Marta Gràcia - Belfast, Regne Unit

Marta Gràcia
Belfast, United Kingdom

To be honest, I really didn’t know what to expect from this Exchange. It all started as an adventure.

I did my studies abroad the 2nd semester of 2018, so from January to late May to the not very known Northern Irish city of Belfast, two hours away from Dublin, and it has been without any doubt one of the best experiences I had in my entire life.
People kept asking me why I chose Ireland as my destiny if Barcelona had such nice weather and food, the thing is, that I never actually thought about it like that: because it’s different than what we are used to? Because it’s a place that has some kind of magic? I never got the proper answer to that question, everyone has different reasons.
It is true that the weather is not the best, but it makes you appreciate the sunny days and specially how warm it is in Barcelona. “You don’t know what you have until you lose it”
But let’s get to the important things: when you go to an ERASMUS, the last thing you think about are your studies, let’s be honest here. I had so much freedom, to visit a billion places, to meet a billion new people, and to learn about yourself as well. You can see how it changes you, for good. By the end of your stay, you’ll have houses all over the world to go visit.
About Belfast itself, it’s a small city, I got used to it in two weeks or so. Everything is very close, all the shops and main restaurants are in the same area which it makes it easier, specially the first days that everyone is so lost. It’s not the prettiest city but it’s got the Irish vibes that everyone loves and makes it cozy and welcoming.
The University is impressive, very very big and well equipped, the people are also very friendly and they will help you with ANYTHING you need, even if you don’t ask!
But my highlight of the stay would be the people that I’ve met. I was so lucky to have the best flatmates I could ever imagine of. We would cook together, go on trips, hang out in the kitchen or just go sunbathe to the pool table outside and enjoy the moment. Plus, meeting people from all over the world makes you realize how tiny you are and how many places you’ve missed and still have to visit.
I’ve been to so many places here that even the local people told me they haven’t actually been to that many. I could make a list but my favourites were: Galway, Whitehead, Cavehill, Dublin, Portrush, Rathlin Island and many many more.
Ireland has GORGEOUS landscapes, so literally any place you go it’s going to be stunning and beautiful.
To sum up, doing this exchange was just happiness to me. It’s a must that EVERYONE should do, a start from zero that you are going to appreciate and embrace it for the rest of your life.