Monday, August 27, 2012

Ideas for living abroad: Apply for an Erasmus year

One of the experiences I always recommend to people is doing one semester/year exchange with the program Erasmus. Your life will not be the same after this adventure. For many of the students, it represents the first time going abroad for a long time!

Advantages:
  • Depending of the university, everything is planned for you. Some of the universities even arrange the accommodation on your behalf (especially in norther Europe. Southern University and especially Spain will leave the student to organize . Imagine if you still don't know the language!)
  • You will meet many foreigner students and you will make friendship forever. Some of them you will visit them on the future. (I visited Kati in Budapest, Nick in Boston, Steffi in Finland, Martina in Vancouver, Maria Rosa in Sicily, Mariko in Tokyo and also have Mareike, Maria Rosa, Mariko and Nick coming to visit me in Spain, Budapest or London for the Olympics)
  • The Universities are keen to organize multicultural events and you will be always invited as host of your country (especially if you come from a not that common country)
  • You will be assigned one coordinator (that usually is one of the University teacher who most probably speaks your language). Also, many students volunteer to assist the foreigner students, in order to get in touch of their culture and practice the language. 

Sommerresidenz, the beautiful main building of my host university

Student Dormitory St. Michael Entrance

This building was one of the most awesome accommodation for students. 140€ per month

German Creative Writing room

University dining tables outside garden
Disadvantages:
  • Some of the subjects you are due to study, it could be possible you won't find it in your host university. That will mean that you will have to study later once at home.
  • So many paperwork and hassle with the learning agreement.
  •  They just provide you with part of the financial help and later on, upon completing your Erasmus, you will receive the rest.
  • Cultural shock can be sometimes too much, especially if it is your first time abroad.

 Can you add more advantage or disadvantages? How was overall your Erasmus experience?
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