Estefania Calo Garcia
My name is Estefania Calo García, I am a PhD student at the Universidade da Coruña, in Galicia, Spain. I am a researcher of Sociology and the subject of my research is mainly about residential needs, urbanism and cities. I have focused it on the housing needs and housing policies and their impact on the city and population, and how citizens can get a proper house in Spain.
Part of my formation is to realise research stays in different centres, principally in foreign universities. But, why did I decide come to Leicester? First, I think that the case of the United Kingdom is very interesting for my thesis. Secondly, of all the different Universities and Research Centres I was very interested in the University of Leicester and in the Centre for Urban History because the Postgraduate Studies and Research Programmes here are really interesting and extremely motivating for me. So I decided that being at the Centre could contribute to improving my investigation and gave me another perspective, a historic one.
After the bureaucracy process, once here, what did I find? First, a fantastic and really good welcome. I could arrive at the very beginning of the course so I attended the international week and the seminars at the centre. After, I got my office, my e-mail account and my student card so I began to work. The resources here, at the department and at the main library were really helpful. At the department´s library I could get the historical point of view that I was looking for, an idea about how the cities were developed throughout the years and the situation of housing in different periods, and how I could do that in my own research about Spain. At the main library I could find really interesting journals focused on housing studies which are more contemporary and I have discovered authors and networks that I didn´t know.
I established my work team and I spent many hours reading, being inspired, smelling history, surrounded by knowledge.
Personally, I made friends, here and outside the department. I have improved my English, and I have become a better person because every single experience you have, good or bad, makes you grow as a person. My way is still long, I have a lot of things to learn, a lot of people to meet, a lot of places to visit but my stay in Leicester was interesting, motivating and will be forever with me.