Wednesday, March 25, 2015

The Erasmus Experience

For those that don’t know what Erasmus is, it refers to an exchange programme that takes place between European universities. It can take place in a semester or a full year.

Everyone’s Erasmus is different. This year, my boyfriend and my three best friends are on their own Erasmus’ too.  Two of my friends went to Kraków (Poland), my boyfriend to Warsaw (also Poland) and my other bf went to Toulouse (France).  Meanwhile, I went to Vienna (Austria).

However, our Erasmus’ experiences have been completely different from each other. This is of course due to which people you meet during your exchange and how you “think” about the whole thing.
For example, I wanted to make the most out of my Erasmus by travelling as much as possible (which I have done and I will do a round-up post this week), while my friends in Kraków decided they wanted to party like the world was going to end tomorrow. This is fantastic too, and no matter what you choose, the important thing is that you feel happy with how you use your time when you are gone.
With my friends in Kraków!
Choosing Austria as my destination, and more specifically Vienna, was the best decision I could've made. I had never visited Austria before and I knew Vienna was amazingly beautiful so I decided to pick it, and I can't be happier with it! The location was a great advantage too, as it was really near to many other European countries that are quirky and beautiful too! 


There have been many disappointing things about my Erasmus though. I was actually happy to go home after being done with my adventures and I missed the stability and friends that I had at home, even if my boyfriend is staying in Warsaw until June *sad sad emoji*.
Some things like having to change subjects a month before leaving (messing up my Learning Agreement and making me take an extra subject this semester because of that) were definite downers.
My conclusion is that institutions (residences, universities, etc.) will try to make you pay and pay; they will always have an extra fee here and there that you DEFINITELY MUST pay.
I am sure that if I were Austrian, I would have more power to not be cheated but sadly, Erasmus students are pretty defenseless in this sense. This may of course only be my case, but from what I know, this is very common in most Erasmus destinations.

But I don’t want to end this post on a bad note. I have LOVED my Erasmus. I have seen so many places that I would never have gone to if I stayed in Spain, many amazing things and I have met incredible people. I will never forget this semester as I have learnt so many things about the world and about myself.
However, like people always say… there is no place like home.