1. How did Erasmus help you personally?
If before Erasmus sometimes I did not feel confident about my skills or decisions, after 9 months I can say that I have discovered that I am able of more: studying in English, interacting with people, take care of my personal issues like shopping, cooking, laundry and most of all that I am able to live abroad without the people that I used to know. Deciding to participate in the Erasmus program was a very enriching experience and it has had a powerful impact on me as a person.
2. Do you think that you had enough support from your and also from Slovak university and local students??
Even if I did not have the support of my friends from Romania, I got the support of the new friends from Slovakia as they were trying to make us feel as comfortable as possible. I could asked them words in Slovak, about places in Slovakia and what to eat. And about the univ, I enjoyed the new studying experience: new methods and new teachers and got involved in more activities.
3. What do you think about SocialErasmus and a project Erasmus in Schools? You participated some activities, how did you feel it, does it have a reason to do it?
When I got the invitation to talk to the youngsters in the local high-schools I was quite enthusiastic and I could had talked about Romania and Erasmus for hours but it was only 50 min. The idea of involving the Erasmus students into the community is another step for them to immerse into the culture and to have a complete experience.
4. Did you feel many different culture habits, traditions or it was something what surprised you so much?
There were a lot of barriers to overcome. The first and probably biggest barrier was the language. Every time I had to interact with the people, I was praying that someone spoke English. But I often found this was not the case. This was frustrating at times but I also discovered that I can speak with more hand gestures and emotions than an Italian!
I traveled throughout Slovakia and tried to immerse myself in Slovak culture. I was outside my comfort zone on many occasions! Even if Slovakia is not so far from Romania I was surprised by some facts. First of all, Nitra is a small city in comparison to where I had been living in the last 2 years (2, 5 million inhabitants ) and i realized that i can go walking to most of the places. (Also, I was quite disappointed that the students do not go out on Thursday night, as in Romania or other places I had been to.)
5. What is the most crazy thing what did you do on your Erasmus?
Among the crazy things I can say: hiking in High Tatras. For sure it was an experience to remember and it made me realize that hiking is not for me. Also, not to crazy but quite stressful was preparing the Romanian dinner for 30 people, specially when you buy the wrong ingredients because you don`t understand Slovak.
6. What was the best and the worst thing at all?
From my point of view the
best thing was that all the Erasmus students were living together.
Sharing the same hallway or kitchen got us closer and the time we
spent there was great. And the worst, at least for me, was that I did
not speak Slovak so much so when people were trying to talk to me I
had to make a surprised face and gesture.
7. Would you like to recommend the Erasmus program for the others?
I recommend to the students to try to broaden their horizons, travel abroad and try new experiences. And Erasmus is about this. And the best part is that the procedures are not so complicated or it is not difficult for you to get in touch with universities/potential employees. All you have to do is to be willing to take the challenges and enjoy the moments.
We also thank to Alina, for taking part on many activities, for everything... :)