1. Which country did you go to for Erasmus? Which University? Which faculty?
I went to Cyprus. It is an island country in Eastern Mediterranean, but it is classed as a part of European countries. My University was the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan). Lancashire? Yes, it is a British university in Cyprus. Since Cyprus is one of the Commonwealth member countries, no wonder that you will get the vibe of studying in the UK at this University. I was studying under the faculty of Business and Management.
2. What interesting things did you learn there? Did you make new friends?
Different from our sending university of Vistula which is having up to 10 (ten) or more subjects in a semester, the UCLan offered us only 2 (two) to take. Nevertheless, those subjects had a ton of tasks to get done and most of them are writing papers.
UCLan owns a huge accommodation which called UCLAn Students’ Nest. It is not an ordinary dorm, it offers you a modern flat which providing only a private room. In addition, it also has a swimming pool where all the UCLanians gather and get to know each other. Not to mention the game area where most of us watching a movie almost every night. Off course, this made me making a lot of new friends. They are not only Cypriot, but also from other countries. As it is reported that UCLan students are coming from 45 different countries worldwide!
3. What is the most fun part of studying abroad?
The Professors may give you a lot of paper tasks, but they also spare their time for a private consultation. You can “steal” their valuable knowledge by asking them as much as you wish. Every Professor has been very encouraging!
But, don’t try to pretend that you are at the class when you are not. We couldn’t ask for a favor from our classmate to mark our attendance while we are away. The system required us to tap our student ID card at a certain device to notice that we are attending the class. So, remember to always bring your student ID card and be at the class no more than 20 minutes or you will be marked absent!
4. How did you spend your free time there?
Exercising! You may choose to run on a treadmill at the University gym, to go swimming at the accommodations’ pool or just to walk by the mesmerizing Finikoudes beach. Want to do something that relate more to academic life? There are a lot of seminars and other activities held by the university. I was once participated in a 3-day seminar in Platres, a mountainous village in Cyprus. All of the accommodation is well provided by the University. You will never have a free time wasted.
5. How was the student life abroad?
Don’t be afraid of going around Cyprus. The Cypriots are very friendly, helpful and the most important one is they speak English! It is very common to get asked “Can I help you?” and by saying a yes you will get a hand in an instant! Psst! As a country with nice humid weather and surrounded by beautiful beaches, the people of Cyprus love to throw a party. Get your student life balanced!
6. Which interesting places did you visit there?
As a tourism country, Cyprus has a number of destinations to offer. Here are what I recommend you to visit, as I have also had visited them. Finikoudes, it is a beautiful touristic beach in Larnaca whose sand is clayish and grey, but soft and fine. Remember to also go to the Larnaca Castle where you can find historical building and ancient artefact of Cyprus. Just show your student ID card and you will get a free entrance ticket! Also, go to the old town of Nicosia, it is the last divided capital city in the world! A south part of Nicosia belongs to Cyprus, meanwhile the north one is owned by another country. Cyprus also has a mountainous area, as in Platres.
7. How do you rate the Erasmus program?
A billion thanks to Erasmus! As a platform that brought me to a wider world, Erasmus program deserves more than just a 5 stars rating. In addition, it also provides you a language online course through its OLS program during your mobility. For the country, you may choose the destination on your own! Everyone may have her/his dream country, let realize your dream by being involved in this program. Then, discover yourself while gaining an understanding of a different culture.
8. What advice do you have for students interested in going abroad?
There is nothing quite like being on your own in a foreign country. Prepared yourself well. You will be facing a lifetime experience. So, make sure you choose the right country to study. For example, you may choose Germany if you are taking an Engineering study, Sweden if you are studying Life Science and Medicine, or Cyprus for a Tourism and Leisure department. As a foreigner, you may learn about the destination country prior to your mobility. If it is not an English-speaking country, mastering a very basic daily conversation will help you a lot. Your Student ID card works well as a cut-off price tool. Bring it wherever you go. Last but not least, make friends with the local people. Give them a nice souvenir from your origin country will be a nice introduction.