As we celebrate this special day, we turn the spotlight onto the reflections of five spirited volunteers, each having navigated the waters of Erasmus in their unique ways. Their stories are a tapestry of challenges, learning, and most importantly, personal growth.
Keep reading this post as we unravel their Erasmus journeys, filled with challenges, triumphs, and heartwarming moments that encapsulate the essence of youth.
What did you learn during mobility?
Erica Filote, Letters student (Foreign Languages French-Russian), Erasmus study mobility in Athens, Greece
”I think I have learned to be more patient, more relaxed, to care less, and to enjoy any 'less important' moment. This is the energy that Greek society has given me. Regarding my studies, I emerged on fast forward in the Russian language (my second specialization), because the teaching was only in Russian or in Greek, and the professors from that department didn't speak very well English. I can say I have upgraded my level in this language, as well as in French, but in French, I already have good knowledge."
Otilia Pintilii, Biomedical Engineering student, Youth Exchanges in Germany, Czech Republic, Italy, Croatia, Belgium and...to be continued.
”Youth Exchanges have a special place in my heart, and I am going to tell you about my first. More than things related to the topic of the project (European Union), I learned more about myself, my power, and my limitations. I learned how to travel on my own. Also, the fact that I am my own priority and sometimes it is fine to be by yourself, even though you are surrounded by 50 friendly people."
Flavia Prisăcaru, Psychology student, Erasmus study mobility in Krakow, Poland
”During my Erasmus mobility, I was able to see a different perspective on my field of study. I noticed a different approach compared to the one I was used to, in the sense that a lot of emphasis was placed on cooperation and collaboration, but also on active learning. Most of the courses were presented in the form of seminars, in which all the students were involved and also there was a constant transfer of knowledge, both from student to student and from teacher to student."
Ioana Roman, Psychology student, Erasmus study mobilities at Sapienza University of Rome, Italy and University of Konstanz, Germany
”I can summarise by saying: Cultural enrichment, Academic growth, Personal development, Adventure embraced, Global perspective gained, Grateful heart."
Ana-Maria Pora, Special Psychopedagogy student, Erasmus internship mobility in Warsaw, Poland
”I did reports on psychology topics."
What was the biggest challenge regarding your mobility?
”The first 2 weeks were to get used to the new place, to the surroundings, and with the changes of the OLA. The schedule from the uni also stressed me a bit at the beginning, but I have easily managed to organize my schedule and the courses for both my specializations. Also, the fact that right after I arrived the strikes began and the ways of transport wouldn't work, or the uni wasn't open, so I couldn't solve the documents issue right at the beginning of my mobility. But because it didn't depend on any of us, I solved these things on the go."
”Suddenly meeting 50 new people, considering that I am not a social butterfly! :)”
”My biggest challenge regarding my mobility was probably going abroad for the first time and staying more than a few days with new people, environment and language. But it was great in the end.”
”The language barrier was my biggest challenge during my mobility. Overcoming it pushed me to communicate creatively and connect on a deeper level. Also, it determined me to learn German super fast, achieving a level B1 in less than 2 years.”
”Finding accommodation and the spots that are worth visiting.”
What exactly would you have liked to know before mobility? What advice would you give future ERASMUS students?
”If you are searching to rent a room/studio, take your time with the searching. Ask other students who have been in that town for references and ask the people renting as many questions as you want, you will be the one paying. You can even talk on the phone or on Zoom with the future landlord, to make sure the person is real :)). I have heard many situations where students get scammed and if the person is cheap with the answers, try somewhere else. Not my case, but I saw other Erasmus students coming with huge checked luggage by plane..by themselves. And they struggled. If possible, try to find a transport company to send your luggage from home to your Erasmus destination. It's usually cheaper and safer. On arrival at the Erasmus destination, you will try to figure out how to get to your accommodation, it's easier without 2 luggage weighing 20 kilos each."
”Hmmm, I wish I'd known about this type of mobility earlier. :)) Advice: Get out of your comfort zone and just apply!"
"I would like to know a few more details about the country itself and the process regarding the recruitment process of the partner universities. My advice for future Erasmus students would be to not feel embarrassed about asking everything about mobilities, to step out of their comfort zone and try this kind of experience because it is worth it. Also, try to find people in groups that are going to the same university and country as you, it may help you a lot regarding the adaptation."
”To future Erasmus students: Embrace discomfort, make diverse connections, and keep a journal to treasure the growth. Discover the unknown, connect with locals, and savor every moment of this transformative journey!"
”To be prepared for the unexpected and do your research about the country you will be going to, the institution, maybe contact people that have been enrolled in the same internship as you before. I was really afraid that I wouldn't make friends there but it wasn't the case, so that should not be a fear. People in the international environment usually are looking forward to beginning new friendships so that's an awesome thing about Erasmus+. Try to balance homework or other tasks and other activities so you won't feel overwhelmed at some point in your mobility so you can enjoy every bit of it.”
Tell us something wholesome about your mobility that might inspire others to have the courage to go on mobility!
”It will change your perspective about the world, no matter your destination. Inevitably you will meet many people, which will show you that we are so different and how beautiful it is. You will have to adapt to many situations, customs, and behaviors. The most important thing is that you will discover that it's not just you in this world, there are so many human beings with other inspiring stories, purposes, and beliefs. You will discover new perceptions about the world, and other life stories. It will broaden your horizons, both personally and professionally. Mine did for sure! :)"
”There are many moments that I can tell you about. YouthExchanges are like parallel worlds. Random people from different countries meet in one random place in Europe to exchange ideas, and knowledge and make wonderful memories. They are full of wholesome, little moments. Imagine being in the middle of Brussels, crafting traditional Latvian flower crowns, or being in the middle of nowhere, somewhere in the Czech Republic, with random amazing people, going for a walk in the forest with nothing else, but a speaker and blankets on our shoulders."
”The beautiful part of this mobility is probably the friendships that you are going to make with others, to see how people have so much in common even if they have different nationalities and so on."
”For me Erasmus: a single journey that completely changed the direction of my life's path. During my time abroad, I discovered my passion for research and found my future job path. Now, I'm pursuing my PhD at the university that hosted my Erasmus, delving deeper into my field of interest."
"I made a really cool group of friends with whom I'd share office hours during the day and drinks during the night (and sometimes until sunrise). It was all worth it!!"
Each individual's journey may have been different, but a few common themes stand out. They speak of the challenges of adapting to new environments, the personal growth that comes from stepping out of one's comfort zone, and the joy of connecting with people from all over the world. Erasmus mobility is not just about academic growth or career prospects; it's about life-changing experiences that shape and define who we become.
In the spirit of International Youth Day, let's celebrate the boundless potential of our youth and the remarkable journeys they embark on. Their stories remind us that with an open mind and an adventurous spirit, every experience, no matter how daunting at first, can be turned into a beautiful memory and a stepping stone toward personal growth. So here's to the brave souls who dare to explore, learn, and transform –one Erasmus story at a time.