Well, I’ve never been that good at introductions, so let’s get this started. My name is Chryssa, I am 21 years old, I come from Thessaloniki, Greece, and I currently live in the most beautiful city of the world: Seville. Where is Seville and how have I ended up here? Keep on reading if you want to find out. ☺
Sunset in Thessaloniki, Chryssa Kouremenou
My story starts sometime in my high school years, when I decided I wanted to study English language and literature. I remember myself wanting to follow a teaching career since I was a little girl, so, as I was growing up, I kinda developed this idea. My way of thinking was this: to be a teacher of primary education in Greece would not give me many options as long as working opportunities are concerned, but to be a teacher of English would. As I was growing up and as I was discovering myself, I realised that I was happiest when exploring the world. Under these terms, teaching English would allow me to work whenever I wanted, as learning English as a foreign language is a needed skill everywhere in the world.
Some years of studying hard to enter university, and my goal was achieved. I would be a student of the English Language and Literature faculty in the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki; thus, in my city. By the time I had achieved my first goal, the following one was to do Erasmus studies. In case you live under a rock and have never heard of Erasmus, it is a programme funded by the European Union that offers university students the opportunity to study abroad in another country for a period of 2 to 12 months.
But my goal was very specific: I knew I wanted to do my Erasmus in Spain. The logical question that comes after this sentence is usually: “But to study English in Spain?”. Well, I know it sounds -and maybe it is- odd, but…yes. I don’t know why I was that determined about Spain, but it’s like it’s always been on my mind. I had never been in Spain, even though I was lucky enough to have traveled a lot with my family. I blame it on the Spanish lessons I was taking during my junior high and high school years in my state school. I might not had advanced my language skills enough during these years, but my teacher exposed us to the Spanish culture a lot. I believe this was when I started falling in love with Spain.
Back to the main story. I started looking up the procedure I had to follow in order to apply for my Erasmus studies the first year of uni. I saw that, apart from a good enough average grade of my passed courses, I also had to have a B1/B2 level of Spanish in order to apply for the Spanish universities, even though all the courses were offered in English. To make a long story short, I started taking intensive Spanish classes the next year, so that, one year later, I would have the B2 certificate on my hands, just on time to apply. Things turned out as planned, and on the February of 2018 I was filling in my applications. I was allowed to apply for three universities max, and I knew I wanted them all to be in Spain. Much google searching later, my order was the following: 1) University of Seville, 2) University of Tarragona and 3) University of Zaragoza.
On April the 4th, one and a half month later, I was taking a nap on my couch, when my phone rang. It was a friend from uni, who was at the time doing her Erasmus studies in Ireland. I was deeply sleeping, so it was hard to grasp what she was telling me. I did grasp some Spanish words and some seconds later realized that the reason she called me was to inform me that my application for Spain had been accepted. I quickly shut the phone, opened my laptop and searched for the uploaded PDF file with the results. Next to my name was written: University of Seville. I immediately started crying out loud as if I was a little baby, but these were tears of happiness.
University of Seville, Chryssa Kouremenou
Since that day many things in my life came upside down, which brought me very close to giving up my Erasmus studies and never getting to Seville. Nevertheless, things did work out well in the end, and here I am now, living the time of my life in one of Europe’s sunniest cities. And…the most beautiful of all.
Palm trees in Seville, Chryssa Kouremenou
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