jueves, 19 de junio de 2014

First experiences of every erasmus

First experiences of every erasmus

The doubts, the indecision, the "should I apply?", the average mark and the years of private English classes, the arguments with your parents, the pros and cons list and, finally, the decision to do it. Here's a little summary of the first experiences of every Erasmus/exchange student  
  • We receive the acceptance letter and we’re all like...

  • But we don't realise that it's not that simple... We have too much documentation, e-mails, information and a lot of other stuff to do. Our afternoons can be summed up by sitting in front of the computer with our e-mail opened, like this:

  • But you don't lose hope:

  • And then, the expected day arrives and everything becomes wonderful.

  • The moment is here! Booking the flight, last-minute shopping, packing... It becomes a race against the clock.

  • ... that finishes in your destination, which turns out to be your unique paradise.

Meals will become a greater concern than you expected. A large majority of Spanish people learn how to make an omelette when they're studying abroad. You'll have to pass through the vegetables section and not just look at them in disgust before going to where the chocolate is, but... buy it... cook it...Eat it!
  • You feel like this every time you start cooking by yourself.

  • And like this when you realise that, in the country you're going, dinner time is from 6 to 8

  • Your daily food starts to be a little different than when you were living with your parents

  • Everything that you can eat with a spoon starts to seem like something from the past

  •  Junk food would be the order of the day

  • Even when your mummy sends you recipes for soups, lentils, stews...

Apart from the food, social relations are anoter great flash point in the early days of an innocent Erasmus. New friends, parties, classmates... And it's something like this:
  • When you meet other erasmus, your first reaction it would be something like this:

  • And when they tell you that you speak English/whatever language, really good:

  • Within few minutes, the crowd of happy foreigner and drunk people will show that the erasmus have been welcomed here.

  • And you'll realise that, however crazy you thought you were, the rest of erasmus are way worse than you.

  • Your friends will be of all variety of people, including those brave students that go to the erasmus with a boyfriend/girlfriend.

  • Or that one who carries the meaning of the truly "orgasmus".

  • And you face the worst when one of them has to leave at the middle of the year because his/her stay is shorter than yours.

  • So you find out that there's a welcome party the first night you arrive.

  •  And the second one...

  • And the third one...

  • And you'll see that everything is possible when you find out that drinking in the streets is legal.

  •  But with extreme caution if you have any parents, brothers, sisters, uncles... on facebook.

  • Your morning mood will lightly change after this

  • And the face you bring with you to class on a Friday morning won't be your best face.

  • But your pocket won't handle this for much longer and you'll have to learn how to economize

Nevertheless, contrary to what everybody thinks, erasmus/exchange studies are not only for partying, there's a huge part that a bunch of people seem to forget, and that's the part related to the university, learning new things and so on. Before you realize it, you'll have mountains and mountains of folders and drawers organized by colours, theme, city or whatever stands out to you.
  • When you realise you don't have a clue of what to do with these papers, you'll take it like this:

  • Your coordinator in your home university will be very busy with his/her new classes to pay attention to you.

  • And the coordinator of your host university can't do shit without the supervision of your home university.

  • However, everything seems to have a close end and it's time to write the learning agreement and sign up in the classes you wanna take.
  • When one of the classes you've signed up to is in the language of the country you're going to and the professor asks you if you really think you have the right level, you act like a know-it-all.

  • But the bitter reality hits you in the face...

  • When the professor asks you in class, you start to seriously wonder how you have ended up in China when you thought you hadn't left Europe.

  • Nevertheless, you keep the faith and, after some disappointments, you get to understand something and survive in the university.

  • Your first conversations in the foreign language finally make sense.

  • And you're now capable of giving directions without looking retarded.

  • And, against all the odds, you pass!

  • Although there'll always be someone who says something about the classic little help for being a foreigner...

The weather, especially if your destination is north, will change a lot. If you're above 0ºC you'll feel lucky and the malls will turn out to be a kind of "hunger games" looking for blankets and cheap eiderdown.
  • This will be your reaction to the first snowfall.

  • The second...
  • The third... 

  • And so on

  • And this, your face when, while you’re wearing eight layers of clothes, you see some of the natives with sandals and t-shirts.

  • The change you'll be when you go back home will be monstrous.

Another theme that you won't be able to avoid is travelling. If you end up in the centre of Europe, the connections will look awesome to you and the transport too inexpensive, so you'll sign up for everything they throw at you.
  • You will notice that your money is vanishing from the bank before you realize it.

  • Even though the grant hasn’t even made an appearance at this point.
  • And you'll have to go to your parents, ask them for money and also turn to your life-savings.
  • You'll look for every single way to travel with the best deals and the least amount of luggage possible.

  • Even when that implies you making some sacrifices, spending nights at airports and too much low cost.

  • But thanks to that, you'll live experiences you could have never imagined and which you wouldn't change for anything.

And generally, that's all an erasmus/exchange student is subdued to during the first months of his/her stay. Although, for many of you, this gif sums up the whole post:

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