A story by: Amalia
Country of Origin: Romania
Country of destination: Italy & Poland
I am currently a Masters student, enjoying my 3rd Erasmus experience, in Slovenia. I have been an Erasmus student in Italy, for summer placement, and in Poland for my studies. And I plan on taking the advantage of a 4th Erasmus mobility for the last year in Masters.
First time I heard of Erasmus was in my first year of college, from my friends that have had this experience. At first it seemed such a big step to take and quite scary. But, I got the courage to try it out, because I always wanted to visit another country than my own. So, I got to see Italy for the first time with a practice mobility for the summer. And, in my first year of Masters, I got to go in Pila, Poland for my second semester of studies. And, I gotta say, that after this experience I simply “fell in love” with everything that Erasmus represents. It is an extraordinary experience, for it gives you the opportunity to see different countries, the ones you wished to visit so much; to meet new people, make new friends, to get to participate in new customs and events that in your own country you may not have had the chance to do so; it opens doors to new experiences; and it gives you the chance to grow both professionally and personally; it makes you more of an open-minded person, because while you travel on this program, you have to adapt yourself to different environments, and if you are not opened to possibilities and differences, it is quite hard to live in a different place than your home. And what I like the most about it is the fact that it gives you the chance to live independently, to make your own way in life and in the world, of course with the help of our mentors (where we practice, where we study), but it puts you in the position of taking life-changing decisions, by yourself, independently, and based on the experience you gain while being part of the Erasmus program.
It is true that it kinda puts you to test, it challenges you to be more than you are, to give your all, to evolve into a better person. At first it might seem scary, not knowing how to deal with new things and responsibilities, and being alone in a new place, but you get used to it fast, and there are always people happy to help and show you the way, mentors that give you advice.
You get to know yourself better throughout this kind of experience; you learn more about who you are, and who you want to be, what you want to do in life, and where do you want to do what you want to do. It helps you to improve your skills: language, social life, independency, adaptability, problem-solving, learning in a different language than your mother tongue; and gives you the chance to try new things both in your field of study or in another one, depending on what field you want to progress in.
And about a more fun part, it also gives you the chance to travel all over in the country you are undertaking your mobility, or other ones; to see marvelous and unique places. You get to go to parties, make new friends, fall in love, and make connections that might help you for the future. It helps you get in touch with so many different people, of different religions and nationalities, and makes you open your eyes and mind to see that the world is a much bigger place than you thought, and that you are just a little part of it, but you can make a big difference for yourself or for the world, by taking this chance.
Because I love traveling as much as possible, to different countries every time, I decided not to remain in the country I was doing my mobility. At the end of each mobility I returned home, to finish my studies, and to take the chance to go to another country with Erasmus program for my Masters studies. Thus, I can say that I am currently in my 3rd Erasmus mobility in Maribor, Slovenia. And I plan on going for the 4th time with Erasmus + for studies in a different country.
I love this Erasmus program and I recommend it to every student that has the possibility to go on this kind of mobility, to take the chance and get the most of it.