The second post of the series Le Ragazze Vaganti, made by Wandering Girls for Wandering Girls.
If you haven’t read the first episode yet, check it out: LE RAGAZZE VAGANTI- the series |Soňa
Sara, Italian, 27 years old and two birthdays spent in Barcelona.
I have a degree in International Economy, and I had my first real working experience in Barcelona.
I love the blue sky, a hot cup of tea with my sister, Zeno’s ice cream eaten sitting on the stairs.
I don’t like drinking tea alone, supermarket’s ice-cream and the fog.
First the Erasmus in Madrid, and then the internship post-lauream in Barcelona.
How did you feel before leaving?
Everyone has always been supportive. I was sure I would have survived two weeks in Madrid. I has never left home, nor lived with strangers. I hadn’t had a similar experience, but I still could leave without any type of expectations, and I was ready to see what would happen and how I would learn to react.
Living in another country means adapting to a new language, too. What kind of experience have you had?
The language has for sure been a criteria for not choosing. I had sent my curriculum to two companies- one in Paris and one in Spain, the one I’m currently working at. The day after sending the emails, I received a positive response from the two of them. I then was at a turning point, where I had to choose between two countries and two different cultures. Already knowing Spanish has for sure been decisive in favor of Spain.
However, here in Barcelona Catalan is daily spoken, and I can now finally understand it all, even if I still can’t speak it. At the beginning I was quite upset for the fact the my colleagues unwillingly switched to Catalan and I could not join in in the conversations. But once I realized they were not doing it with the purpose of excluding me, they started to involve me.
Sometimes the distance can make you feel homesick.
What do you miss the most?
The thing that I for sure miss the most is physical contact – the warm hugs that make me feel intimate with someone. Without them, I feel as if I was not putting whole my soul in it.
I initially came to Barcelona for six months, but after only three months, they proposed me a one-year contract. I had to think about it completely alone for four days, no one knew.
I could not understand which criteria I had to use whether to stay or to leave. It seemed to me like I had no strong connections. Catalans tend to be quite cold, so I talked about it with my boss. His answer was one of the reasons why I decided to stay: “Sara, give us a little more time. I want to create the prerequisites so that you’ll feel good. And if you’ll decide to go away, it won’t be because I haven’t done enough.”
I would take the same decision, absolutely! I have had so many incredible experiences among the negative ones, and I have learnt a lot. But considering it as a long-term project, I don’t want to stay away from my family. I don’t to miss the daily life.
What advice would you give to those who would like to do the same experiences?
The two experiences are completely different. They are two different stages of life.
If you were in the Erasmus program, I would tell you to have fun. Meet as many people as you can!
However, remember that the Erasmus is a sort of parallel world – real life isn’t like this.
If you were working abroad, on the other hand, I’d tell you to follow the little voice you hear inside you. If you are going away for a long time, make sure to keep growing and to not forget the things you’re leaving home. It all depends on your attitude. There will be bad days, good days, continuous changes and news. The important thing is being ready to accept it all.