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First year students explore landscapes and local communities in Andalusia

First year students explore landscapes and local communities in Andalusia

  • Date07 February 2024

First year students from the Geography department at Royal Holloway, University of London have once again visited the coastal resort town of Nerja in Spain, for fieldwork and research on local tourism, the environment, agriculture, and the municipality’s economy and communities.

Geography Nerja fieldwork rural group

During a jam-packed itinerary students worked in groups to explore the different physical and human geographies of the local area. This included the history and heritage of Nerja, its different cultures and landscapes, including the experiences of seasonal residents and holiday makers, Nerja’s museum and famous caves. Their studies involved reconstructing past environments at Rio de la Miel, collecting water samples from rivers and learning about the vegetation of Barranco, as well as comparing fluvial systems in southern Spain during the glacial and interglacial period.

A highlight of the trip was the warm welcome the group received at the Town Hall by Ana María Muñoz, former translator for the students and current Tourism and Residents Councillor. They also met with José Alberto Tomé, the Infrastructure Councillor and engaged in discussions and Q&A sessions at the Plenary Hall, offering valuable insights into their studies.

A report on Royal Holloway’s visit in regional newspaper, EuroWeekly news noted,

“This annual exchange promotes cross-cultural understanding and collaboration between academia and local government, fostering a meaningful connection between the university and the vibrant community of Nerja.”

Fieldwork is a key part of our Geography undergraduate courses, offering a chance to study real-world problems and develop skills and expertise. It also helps to bring the whole department together as a community to learn, be inspired and have fun together.

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