My first thought was: amazing location, within spitting distance of the ocean and with many restaurants and beautiful buildings, there would be no difficulty in finding somewhere to spend my evenings.
The term ‘university residence’ conjures up many different pictures for different people. Having been exceptionally lucky during my own time at university in regards to accommodation and having heard people’s horror stories about their own times it was with some trepidation that I came to live at the university residence in Madeira.
I discovered that I would be sharing a room, something I hadn’t done since I was a child. Fortunately, these girls were absolutely lovely and very considerate, which was a godsend. It was also very fortunate that we all shared a similar taste in music, hearing Enrique Iglesias was commonplace.
After settling into my room I decided to discover what the rest of the building had to offer.
I introduced myself to anyone who walked past in the kitchen, determined to meet as many of my neighbours as possible. This way I met several of the other volunteers I would be working beside during my time on the island, all of whom were most welcoming.
As the months went by I came to see the positives and negatives of the residence. The positives mainly are the people and the constant buzz of activity throughout the building. The negatives were mainly to be expected, ants, noisy drunks coming home at all hours and the fight for better conditions.
For the most part, I’ve enjoyed living in the residence. If I hadn’t been here I would never have met some of the people who’ve made my time in Madeira so memorable, though I’ll be very happy to get back to my own private room.
Students’ Union English Volunteer
Project co-financed by ERASMUS+.