“A few History students refused to take their lessons in Spanish
after two Greek ERASMUS students asked for it. After this happened, they dropped the course.” This is how David Garcia remembers his last year at the University of Lleida.
David, a philologist, had a firsthand experience of the intolerance, intransigence and lack of flexibility from a small group of students
against some international ones. “I don’t think this convenient. They mainly come here to practice their Spanish; if they want to study any other co-official language, they are in their right to do it, but voluntarily.”
Erasmus Meeting. /JORDI CORTÉS
“The best solution –pointed out- is that the incoming ERASMUS students take their lessons in Spanish
, since learning a language in 6 to 9 months is quite complicated. Also, we should take into consideration that the main reason because Spain is the no.1 destination for these students is Spanish language.”Incidents like the one that happened to David are not common
. The University of Barcelona hosted 1,042 students of this well-known program exchange program. “There is a minimum of two groups in each language: Spanish and Catalan”, declared an International Affairs Office representative. “Actually, we are flexible, especially when dealing with international students. “ Sometimes, they added, there are some misunderstandings when their study agreements are written.
Spanish Education Ministry reminds that all the incoming students that come to Spain come with a bilateral signed agreement to minimize undesirable surprises: “In this document it is specified what courses they are taking and in which languages they are taught.” “They already know beforehand what to expect, they only need to double check their agreements prior to their arrival.”
They also emphasize on the flexibility of these universities in which more than a language is used. They point out that some of these international students end up taking courses on those co-official languages; like Catalan, Basque and Galician
. “They show a great interest in them”. Niamh Flynn, an Irish student, is one of those who showed interest on these courses. During two semesters she studied Catalan at the National University of Ireland (Galway) as an additional course to her standard program, told us Beatriz Luzón
The previous declarations contrast with the argument given to Erasmoos from the University of Corunna. Even though the students come with an approved learning agreement in which it is detailed also the language in which the course will be held, there are some professors which hold their lessons in Galician, ignoring whatever the student had agreed beforehand
A feeling of frustration is experience by a lot of these students who seem themselves failing at most of these courses, since they are unable to understand Galician; they expected they were taught in Spanish. “It is the official language in this University”, they reply from the International Affairs office of this center.
[Translated from Erasmus co-oficiales
by Carmelo Establier