‘Once Erasmus, always Erasmus’ – I bet you have heard this phrase multiple times, but these words are those which describe Erasmus experience right to the point.
Once you come back from the exchange, you are not the same person who you were before leaving your hometown. Attitudes, values, perception, even the way you want to live changes over the time spent away from beloved ones. Moreover, you come back not only changed, but also full of discoveries which can be surprising.
Thus, let me tell you about my experience and little discoveries during exchange semester in Brno, Czech Republic.
Erasmus was that period when I had tested how far is my boundary for trying new experiences.
‘Why not?’ – was the simple question which helped me to test how brave enough I am to experience something what I haven’t done before.
Solo traveling, helping to correct Lithuanian text for a random Slovakian guy, talking with a microphone in front of the auditorium, presenting university in a mobility fair, hiking, getting lost in the city by going where my eyes lead – these are some of new things which brought a perception that every day is like an adventure bringing things which happen once in a lifetime. And it’s only up to me if I take advantage of them.
I can assure that Erasmus broadens horizons in any kind of sphere starting with self-development and ending with knowledge about cultural differences. Being with people from all around the world shows how we differ from each other in behaviour, communication or even eating habits.
During Erasmus, I got to know what is the real Spanish dinner at 9 pm, how Italians can’t live without pasta, how important beer is for Czechs and that laugh has different words in some languages! For example, Greeks express laugh by word ‘xaxa’, Spaniards by writing ‘jaja’ and French people - ‘héhé’. Cultural diversity gave me a chance to experience different things outside of what I am normally accustomed to and opened my eyes to a wider world where everyone has a different background which is fascinating in its own way.
Erasmus is something that I won’t forget and, most importantly, regret. Even though it looked scary at first – the new place, university, unknown people, language – but once I saw that I am not alone and there are plenty of people feeling same as me, fear soon evolved to the excitement and the adventure began. An adventure which taught me a lot and gave me great memories.