“Going on Erasmus should be on everyone’s bucketlist”
Being young, having a great family and friends, but still leaving your hometown for a half year to get an Erasmus-experience. I did that and I don’t regret it, even though I wiped away some tears the first day. Getting the opportunity to get to know a different culture, getting more experience and leave as a wiser woman are my goals. Here is what I’ve noticed and why I love this experience so much.
One of the differences I’ve noticed is the food. As a Belgian, I haven’t tasted the British kitchen before. Even though I heard a lot about it, I’m still shocked about how different it is to ours. I have to admit that I’m in love with the yorkshire puddings, but the British breakfast is just horrible. Beans, sausages and tomatoes for breakfast? Just give me a boiled egg and a croissant!
Also in our class are striking features. In Belgium, boys and girls just sit mixed together, while here we have one table in the front for the girls and a few tables in the back for the boys. I still don’t get that, since I like spending time with the guys as well.
People are so friendly over here. For example in the stores, when you go to the pay desk and give your purchases to the cashier, they often say: “Thank you my love” or “Have a nice day darling”. It’s the little nicknames that make it way more pleasant and that is something that Belgians don’t do. Even the cops are different. One of my friends even takes chats and selfies with them and they love it! The police in Belgium is very formal while the Brits know them by their names.
One month later
A month later, I wonder why I felt so depressed in the beginning. I love the city, made some great friends and never felt happier in my entire life. Being in Plymouth gave me more confidence. My English is improving and I’m less scared to ask people for help. I’m learning things that I wouldn’t have learned at school in Belgium.
Plymouth is definitely one of the most beautiful cities I’ve ever been. The coastline, Smeaton’s Tower, the Barbican,… Things I’ve never heard about before. I like the fact that this city is still noncommercial. You can enjoy the nature without thousands of people who are taking pictures of everything (even though that’s my guilty pleasure).
It’s shocking how fast the time is going. It feels like it was yesterday that I said goodbye to my family. Going on Erasmus gives me the opportunity to get way more experience than I would ever get in Belgium.
Not only means this exchange a lot for your CV and further career, it means a lot for who you actually are. You need to start over again. You are right at the start, to get to know new people, a new culture and most important: to get to know and discover yourself.