By Maeva Chargros
After discovering the various perks of the hidden gems and the Northern wonders of Euroculture’s consortium, it is time to discover the last two EU universities: Bilbao and Strasbourg. Both are extremely different due to their location; both are amazing picks to study. From the rainy shores of Spain to “La Petite France” picturesque architecture, here is what to expect from these two cities.
Bilbao: The Other Side of Spain
When heading to Spain, most students expect sunny and warm days. Perhaps it shouldn’t be your main motivation for picking Bilbao, though, since the city is among the rainiest of the country – “don’t forget your umbrella” is the main recommendation, quite accurately. If this is the price to pay to get both the sea and mountains at the same time, though, it might very well be worth it! Time is a notion that Spanish people learned to design according to their lifestyle. This also applies to Bilbao and to student life there. It might be rainy, but you will experience what Spain does best: tasty food and joyful leisure time. Not that studying will be any less important than elsewhere, don’t be mistaken – deadlines will just be served with a side dish called “work-life balance”. This means you will have the opportunity to discover Bilbao’s surroundings, which are obviously stunning given the fact that the city is located very close to no less than two natural parks! You will also get to enjoy spending time in cafés at any time of the day, but especially after a long day of studying the relations between the European Union and Latin American countries, for instance, one of the many interesting classes offered at the University of Deusto (Universidad de Deusto) [LINK]. Don’t forget to order the traditional “pintxo pote” – some wine with snacks! The last aspect that should hold your attention is the rich cultural heritage of Bilbao and its region: do not forget to visit the Guggenheim museum there, or the Azkuna Zentroa.
No one else would summarise such a pick for Euroculture than a student who went there, right? Here you go: “Bilbao offers a perfect semester in which you get time to recharge your batteries for the second year, while still learning a lot of interesting and practical things.”
Strasbourg: “Petite France” with a Big European Heart
When choosing to study Euroculture, it is rather obvious that the European dimension of any and everything matters to you. This is why Strasbourg might be one of the most obvious choices for this programme: the heart of Europe definitely beats there. Indeed, during your semester there, you will visit various EU or European institutions, be it the European Parliament or the Council of Europe, among many others. You will also have the opportunity to attend European Court of Human Rights’ hearings open to the public – making it the perfect location for any student passionate about EU and international law, or European politics since the plenary weeks will fill the city with MEPs! If you remember reading the news about the case of Navalny, for instance, or the speech of Angela Merkel at the EP: some Euroculture students were there! Don’t read the news, live them could definitely be the motto of the University of Strasbourg.
Besides the academic – and professional networking – aspects, Strasbourg offers you a unique door to Germany, Switzerland, or even Luxembourg: perfect for travel-addicts, isn’t it? Of course, France will also offer you an amazing variety of choices when it comes to travelling: from the shores of Normandy to the impressive landscapes of the Alps, from Paris’ lights to Lyon’s Festival of Lights, from sleeping volcanos to the sunny Mediterranean Sea… pick your poison, as they say! A very good tip from Euroculture students: don’t forget the special pass offered by the SNCF (national railway company)!
Last but certainly not least is the city of Strasbourg itself – its history, architecture, cultural heritage. Everything in this city will make you feel at home, whether during winter or summertime. The cathedral is simply stunning, and the typical Alsatian food is worth spending some time in restaurants between two assignments.
Don’t forget to apply before January 10 to qualify for an Erasmus Mundus scholarship!
Many thanks to Clara, Maria, Inès, Rick, Isabel and Marc for sharing their experiences!
Featured picture: Alain Rueff, Flickr.