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80-year-old Spanish grandfather enrolls in Erasmus course

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80-year-old Spanish grandfather enrolls in Erasmus course
Copyright  University of Valencia
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Miguel Castillo, a retired notary from Valencia is not your usual Erasmus student.

However, the father of three daughters and grandfather of six is preparing to throw himself into the university experience in Italy.

Currently a history student at the University of Valencia, Castillo, 80, will spend his next semester in Verona, thanks to the European exchange program.

University of Valencia

He re-enrolled at university because the typical retirement lifestyle involving "taking care of the grandchildren, walking, playing golf and doing a bit of exercise" was not enough for him, he told Spanish news agency EFE. 

A heart attack followed by a quadruple-bypass heart surgery gave him the final push he needed to get back in the classroom.

"Maybe this was the light that illuminated my life a little", he said, "I told myself: 'Something else has to be done, I can not stand still,' and that gave me the courage to look for where I could study".

Not only has Castillo found his love of studying at a late stage in life but fame has also found him.

The 80-year-old's phone hasn't stopped ringing with media enquiries since he signed up for the Erasmus program.

The octogenarian, who will share the Erasmus experience with his wife, says that his grandchildren have supported him from the beginning and encouraged other people of his age "not to lock themselves in the house," but instead "to be open to the world".

"We can contribute a lot and also gain a lot from society," he said.