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Erasmus Testimonies: Kristine

Erasmus Kristine

Meet Kristine – The Creative who fell in love with Seville 

She is one of our current Erasmus+ participants from Capacity London.

On a lovely November evening we sat down with energetic marketing assistant Kristine Vaivode to talk about her motivations, her creative needs and her love for Seville. 

Kristine working

Can you tell us a bit about yourself?

My name is Kristine and I come from Latvia originally but for the past 11 years my base has been The United Kingdom with a few months there and a few months here around the world.

What were your original motivations for coming here to Seville?

Ok, Let’s go back to about three years ago and that’s when the idea of Spain first came into my mind. I said to myself I want to learn a new language and it’s going to be Spanish, “OK let’s go to Spain”.

I nearly moved here 2 years ago but it didn’t work out unfortunately, I was lucky enough to be able to stay here last Spring.

It was supposed to be earlier but was delayed because of COVID, so I got to experience the highest temperatures of 45C which was crazy, but if that didn’t stop me falling in love with the city then nothing will.  

So this is your second time in Seville, what were your motivations for returning? 

I just love the city. You know when you go to a new place and you automatically feel good vibes, I feel good here, the energies are good and the people are nice. You can just feel yourself living here

I knew I wanted to do something creative and felt my creativity had not been properly utilized at the time.

I longed for a creative position, so I messaged 3Si about their next phase of placements and they told me about this place and when I read the description I thought, well that sounds brilliant. 

Kristine in Seville

So tell us about the kind of work you are doing here? 

My title is digital marketing assistant for a ceramic studio but, I do a lot. 

Mostly I’m documenting the workshops that happen here every Wednesday and Thursday night and then there are special workshops once or twice a month. I also take care of the studio’s Instagram account. 

Another thing I do is interview some of the students to collect bits of information about why they like it here and motivate other potential students to come. 

Right now I’m designing a gift card for when the Christmas market is on. 

Do you think you are getting enough of a creative challenge here? 

Yes, because my boss trusts me and she lets me explore ideas and she’s happy with what I’m doing.

I think I’m very lucky because my boss and I bonded really well from the first time we met. We have quite matching energies and we get along.

Now let’s talk about Seville! Is there anything about the city that you particularly love?  

The energy the city has, It’s a mix of creativity and positivity. Good food of course. It’s just got a good vibe. 

I think it’s unique, I don’t think I’d compare this city to any other city I’ve ever been to. 

It’s a very special place, just getting lost in the little streets of the city and looking up the whole time at the architecture and the beautiful balconies that people have. 

It’s got it’s weirdness to it, weird and wonderful. 

So many things happen and are put on here. Just last week there was the European Film Festival and the Jazz Festival was on at the same time. 

Do you have any particular cultural highlights so far in Seville? 

Oh that’s very difficult. I guess when I went to the Centro Andaluz de Arte Contemporáneo for the first time. I was really taken aback, I really loved the space. I think I spent 4 hours there just walking around. That was a beautiful experience.

Oh and also seeing flamenco for the first time. Seeing that passion in the dance and the singers voices, you really felt that they are the living culture and it was really humbling to see that and experience that in front of your eyes. 

The passion is just so energizing. 

Oh and there was this other great moment. Where we were just sitting in the Alameda and this little girl walked up to us in a flamenco dress. She wanted to play with us. The mother was sitting on a bench and seemed very used to her little girl running off and making friends with strangers. She then started teaching us a bit of flamenco and was a very strict teacher. 

That was a really cool moment. 

So what skills have you been developing so far during this experience?

Developing is the right word I think, because I don’t think I’ve learned anything new really, but It’s definitely enhanced my skills quite a bit. I’ve been doing a lot more photography which is always good to practice.
Having that accepting audience for my work like my boss in the studio is great and it let’s me breathe and be creative and improve.   

Speaking more generally, this experience has taught me to relax more. Because back home especially for the last two years it’s been very stressful because of what’s been happening and also I have friends as well who are settling down a bit more and I’m trying not to get sucked into those expectations. This just taught me to relax and enjoy my journey. Take in every day as it comes. 

We are here as interns and as much as we want to work hard we are also here to enjoy this experience and have fun. 

It’s important to have fun, these days more than ever. ,