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Young, Spanish and European. What’s next?

Having finished (or almost finished) your studies in a European country like Spain can mean different things. Which are the perspective of a newly graduated Spanish girl in 2015?  Which opportunities are offered by Spain and Europe? Today on Pequod a special focus on Spanish youth and its point of view.

Your name, age, nationality, where are you from? Where do you live now? Which is your current occupation?

Violeta, 26, Spanish, from Zaragoza but living in Reus (Catalonia). Student – writing my final project of Architecture.

Waisaly, 25, Madrid living in Madrid. Graduated in Pharmacy, just passed the concourse to work in public hospitals in Spain.

Monica, 23, from Caseda living in Pamplona. Graduated in Management. Finish a Master Degree in International Trade Management.

Ane, 23, from Errenteria living in Errenteria. Graduated in Social Work and unemployed.

Ane, Waisaly, Monica and Violeta
Ane, Waisaly, Monica and Violeta

Best and worst things of your country.

Violeta, Ali, Monica, AnePositive things are definitely Public Health Care, solidarity among the people – in such a period of crisis our people are really showing their will to cooperate and help each other. An example is Banco de Alimentos – people donate food for those who can’t afford to buy it.

Bad things are the cuts to health care, education, social service. Also, a lot of corruption, among politicians and also everywhere else – banks, for instance. Ley Mordaza – a law to reduce your freedom of expression, against public demonstrations for example. The cost of culture – they’re putting taxes on cinema and books. Public transportation is quite expensive – it works well, but not everybody can afford it.

Why are you living building your future in Spain? Do you think that maybe you’d like to go abroad to look for a job?

Violeta – because I’m from there! I’ve never thought to studying abroad. But I will go abroad to look for a job!

Waisaly – I’ve never thought to go abroad to study. Maybe I’d like to have some work experience abroad, but just for some time, then come back to Spain.

Monica – What I wanted to study was in Spain, so I didn’t feel the need to move abroad. But actually going to university for me has been quite a change – I moved from a countryside village (1000 inhabitants) to Pamplona – a real city!

Ane – I have no money to go abroad, so I’m staying in the Basque Country and trying to look for a job here. Of course if I won’t find anything I might go abroad for a period – actually it would be a great life experience, not just a matter of work or career.

Have you had any significant experience abroad? What? Why did you decide to do that and what’s the best you got from that?

Violeta – Last year I went to Poland for Erasmus and before that I had been in Glasgow (Scotland) to study English for one month. I decided to go to Poland because I wanted to know a new culture, language, new people. Also, I was really interested into how university works abroad – for architecture it was actually quite challenging to go to Poland – it was the furthest as possible from Spain – quite the opposite!

Waisaly – I went to Poland last year for six months to do some practise in a university laboratory. Poland was my choice because it’s so different from Spain. I also wanted to live alone.

Monica – When I was 17 I went to Canada, then I spent summer abroad for three years – in England and in Malta, to improve my English. Last year I chose Poland for my Erasmus because it was the furthest as possible I could choose within Europe (I didn’t want to leave Europe even if I had the possibility to go to Asia for example). Also I wanted to experience independence.

Ane – When I was 17 I went to Ireland to study English, stayed with an Irish family. Last year I went to Poland for Erasmus because I wanted to have an experience alone. It was a challenge – you don’t know the people, the language – you need to find a way to survive!

What does Europe mean for you? Do you perceive the existence of Europe as a community? Do you feel European?

Violeta – Europe for me is something that controls Spain – not only controls, but actually tells it what to do and how to do it. That’s why I don’t perceive the existence of Europe as a community and I don’t feel European – well, I feel European as a Greek or an Irish may feel, but not as a German, for example.

Waisaly – Europe is something positive for me. Second World War meant fighting – after that we needed some unity and the creation of European Community was like a fresh start. Together we’re stronger, this way we can even challenge some bigger entities, like the United States for example. And also we shouldn’t forget the economical advantages (no taxes for commerce). Right now I feel European, earlier I didn’t.

Monica – I’m studying International Trade, so I think Europe has advanteges for business and economics. If you stay in your country, you can’t really perceive the existence of Europe as a community. To feel it you need to have an European experience, like Erasmus. I do feel European.

Ane – In my daily life Europe doesn’t mean anything, it doesn’t influence my life at all. But when I go abroad it means health insurance, possibility to study in a different country. Well, I don’t really feel European.

Erasmus, Europe, european community, euskadi, featured, madrid, master, pamplona, poland, spain, zaragoza

Margherita Ravelli

Nata nel 1989 ad ovest della cortina di ferro, dalla mia cameretta della provincia di Bergamo ho sempre guardato con curiosità verso est, terra dei gloriosi popoli slavi. Dopo aver vagabondato fra Russia, Ucraina e Polonia ho conseguito la laurea magistrale in lingua e letteratura russa, con una tesi sul multilinguismo e sulla multiculturalità nella repubblica russa del Tatarstan. Sono responsabile della sezione Internazionale di Pequod, oltre che redattrice occasionale per attualità, cultura e viaggi.

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