Being an exchange student is a rewarding but challenging experience and it all goes by in the blink of an eye. Whether or not you enjoy the experience and make the most out of it is purely up to you and the amount of effort you put in it.
Studying abroad can be a real rollercoaster of emotions and it will surely change you. Here are some tips how to make the most of your Erasmus:
1. Make a bucket list before you leave
Creating a bucket list in advance can be very useful. Even though you would not like to plan things too much and would consider yourself a spontaneous person, do yourself a favor and research about your Erasmus destination before you go there. This will help you find out what is a must-do in the country you have chosen, and at the same time, it will help you not to regret that you have not enjoyed the wonders of that place.
If you want to truly say “I have lived there,” you must know the finest details about the city that you are going to live in. You might find something that surprises you and maybe a great new place to hang out.
2. Create a memory box
During your exchange period, you will gather a lot of memories like tickets from concerts, bracelets from clubs, coins or even notes sent by your friends. Save them all and after you will return home, create a little memory box for yourself. Going through that box a few years later will be a lot of fun.
3. Take advantage of Erasmus student organizations
Make the most of what they have to offer. The main focus of ESN is exchange students and they have a lot of activities for them. Activities include social events such as trips to various sights of cultural interest within the country, film nights, language projects, international food and music festivals and, last but not least, parties.
4. Think big
Get out of your comfort zone and try to reach out to the countless opportunities and you will thank yourself later. Quite easier said than done, but you need to broaden your thinking capacity, to become more flexible and to increase your power of adaptability in order to make friends and to have an amazing experience. Cultural shock is a feeling that many Erasmus students experience while studying abroad. Any form of socializing is a good antidote to feeling alone in your host country. Take advantage, discover, get lost and find yourself again. Make mistakes, because this will make you grow as a person.
5. Trips and sports
Every country has their own sports culture and this is a really good way to discover new things and enjoy. Don’t forget to travel. It is the perfect opportunity to explore the wider region.
6. Go to class
Distractions and novelties can make you forget why you are actually there in the first place. The grades you take while abroad will count towards your overall qualification, so try not to neglect your work.
The writer is studying Law and she is from Romania.