Studying abroad in Spain

Old Dec 21st, 2005, 05:59 PM
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Studying abroad in Spain

I am a junior at the University of Oklahoma, and I am studying abroad in Valencia, Spain for six months. I am trying to decide whether to get a Europass because I want to travel all over Spain and Europe. Also, I am trying to find good hostels to stay at in Valencia and other parts of Europe. If you have any other general advice, travel or other, please let me know. I have never been to Europe. Thanks!
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Old Dec 21st, 2005, 06:06 PM
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Heather, I don't have any advice but I just wanted to say I hope you have a great time on your adventure. How excited you must be! When do you leave?
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Old Dec 21st, 2005, 06:27 PM
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Thanks Judi! I leave in the middle of January and I am so excited! It is going to be an experience of a lifetime and I cannot wait to see another part of the world. I have only heard great things about Europe,and I just want to be there!
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Old Dec 21st, 2005, 06:37 PM
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I Eruopass will do you under most cercumstances, just remember that reservations are often required, as is a suppliment.

Sorry, but I can't help you with the hostals.

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Old Dec 21st, 2005, 06:44 PM
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Heather,
As a college student (way back in the late 80's) I did a study abroad my junior year in Switzerland and my Eurail pass was invaluable. I spent every weekend (our classes ended on Thursdays at noon) traveling throughout Europe and have such great memories. Plus that was part of the fuel that has fired my obession for travel.

I can't speak of any hostels in Spain but the Swiss hostels back then were great!
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Old Dec 21st, 2005, 06:46 PM
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www.madridman.com has hostal and hostel information for many cities in Spain, not just Madrid. Hostals in Spain are small pensione hotels usually family run. Hostels are youth hostels.
You might prefer to fly on Europe's many budget airlines.You can find flight sales for as little as 10E. www.whichbudget.com
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Old Dec 21st, 2005, 07:53 PM
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My son studied last year in Torino, Italy for the first semester and then in Prague for his second semester. His opinion is that nowdays the best deals are the discount airlines to travel on weekends and holidays.The Eurorail pass is expensive and was wonderful in its day but for time and money the cheap deals on the airlines are the way to go. My daughter is leaving in January for a semester in Sicily and she is already planning her trips on the cheap airlines. Have fun! I would also suggest that you get two ATM cards at two different banks or credit unions along with two different charge cards. This is really important because if you ever run across an ATM machine that does not work or accept that ATM card OR you are pickpocketed (which my son was and he has traveled around Europe quite a bit prior to his study abroad experience)you have a second one to fall back on. Also,make sure that one of the accounts is one that your parents can easily get to so they can put some money in for you ASAP if need be in emergency situations.Do call the banks before you go and let them know you will be overseas for 6 months. Barcelona is notorious for pickpockets along with Rome so keep an eye on yourself and "stuff" at all times no matter where you go.You can get most of the up to date info on hostels on the internet along with making reservations-there are some great books out too that you might want to buy before you go to have as a reference. Some times you can find that a cheap hotel is a way safer/better deal than some of the hostels. Just remember to take everything in as it will be one of the best times of your life!
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Old Dec 28th, 2005, 04:05 PM
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I studied at the Complutense Univ. of Madrid back in the summer of 92, then used a Eurail Pass to travel for a month after the study period was complete. The train was the most fun, meeting people and getting hostel advice from people who maybe had already been somewhere you're headed to. Pensions are sometimes your best bet in Spain overall, just slightly more costly than a hostel without the bunk beds. You will share down-the-hall toilets.
Here's a good hostel site: http://www.hostels.com/en/es.ot.html
TIPS:
--There are curfews in hostels, and you will be locked out past certain times, a bummer if you have been out with Spaniards all night dancing.
--Take a Let's Go Europe book with you, a money belt, an ATM card with a visa logo...etc.
--Be very careful if friends try to get you to Pamplona for the running of the bulls. It was the only scary time in my study abroad experience. The men were very aggressive as opposed to elsewhere.
--Your program may provide optional excursions within the country and I suggest you take them. "DO" Spain, and then start planning trips to other countries. For your first trip, hit the big cities so you can sample and see what you like. IMO, head to: Paris, London (via Eurostar from Paris), Rome, Venice and Florence, Salzburg, Vienna and of course Prague. With 6 mos. you should have plenty of time and will most likely meet other college kids who will be headed to these places. Overnight trains are fun, but set an alarm! Also, read the rules on getting your railpass stamped so that you don't lose any days due to mistakes.
--2nd class travel is fine in most cases. Only reserve for sleeping compartments or if you are headed to a city with a major event going on (e.g. Olympics, running of the bulls, Oktoberfest).
Hmmm...I don't want to go on too long. You will have a great time. My study abroad in Spain was the first time for me in Europe too and sparked the travel bug.
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Old Dec 28th, 2005, 05:14 PM
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I studied abroad last year, and I just thought you should know that especially if you are traveling with others, sometimes a good two-star hotel can be had for about the same price as a hostel. People always assume they have to go the hostel route, but that's not always the case. Also, study up on your budget airlines with whichbudget.com and other sites, as you can often fly for less than a train. Have fun!
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Old Dec 29th, 2005, 10:23 AM
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Susanteach - My daughter will be studying at the Madrid Complutense and also Madrid Polytechnica(sp?)next semester. These schools appear close together or do you think this will be a problem?
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Old Dec 29th, 2005, 10:37 AM
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i am not too convinced you will get your money's worth out of a train pass.
there are so many inexpensive flights that will give you more time to actually visit the places, i would do more seruious research.

which school in valencia are you attending?

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Old Dec 29th, 2005, 11:02 AM
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I am attending the Politenica School in Valencia and I am staying in the Home Youth hostel for a week when i get there, and then searching for an apartment.
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Old Jan 3rd, 2006, 05:09 PM
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www.vueling.com is having their 10 euro each way sale now .. check it out. tickets must be bought before jan. 5th. for travel jan. feb and march

taxes and service is high but still great deal.
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