International Global Network

Scholarship Inspiration: Valentinus Yudanto Seto Damarjati (Spain)

Spain is among the most popular destination when it comes to tourism. Wonderful weather all year round, vibrant culture, and not to mention the fantastic culinary scene.

However, not many people know that Spain is also a terrific choice for students looking for options to study abroad. Whether you have or have not yet considered to study in Spain, our interview below with Erasmus scholarship awardee Damar is worth reading.

Hi, Damar. Thank you for doing this interview with us. Tell us a bit about yourself!

My name is Valentinus Yudanto Seto Damarjati, or Damar for short. I am enrolled as a student at the department of communication studies at Gadjah Mada University.

In my free time I play violin at the university’s orchestra, travel, socialize, and also enjoy photography. I also partake in public relation competitions. Right now, I’m in the process of finishing my final thesis.

Interesting. So how did you end up in Spain?

I went to Spain on a scholarship awarded from Erasmus (a programme funded by the European Commision aimed at attracting talents worldwide to Europe as well as introducing European higher education). The scholarship is titled Erasmus+ and is specified in the fields of education, youth, training, and sports.

I specifically choose to study in Spain and was enrolled at Autonomous University of Barcelona for a semester during fall. I first found out about the scholarship from the Office of International Affairs at Gadjah Mada University.

So what were the requirements for the scholarship?

Nothing out of the ordinary. I was asked to submit my resume, TOEFL results, recommendation letter, motivation letter, and sign a letter of learning agreement. Prior to accepting the scholarship I had also taken Spanish courses up to A1 level which was of tremendous help when it comes to communicating during my time in Spain.

In what ways is studying in Spain different from studying in Indonesia?

The first thing I noticed when I came to study in Spain was how laid back the study environment is. Not that they are slacking off, but their attire is a lot more casual than what I am used to. Makes me feel too dressed up, and almost out of place.

Also students seem to be more vocal and more proactive during the learning process. As for the subjects I have taken, I feel that they are more practical compared to the ones offered in Indonesia.

I took four subjects over all in communication and political science. My favorite subject is digital content management where I also learned to code, write contents, and master SEO (search engine optimization).

How did you keep yourself occupied during your time in Spain?

Erasmus had provided city tours for us to enjoy which introduced me further to Spain. I also spent a lot of time socializing with fellow exchange students as well as locals. I have gotten a lot of connections from all over the world during my semester abroad.

Additionally, going to church had also helped me in expanding my network, and so did attending PPI (Indonesian student abroad organization) meetings. Living in Europe, I also took the chance to explore neighboring countries like Germany.

What do you like the most about Spain?

There is endless fun in Barcelona as provided by the government. There is plenty of entertainment to attend to such as La Marcè which is an official city holiday celebrating the Lady of Mercy for Roman Catholics. I also enjoy the food immensely. I can name you some of my favorites, tapas and horchata are some must tries!

Any final words for our readers?

If you want to study in Spain, it is highly advised to have knowledge of basic level Spanish as most people there don’t speak English. Also, another commonly used language is Catalan.

Like what you read or have more questions for Damar? Find him on Instagram @seto_damar

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