Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Erasmus – the time of adventures!

Have you ever seen this picture:
I mean not when you were learning about Darwin's evolutionary theory at school, but nowadays. I bet if you were, are or plan becoming an Erasmus exchange student you have!
I did a little experiment: I put this picture on my wall on Facebook. I received a double number of likes. Doesn’t it mean that the person who created this hit the point?
Let’s continue this little experiment of searching for more material about life-changing Erasmus. Here we go:
  • ‘Erasmus – shake your life‘
  • ‘I am not the same after my Erasmus’
  • ‘How to survive after Erasmus’
  • ‘Erasmus marked me’
  • ‘Post Erasmus syndrome’
  • the famous video ‘Sorry, I am Erasmus!’ (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r356paCUZBk)
A smart man once said that you live until there are new things to try in your life. While Erasmus experience itself is an absolutely new thing, it is hard to express in words other new things you try during it, in such a short period of time. Your brain forgets what rest is and returns you a lot of deja vu feelings connected with changes of environment and life style.
Everybody takes his/hers own experience from Erasmus, whether it is improved  language skills, new goals for the future, new opinion about yourself, new habits, new friends, new point of view etc. but it would be hard to find somebody arguing that Erasmus is not a time of adventures:
Have you ever visited 5 countries in 2 weeks?
Have you ever got a free beer in an underground private bar in the second most expensive city in the world, Oslo, from the citizen of Canada?
Have you ever celebrated Greek name day with Greeks (well, if you are not Greek, of course),  or drunk beer listening and singing along with German traditional band during Oktoberfest, or tasted Spanish churros, British fish and chips and many more dishes from different countries… IN Finland?
 Exploring other cities in Finland: Jyväskylä
Have you ever been searching for chestnuts in the Finnish  forest because you want to try a beautiful Catalan tradition you have heard of for the first time about, reminding how you first read  a children’s book by a German author Otfried Preuβler called Die kleine hexe (The little witch)?
Have you ever learned from a 2012, future edition, of the book in your home country or attended a sports class with 99 % of the instructions in Finnish?
Have you ever stood outside the door for half an hour because you haven’t managed to open a Finnish lock, or spent an hour in the supermarket searching for specific ingredient because labelling is mainly in Finnish?
Have you ever seen the river without water because it is necessary to take all the bicycles out of it?
Have you ever had a party on a cruise ship together with 100 other students on the way to Stockholm?
Have you ever had a team building exercise in the forest doing orienteering running?
Have you ever played a drinking game ‘have you ever’… haha, just kidding!
Have you ever had the feeling that all Europe is now your sweet small little home?
To sum up, have you ever had a better time and tried so many new things in such a short time? Have you ever been an Erasmus student or used an excuse “Sorry, I am Erasmus!” when you forgot to e-mail your family?
If you did, welcome to the club! If you did not, I hope you will, because one thing is for sure: Erasmus changes your life. You will never be the same because you managed to accept a culture shock. Congratulations – you are much stronger person now!
Text and photos: Eglė Kaselytė, International Business exchange student from Vilnius Gediminas Technical University, Lithuania

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