Maabena Debrah '18 - Salamanca, Spain

Meeting Locals in Salamanca

Meeting locals in Salamanca is made incredibly easy by the IES program and the community of Salamanca, whether you like to meet people through sports, bars, or classes. There are so many different ways to reach out, so you are sure to make a friend or more. Below are experiences and opportunities that have allowed me to make friends here in Salamanca.

IES Program

The IES Program has mentors and orientation leaders who are students of the University of Salamanca. Some of them are actually from Salamanca or from neighboring towns. This is a great first chance to meet people living in Salamanca and ask them any questions you want in regards to cool places to hang out, eat, do work, etc. They are also always posting events in the group chat, so they are a great connection for information about what is going on in Salamanca. This photo was taken on one of our optional day-trips to Madrid on the rooftop of “Museo del Prado” (Museum of Prado). 

I had to get someone to snap a quick picture of me and one of my favorite locals I’ve meet here. Edu is a student at the University of Salamanca, volunteering at IES. He has definitely been a great contact, throwing kickbacks and dinners so we can meet his local friends.

Events at Cafes, Restaurants, and Bars

This picture was taken at one of the events at a very popular, local café called Manolita that my friends and I go to at least once a week. It is a place to do work, hang out, and meet new people. To make this café even more exciting, there are flyers handed out every month about events they are hosting. This event was on February 24, and it was presented by Carmen Castrillo about “El corazón de la alcachofa y otras historias” (The heart of the artichoke and other stories). It was a very interesting event, even though my friends and I barely understood it. Nonetheless, this is a great way to work on your Spanish, through listening.   

Activities and Events at Residence Halls/ Universities 

I attended this workout class called “Circuito Hiit” in my residence at the university several times. The instructor was super nice. The people were also really cool, and I made a friend. There are also Zumba classes which I heard are really fun. Kill two birds with one stone with this one: get healthy and make friends. 

Salamanca What’s On

This photo from a trip to Madrid showcases how beautiful the city is. Salamanca What’s On is a Facebook primarily for Eramus students (European students studying abroad), but it is open to all the students in Salamanca. Recently there was a super cheap trip to Madrid. But if you check on the page, there are weekly events, from parties to meet-ups, and LOTS of soccer match viewings!

University Classes

Since it is required by Pomona to take at least one University class, why not take advantage of this opportunity to meet some local University students. I am taking a class at the University of Pontifica about the making of religion and this incredible girl on the right, introduced herself to me on the first day and has helped me so much in the class. This is a selfie I took of one of our first outings with her friends to see “La La Land” in Spanish at the local movie theatre.

Tutoring/ Volunteering

I also tutor two kids in Salamanca. Tutoring is a great way to meet local families, witness what a Salmantino home life/ family is like and to earn a little extra cash.

These are just a few of the ways that I have been able to connect with locals in Salamanca and learn more about the culture of this exciting city-town: Salamanca