Salamanca – Semester Abroad (First Impressions)

I’m living in Spain now. I’m not going home until Christmas and in this post, I’m going to tell you how I feel about spending the next couple of months in Salamanca.

Disclaimer: I still don’t have a decent camera for pictures and I probably won’t for some time. I’m sorry about the crappy quality pictures, I’m working on it. Also, if anyone knows of any good cameras, feel free to let me know.

Salamanca: demographics

I’m just going to jump right into it. I love it here. Salamanca is the city I never knew I’d always dreamed of. On the one hand, the city centre is small enough for it to feel like a tightly-bound city of young, vibrant people. It’s also small enough for me not to need a bicycle, a car or anything else. After 10 minutes of walking, I can be just about anywhere I need to be.

On the other hand, Salamanca is big enough for it to feel like an important city in the landscape of Spain. On that note, there are tonnes of students here. I’ve been told that of its 140.000 inhabitants, 30.000 are students at the University of Salamanca (which was founded 800 years ago, by the way!). That group includes about 7.000 exchange students, so it’s easy to feel at home and make new friends here.

Salamanca: the urban life

I’ve been here just short of a week, but I can already tell that the urban life in Salamanca is exactly what I’m looking for. To me, it feels like a low-key version of New York City – the city that never sleeps.

No idea if this is only for these first weeks or if it’s always like this, but it seems like there is always something going on. Food trucks, salsa classes, bull fights or pick-nicks in the park. I might not even get to do the things on my Spanish bucket list. Oh well.

To give you some kind of idea of the kind of things that happen here: this is what we came across on our second day in Salamanca.

These people were casually parading through the city centre, playing what I assume to be Spanish music. It was fun.

Salamanca: the food

Oh. My. God. The food. The food is so good. Everything you’ve heard about the Spanish cuisine is true. Unless you’ve heard that it’s bad.

When my parents were still here, we went out to a tapas bar (yes, just tapas for dinner). In case I still haven’t made it clear yet, let me spell it out for you. D-E-L-I-C-I-O-U-S.

Here are some pictures of our tapas night out.

Salamanca: the city

The city centre of Salamanca is not only lively and vibrant, but it’s also beautiful. Most buildings are made of some sandstone-ish stone, giving the city a very uniform but soft look.

Sights like this plaza are quite common throughout Salamanca.

Moreover, Salamanca seems to be very much based on its heritage, while it’s also a pretty modern-looking city. By ‘based on its heritage’, I’m referring to the old cathedral, university buildings and monastery (see picture below).

Entrance to Convento de San Esteban (Salamanca)

Salamanca: nature

As far as nature goes, I have yet to see anything VERY impressive. I went to a park at about 10 minutes from my new home, there’s a river, and there are quite a lot of small green spots in the actual centre, but other than that, nothing really jumps to mind.

View of the river Tormes from the Puente Romano (Salamanca)
View of the river Tormes from the Puente Romano (Roman bridge)

Conclusion

Salamanca is the city of dreams. I’m incredibly excited to spend the next months here, because a semester abroad is basically like a very long solo trip (but you have to go to school as well).

I think I’ve made you all jealous enough for one blog post, so I’ll just call it a day here. I don’t know when I’ll upload my next blog post, but I’ll be sure to announce it on my Facebook page, so keep an eye on that.

P.S. Check out the travel video I made of my first few days here!

Thanks for reading!

-S

Author: Sander

Hi! My name is Sander. My life goal is to travel the world. Join me on my adventures!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *