Study abroad ?
As a more or less “village boy” I moved to the next bigger city Dresden to study where I made the first contact with foreign students. While walking on the campus I heard different languages that sounded very exotic to me. I was impressed and curious about the students: What makes them leave their home country to study abroad, here in Germany?
Back then, I didn’t know anything about student exchange programs – until one day when I joined ESN (Erasmus Student Network) thanks to a friend.
Through my voluntary work in this student association, I made many new friends from all over the world. While being part of their life I discovered what an amazing adventure it must be to study abroad. It seemed like they had an amazing time!
My international friends fascinated me. I put the project “Study Abroad with Erasmus” immediately on my bucket list and my inner voice pushed me: “Take this lifetime opportunity now, before you lose your student status and find yourself stuck into the daily life routine one day, such as work, family etc.”.
Just one year later, in January 2016 for my third academic year, I was no longer a helper or contact person for Erasmus students, but suddenly I was myself an Erasmus student, in France!
When I came back, I looked back at my semester abroad and realized it was the best thing I had done so far as student, a truly enriching life experience!
Why it is definitely worth it to study abroad, apart from partying a lot, I will show you in some points that can summarize the “Erasmus spirit” – many people who were themselves Erasmus student know what I mean. 🙂
1. Besides travelling in your host country, you have the possibility to explore the neighbouring countries.
As an Erasmus student travelling becomes a part of your everyday life. It is best to join organised trips with student associations at your Partner University (for example ESN) if you want to discover the beautiful places of your host country or to explore what is beyond its borders. Apart from making new friends during those group tours, you often take advantage of partially financed travels. So it can happen that you only pay half a price as an Erasmus student.
If your university doesn’t offer cultural trips, then you can travel with your new friends or on your own.
It would be such a pity if you don’t put a little bit of money aside, once you were already so close to the countries that you always wanted to visit in your life!
2. You get inspired and (re)motivated for your future plans.
Back in my home country, I met many students who had lost their motivation at a certain point in their academic education.
I also was among those who were sick of the theoretical education and tired of the same environment. Or just didn’t know what to do after graduating, not accepting to start work life soon without having done something really amazing.
When I came back from my study abroad I had recovered my life-energy. I became more active, more open-minded towards different things and optimistic for the future.
When you spend some time abroad, you get away your daily routine. Suddenly, you discover a little bit more of our big world, you learn new things and meet new people who could impress you with their way of living! An Erasmus stay can therefore be a source of inspiration and a turning point for your future career.
Take your time, discover and reflect!
3. You gain life-enriching international and cultural experiences.
Besides all the fun we shouldn’t forget about the academic point of view. The exchange program gives you the unique chance to collect an additional educational and cultural experience.
On the one hand you have to adopt yourself in a foreign country and study in their academic education. On the other hand you are surrounded by many international students of whom you learn fascinating things about their culture and way of living.
Therefore, it is true that a study abroad will enhance your CV and you definitely have wider employment opportunities, as many employers choose graduates who have that little extra: international and cultural experiences.
4. You improve your language skills or learn a new language.
There is no better way to learn properly a language than to live in that country! Only then, you get challenged by speaking it to locals in different situations (going shopping, administrative things, asking your neighbours for something, chattering etc.). So, you learn most of the common expressions and idioms that your language teacher had never taught you back home before. While attending courses, which are not in your mother tongue, you are obliged to understand the local’s language, at the latest when the exam period starts!
Just make sure, not only to stick with English speaking groups or with your countrymen.
Aside from speaking fluently a new language by the end of your study abroad, you definitely expand your vocabulary in other languages, in addition to your already known dirty words, thanks to your international friends. 😀
5. Every Erasmus student gets a financial support.
The amount of The Erasmus grant depends on the home country and destination. Of course this financial support doesn’t cover all expenses, but sometimes it does, in combination with other grants from your home country. Inform yourself at home. Though it is a great help that most already cover the costs of the accommodation abroad.
6. A Study Abroad makes you grow personally.
Erasmus is more than just studying, partying, travelling and making new friends. Studying abroad means to adopt yourself to new surroundings, therefore also to cope with challenges. Hence you become more independent as you have to manage many tasks on your own like a responsible adult.
When coming back home, you become more easy-going towards different matters, as you know you have already mastered bigger challenges during your study abroad.
While getting along with new people, who have different mentalities, you discover their different ways of living that you could feel more attached with.
I feel, for example, more comfortable, more myself with Mediterranean people and I learned a lot about their easy-going life philosophy. I am sure it is the high sun activity that makes them so full of life energy and a little bit loco! With which mentality do you feel more attached?
Briefly: You (re)discover yourself while being part of a new or multinational society in which you manage your responsibilities autonomously, discover new habits, new attitudes towards life and simply new learn things!
After having rediscovered a better version of yourself you learn to appreciate life even more!
7. You meet friends from all over the world.
At the end of your study abroad with Erasmus, I think that the “Erasmus journey” is best measured in friends rather than in grades or miles. What is left are memories of amazing people with whom you shared wonderful moments. Most importantly: You will (re)discover that friendship is something universal in the human nature regardless of language, culture and religion.
Isn’t it a wonderful feeling to know you have friends from every corner of the world, who you can visit or come to visit you one day?
All the points have awakened your interest? If yes, don’t think twice and start your adventure, your study abroad with Erasmus!
LIKE THESE CRAZY GUYS DID 😀
I wish you an unforgettable Erasmus stay! 🙂
Take it easy.
Do you share the same experiences of a study abroad? Do you have any feedback or questions? I would appreciate if you leave me a comment below ! 🙂