Hi, my name is Sofía and I’m a Spanish student. I’ve decided to set out on a journey to northern Europe as a part of an exchange programme to share my passion for science with other students and teachers from Nordic countries. The Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation has asked me to relate my experience, so I’ve chosen to start this blog in which I’ll describe the Spanish system for research and innovation. Who knows?, perhaps I myself will discover new aspects of the system thanks to the questions posed by my colleagues. In any event, I’ll keep you posted.


Chapter 11

Science Abroad


Spanish scientists of worldwide renown is quite high. Many of them have moved from their hometowns and meet at associations of Spanish researchers abroad. Being in the north of Europe, I wanted to make sure I got to know some of them, so few weeks ago Hakon and I packed our rucksacks and visited the Association of Spanish Scientists in Sweden.


Chapter 10

Mapping Science


Tomorrow will be the big day, the day of my final presentation. After many hours in front of my computer screen, hundreds of cups of tea and many more cinnamon biscuits, I have to conclude that the hard work has been a wonderful opportunity to finish the programme with a clear idea of the European map of science and technology.


Chapter 9

Moving Seekers


My colleague Alex told me of his desire to further his career as a researcher in Spain. I’m trying to help him as much as I can, and searching for exchange programmes for scientists in our country I came across exactly what I was looking for! A guide that compiles all the information that foreign investigators interested in carrying out research in Spain require.


Chapter 8

Learning to Learn


Yesterday I joined by Hakon and Jason in the library, an old building where the walls seem to exude the aroma that only old books do. After several hours of intense work we went out for a coffee and the conversation was focussed on the Spanish education system as Jason was intrigued by our personal experiences. Luckily Hakon was there to help answer!


Chapter 7

Healthy Exchange


Last week I’ve been completely immersed in health sciences as the university held a biomedical research conference attended by experts and by Heikki, a young doctor specialised in transplants whom I met. In fact, the area of transplants is one of the most outstanding in the Spanish health system, which triggered my conversation with my new friend.


Chapter 6

Search Re-Search


When I began to write this blog I didn’t think it would prove so interesting for other people who wanted to learn more about the Spanish model of research and innovation. So today, in view of the curiosity aroused, I’ve decided to begin by answering a question formulated by several of my readers regarding the most important research centres in Spain.


Chapter 5

Spain, Plug and Play


The classes are proving very interesting and, above all, participatory — it’s as if we were all learning from one another. Our teacher surprised us with a game in which we established a ranking of the most cutting-edge companies in each country. My colleagues and I have started to fantasising about working together on an international project!


Chapter 4

Feeling At Home


Hakon invited us to spend the weekend in Oslo, his hometown. I’m really pleased at having visited such a beautiful city, and at having met his family, all the members of which are scientists! They very kindly prepared dinner for us and conversations were really interesting, specially those about Spain technological sectors. It was a very rewarding experience.


Chapter 3

Spain As Homework


Here we are again as we enjoy a cup of tea and some cinnamon biscuits whose taste reminds me of a Spanish sweet and make feel as we’re home. We’ve started to work hard in class and now we’re preparing a presentation on our model of science, innovation and technology … But it seems Bobby prefers eating than helping with my homework.


Chapter 2

Northern News


Bobby and I arrived one week before the programme began to attend the sessions in cultural immersion that were offered. I thought this was important, to make sure I didn’t turn up on the first day of class without having got to know my way around the college a bit, and I’m really happy at having done so — I made my first nordic friend, Hakon.


Chapter 1

Sofía’s Journey


Bobby and I are leaving tomorrow at a very early hour and I still have lots of things to prepare. At least, I feel confident that my luggage is full of new knowledge about our model of research, development and innovation I’m delighted to be able to share with other students and teachers from northern Europe.