Nicole Rings at Universidad de Leon, Spain

From September 07 to February 08 I studied at the University of León, in the North of Spain. The following points will give you a short overview about my stay abroad and some tips if you are planning to study in a foreign country, too.

The city

With 135.000 inhabitants and an area of 39, 2 km² León shows exactly the right size for a city. The atmosphere of this city is not as busy and restless as in a metropolis with millions of inhabitants but also not like a small village with no free-time activities and bad transportation possibilities. The city is situated in Castilla y León, which is not only the biggest region in Spain but also in the hole EU.

For people who are interested in climbing and walking activities, the great nature parks and the mountains in this region offer a lot of fun in their leisure-time. León itself shows many interesting sights like the gothic cathedral and the Basilica San Isidoro. Furthermore the world-famous Camino francés leads through the city and many pilgrims are passing the town every day. Besides, only in León and in Granada exists the wonderful habit that you receive Tapas for free if you order a beer. Unfortunately, the weather is very similar to the weather in Germany and at night it can be very cold.

The life and the costs in León

Accommodation in León in comparison to bigger cities is much cheaper and easier to find. The prices in a flat-sharing community range from 140 EUR to 250 EUR depending on the condition, the location and what is included in the price. The university of León will give you lists with a big offer of available flats if you ask for it and you can find posters everywhere with contact numbers of people who are searching for tenants.

During my stay in León I lived in the residence „Emilio Hurtado“ which is situated very close to the university and only 20 minutes away from the cathedral if you go by foot. The residence offers nice rooms including the necessary equipment like kitchenware, furniture and television. The kitchen, living room and the bath are shared with two other people. Your own room has a bed, a wardrobe and a writing desk. To live in the residence certainly means the simplest way when you don’t speak Spanish and your stay is limited for a half year because many of the owners of the flats are looking for people who stay a whole year. Although the price of 233 EUR is not really cheap. For more details, please take a look at and A great advantage is that you can choose whether you would like to live with Spanish people or, for example, with Erasmus people. It sounds good to live with Spanish people but the majority of these students are very young, they are starting to study in the age of 17… Because of that, I changed the room within the residence and at the end, I lived with a girl from Belgium and a girl from Spain which was really fun. The costs for buying food are very similar to the costs in Germany. There are two LIDLs in León :-). The public transport is much cheaper than in Germany. For example, if you go by bus, you have to pay approximately 90 Cents and this is valid for the whole route, you don’t have to pay depending on the distance of your trip. If you buy a bus ticket for 10 times, you can even save money. But the best thing is, you don’t need money if you want to go out in the evening. The Erasmus students are enjoying the great pleasure to get a lot of drinks-for-free cards and in the majority of the bars and clubs you don’t have to pay for entrance. Another advantage is the cheap trips organized by the organization AEGEE for the Erasmus students, for example to Madrid, Barcelona, Andalusia, Portugal, Salamanca,.....

My classes and problems with the language

Before I went to Spain, I did the Spanish courses which had been offered at RheinAhrCampus. My Spanish was good but not very good yet and in the first time I had some difficulties. After a few weeks you are able to talk and understand the most important sentences although I have to admit that even after six months my Spanish is not perfect. The Spanish course at the Centro de Idiomas gave me five credit points so that I had to choose only three other subjects in the university of León. My subjects were Merchandising, Comunicación, Publicidad y Promoción y Idioma Inglés Empresariales Avanzado. My classes were visited by many Erasmus students so that it was much easier to follow up the lessons in the beginning. The level of the subjects in Spain is not to difficult but you have to do more work before the exams like presentations and group works and so on. For more information, please visit the webpage of the University.

The Spanish way of life

The cultural differences between Spanish and German people are not extremely huge but actually there exist a few habits that we don’t have in Germany. For example, the food is very important for the Spanish people, they are very proud of their Chorizo and their Tapas. Two times a day they cook and every time a two-course meal. Of course, there are more parties and these are starting later and lasting longer than in Germany. If you want to go to a club, the right time to go is about 2 o’clock at night but you can celebrate until 8 o’clock in the morning. Also you have to get used to the Siesta in which all shops are closed from 2 o’clock to 5 o’clock at the afternoon. The Spanish people are very open and it will be easy for you to get in touch with them. I had to get used to things like for example, if you go to a bar and want to order something, you have to shout at the waiter to draw his attention. Furthermore the Spanish people know many unlovely words and use them very often.


I had a really good time in León, made very good friends and got in touch with many interesting people. I recommend everyone to make his own Erasmus experience. It will change your life!!!! If you have more questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me via Sprachen/Internationales.

I wish you a lot of fun with your own Erasmus experience!

Nicole Rings