My name is Lisa and I’m an incoming sophomore studying biochemistry. My time in Santander is coming to an end, and I honestly only have beautiful things to say about this experience. I remember first applying for this program being very dubious as to what to expect. I have never heard of Santander before this program. However, during my time here, there are a few things about this city that has won my heart over and over again. If you ever have the chance, here are just a few of the small things you should check out!
The graffiti here is very beautiful. I think one thing that I’ve appreciated is how they usually convey messages. Some of the graffiti would be very simple black letters, but they usually say a lot about the complexity of the beliefs of the people and the city. The graffiti here also isn’t something that was made to be flaunted in social media. Again, they are very simple but something in the simplicity of it makes it very interesting to me. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed passing by them on my way to school, so if you can, stop by and read some of them!
The night life
So, Santander nightlife isn’t how you usually expect night life to be. It’s not like in Salamanca or Sixth Street where nightlife can get a little crazy. I would describe the night in Santander as a nice family get together amongst the citizens. Everyone is outside, enjoying the company of one another. Even at the bar, friends would just go and talk the night away. Of course there are discotecas in Santander, but overall it seemed like the bars I attended were more popular among the citizens. There is usually a bit of live music around the Plaza de Ayuntamiento, and I still feel very safe even walking late at night.
Coffee in Spain is worth it! The coffee is not very expensive, and most of the places I’ve been to are local shops so the environment is very welcoming and close. Unlike in The States, cafes aren’t usually a place to study. Usually, it was only other American students studying in cafes. Regardless, the wifi was great, and the coffee and food even greater!
The library and bookstores
The Biblioteca Central de Cantabria is such a beautiful library. It sounds boring, but I promise I actually enjoyed it a lot! Especially if you are here to study Spanish, what better way to learn than to read books for free? It’s so interesting seeing only Spanish books on the shelves, and seeing how the culture is a bit different. All of the floors are quiet, the restrooms are beautiful and clean, and the people are so kind! The amount of times I’ve seen people keep all of their laptops and belongings on the table and leave to get food is crazy. Keep in mind this is a public library, yet I haven’t seen any incidence of stealing yet. Furthermore, they also have exhibitions in a room next to the library. To me, it was kind of a mixture of a museum and library!
There is so much more I can say about Santander, but even for such a small city, the list would go on and on. I want to take this moment to extend my thanks to the International Office, the Spanish and Portuguese Department at UT, and the Gilman Scholarship for making this possible. Thank you for reading my blog! Espero que peudas visitar Santander. I hope you can visit Santander!
This post was contributed by Lisa Duong, a 2018 Global Ambassador.
Don’t get left behind. Read more about Lisa’s experience in Santander>>