When I started my tourism business studies I didn’t know what I will do after it, I didn’t know how it will during the studies but I knew that I will go abroad with Erasmus studying exchange program. And that is what I did in my second year the Spring semester. I applied in the Autumn – half year before exchange starts, so I had enough time to do all the paper work. Also it is possible to apply for the scholarship that is very helpful and the chance to get it is pretty high. How big is it depends on the country you want to go and from which country you are. The best way to know all the information is to go to your university and ask. 😉
An everyday life during Erasmus
So all the trip started on my birthday – beginning of April. First time going from home for such a long period of time was a really challenging experience. But I was feeling happy. Bremen was waiting for us 🙂
We rented a place 15 min from the city center. It was a 3 floor house that we were living together with a landlords. We got all the 3rd floor with a small kitchen and bathroom. It was small but very cozy. The tram station was right next door so as we were always late, we were hearing tram coming and running from the 3rd floor down, sometimes even bear feet, with a sandwich in our hands. 🙂
We were studying in Hochschule Bremen, the business faculty. You can choose any class you want from the list that will cover the things you would have studied home. We took some that we did regret a lot – like a business game. In that class I understood that my English is so broken and I didn’t understood half of it. But we were lucky and somehow passed it. ;D The best thing was a cross-cultural communication. Together with a German students. They were preparing for their one year abroad and we were already there so it was really good how it all works. It was based on non-formal learning so we were doing different kind of exercises, never siting like in a real class. So if you have a chance to take something social – use a chance and do it. It is very interesting to learn more how people think in different countries, because even though we are all the same, but we are very different in some ways too.
Also we had a German language course. During that time I realized that a language is a very valuable thing. So since then I started to improve other languages too like Spanish, Russian and German. So if you travel and you have a chance to learn a local language – do not hesitate and do it! Trust me, it will help you in a future.
So the week looked like – 4 days of University, afternoon meeting someone, weekends going on a short trips to close by cities or to parties. Sunday – a day of sleeping as all the shops and everything is closed. We all need some time to rest, right? 😀
A fun part of Erasmus
Of course all the experience didn’t finish with learning new language and cooking food at home. Erasmus experience is mostly about meeting new people and collecting the best memories of your life. So that is what we did. Social meetings, parties, clubs, BBQ and other fun things will definitely happen in your Erasmus. Of course if you will not lock yourself in the apartment.
I was very lucky to have a great mentor of mine, Alena. Mentors were supposed to help us with uni stuff and also to help to meet locals. We became great friends and we were going to watch football together with her friends, to birthday parties and so on.
Another good thing about being Erasmus is that you are a part of a group. It will always be something going on. During the days you can just meet people for a tea and talk about their home countries and learn so much just from talking with them. Chinese, Mexican, Spanish, German, USA, Scandinavians – all different people in one place for you to meet and make friends from all over the world. 🙂
Another useful thing we had was a student card. With that we had a free transportation in the city and to close big cities like Hamburg, Hanover, Bremenhaven, Osnabruck and others. So we went there few times together with friends for sightseeing, some events. Good thing was the feeling that you can get on a train and in 40 min you will be on the beach. So you can just meet friends and decide to go for lunch on the beach and go back in the afternoon. The feeling of freedom. Mmm… 🙂
More about traveling during Erasmus you can find in the second part.