Thursday, 2 January 2014

Erasmus Diary Entry 5

Two weeks have now passed since I have finished the Erasmus programme. I have had time to reflect on what has undoubtedly been the most rewarding experience of my life so far. It is not just what you learn in the classroom, there is so much more to studying abroad. You do not just learn about a new culture and country, you become a part of it. You get a handle on the language and the customs (siestas in particular for me).

You learn a lot about yourself when you move abroad, and Erasmus is no different in that respect. Yes it is only short-term, but for those few months away you are tossed into a completely new environment where you must, essentially, start from scratch in terms of friendships, routine and simple things like shopping and cooking.
Cynics would say that its not nearly long enough away to actually "learn" anything about a new culture or yourself, but it is not something you can fully understand until you do it.

The friends you make, both locals and other Erasmus and Munde students , in whichever country you would go for Erasmus, are likely to be much different from friends you have made at home (no better or worse mind you) you create these relationships quicker than you would normally and get to know these people very well in a short period of time, probably because of the short period of time that is available to spend with them.

It was tough for me to say goodbye to such good friends, but that is the nature of the programme, it is temporary but never quite leaves you. If ever any of my readers have a chance to take part in a study abroad programme, I would encourage you to do it, it is an amazing, rewarding experience and you will not regret it.

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