Written by: 
Leonardo Sibani Sunday, 4 September, 2016 - 11:30

Once upon a time: An Erasmus experience of a lifetime

See what other students have to say about their Erasmus exchange!

We asked Luca, Gavin, Judith, Lorenzo and Jesùs, students who have already been through this life-changing experience, to give us a personal insight on how it feels.

You’ll be super happy to start the adventure

Erasmus is a powerful experience. It can change your life completely.

Living abroad, studying something different or in a different way is something you will never ever forget. The pleasure of Erasmus doesn’t begin when you start your Erasmus: it starts earlier, on the very day you get notified of the fact that you were accepted into the programme.

“Going abroad is a huge boost for your mind, spirit and self-confidence: be ready to get the best from your experience”, says Luca.

Even if you might regret leaving home a little bit

All the people who were asked this question said the same: “Friends and loved ones were the most difficult to leave behind." However, friends can always call you and travel to visit you at will, so don’t be worried about the distance! Do not think how many miles divide you from your dear ones: they will chat with you and visit you. Instead, think of how many good stories you’ll have for them as soon as you get back home.

You’ll fall in love from the very first day

Let's agree with all what has been said on this topic: meeting local people is one of the best things that can happen to you. Being abroad as a tourist is completely different from being abroad as an exchange student, and once you get immersed in the local lifestyle, everything immediately becomes easier. You start making closer friends, more intimate relationships, better food, and wonderful memories. After all: making young Europeans fall in love with each other’s countries and people, day after day, is one of the Erasmus wonders.

"Take advantage of student prices and discounts, then team up with friends and visit as much as possible in your new country", suggests Lorenzo.

You will still struggle to learn specific things

Most agree on the fact that the most difficult thing to learn is how the foreign university is organised, or how things work with transportation and timetables. Specific tools or ingredients are tricky as well: imagine you have to buy all the ingredients to bake a homemade pizza in a foreign country (‘frozen pizza and microwave’ do not count as valid ingredients…).

"Try to immerse yourself in it from day one to get the most out of the country’s culture. It may also be good to have the Google Translate app ready on your phone", Jesùs and Gavin advise.

You will bring something special back at the end of your Erasmus

Memories, first of all, according to Judy and Luca. But also your heart filled with feelings established with your new peers during the time abroad. Ah, and perhaps one or two bottles of that typical drink, a piece of local cheese and perhaps some sweets from a typical restaurant you and your new local friends visited some time ago.

What will make you happy about going back home?

Nothing. For the first couple of weeks.

After that, you’ll start adapting to the post-Erasmus reality. To get you through it, you can check some tips on how to deal with post-Erasmus depression, and maybe you will even start to think you’d like to join your local ESN section...

Would you repeat the same Erasmus in the same destination?

Well, we’d all go back to our Erasmus country if that was possible. But is it better to save all the good memories and move on to the new ones, or try to replicate them? You tell us!



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