobody should say no to!
Niamh Kennedy, 20,- Tourism and e-Travel Student St. John’s Central College Cork, Ireland – Erasmus+ Programme May 2017
My name is Will Holbrook and im currently a student of Tourism and e-Travel at St. John´s Central College in Cork City, Ireland. I applied for the Erasmus+ KA102 Programme through my college and was lucky enough to be offerered a place in Talavera de la Reina Spain, in the IES Ribera del Tajo College for 3 weeks. I was also lucky enough to go during May, so the weather was spectacular. At first I was a little nervous about going, as i didn´t know what to expect, but it was truly one of the best experiences of my life. The people here and especially the teachers at IES Ribera del Tajo have been some of the most pleasant people I’ve ever met. The town of Talavera de la Reina is quite a small town but it is very beautiful and the food and drink here is wonderful. During my time off, I was lucky enough to travel with my workmates to places like Madrid, Valencia, Salamanca and Toledo. All of which, are must see places. I highly recommend applying for the Erasmus+ Programme, as I’m sure you will never regret it.
Will Holbrook, 25,- Tourism and e-Travel Student, St John’s Central College, Cork, Ireland. Erasmus+ Programme, May 2017
My name is Laurent Capello, a 31 years Italian – Belgian student in St. John’s College in Cork, Ireland. I applied for a three weeks Erasmus project in Talavera de la Reina in Spain at the end of my two years course in Computer Game Design. The experience has been simply great, both professionally and personally. I felt incredibly welcome by the teachers in the college I am working in, and generally treated as a guest by every bartender and waiter in the city. Talavera might not be a glamorous and vibrant city like Madrid or Barcelona, but its lack of popularity is more than outweighed by the kindness of the locals: they don’t see tourists as a threat to their identity but rather as a welcome change in their life and an excuse to show their hospitality. During working time, from 9 am to 1 pm, I worked on an ongoing open project lead by our supervisor: it’s an app for mobile that aim to teach english through video games. It is exactly the experience I was looking for and am confident it will help me in my career. I would recommend everybody to try this experience, Talavera is a great example of mediterranean hospitality and vibe. Unfortunately the city has suffered a lot from the financial crisis and most of the young population left the town looking for jobs in bigger cities. You won’t find a big nightlife here, but you are free to stay in Madrid or Salamanca for the weekend if that is what you are looking for: they are both beautiful cities and a couple of hours from Talavera.
Laurent Capello, 31,- Computer Game Design, St John’s Central College, Cork, Ireland. Erasmus+ Programme May 2017
Click here to see what they got up to on their Erasmus+ experience in Talavera de la Reina.