Gloria Coco, 79, has been studying at the URV. She is studying Social Education at the University of Cassino and Southern Lazio in Italy
Gloria, when did you begin your university studies and what prompted you to start them at your age?
I started my studies of Social Education at university last year. I am a very active person, throughout my life I have done lots of different things and this always brings new energy. One morning I woke up and asked myself: what shall I do now? So I went straight to the University of Cassino and Southern Lazio in Italy to register for a course. Why should age make a difference to when you choose to study? When you want to do something, you shouldn’t think about your age.
What made you decide to become an Erasmus student?
I have always been interested in the cultures of other countries and when I learnt that there was going to be a conference on the Erasmus programme at my university, I became really excited. Spain is a country that has always attracted me. So I took an exam in Spanish, which I passed, and from the various destinations on offer, I chose Tarragona, where I have studied during the first semester of the 2017-18 academic year.
Has it been easy to adapt to life in Tarragona and to life as a student?
In Tarragona I don’t feel like I am in a foreign country. When I arrived and saw the amphitheatre, the circus, the aqueduct and other Roman monuments, I felt as if I was in a little version of Rome. I had heard that Catalans are not very sociable but I have found that this is not the case at all; when I go for a walk along the Rambla Nova, I speak to lots of people and I have made many friends who also invite me to their homes or to go out with them.
How would you rate your experience in the Faculty and at the URV?
As a student, I noticed that learning methods at the URV are different from those used at my university in Italy. There my studies are still very much centred around books, whereas here many exercises are done with computers, exams are held throughout the semester and there is a lot of group work. For this reason I believe that the URV is one step ahead compared with other universities because technology and teamwork are the key to the future. I wasn’t used to working with a computer and I was a little worried about it, but the other students helped me out.
What do you like about your relations with the youngest students?
All of the students are very friendly towards me, I have a really good time with them and I go to parties and on trips organised by the Erasmus students.
the URV is one step ahead compared with other universities because technology and teamwork are the key to the future
If you knew someone who was thinking about going on an Erasmus visit, what reasons would you give to make them choose the URV?
I would recommend the URV to any prospective Erasmus student because it has very good professors and the staff are very friendly and try to help you sort out any problem that you might have. And Tarragona is a safe and tranquil city and ideal for students because it is neither too big nor too small, so you don’t get distracted in the same way as you would be in a large city. The public transport is very efficient, always on time, not like in Rome.