My name is Andrew, a while ago I came back from Belgium where I had my Erasmus in journalism, and I am still overwhelmed. Probably, just like you, I was hesitating about taking the risk. For me, at that time, it was an unbelievable opportunity, but a small challenge also. I am that kind of person who had never taken a part in study competitions but hoping for better anyway applied for this program to Erasmus office at Vistula. Through small difficulties, I would rather call it bureaucracy, already in 7 months Belgium welcomed me for education.
Housing, guides, required books, contacts, everything was discussed on orientation week, all the important information was provided and anytime we could call the staff for help. Receiving school even prepared entertainment like urban golf, city tour, bbq, and the most unexpecting was the official bar tour. When you are going to such a country as Belgium need to understand that it is a magical place with good beer, tasty fries dipped with mayo and sweet waffles. No lies, it gave me a few extra kilos but seemed like the perfect food for students. The first month everyone was in shock of their life changes. The lifestyle completely changed, for me, it was like in the article about traditional student life in Cambridge. Since my town was that small all the focus was on students. Life in Warsaw is nice, but it is far different from which I had there.
How would you imagine the Erasmus study abroad? Certainly, not as sleepless nights and hard work, as I had. The educational system in Belgium has many of its own benefits. Although a few times I was on the edge of a breakdown, especially when exams came, it gave me everything that I missed in my polish daily life. The city of Kortrijk, where I studied, was nice for not spending much money as it would be in Brussels, therefore it gave me the chance to travel each weekend with friends out of the town. All we know that the country of the European Parliament is around ten times smaller than Poland, but I couldn’t expect that it would be that convenient for visiting big cities and beautiful places, affordable as well, it took me 40 min. to go to the French city Lilles, 6h to Paris, 1.5h to Brussels and more-more on.
Although education was my key purpose to be there, but I had to work harder just to get knowledge that I could handle with. My advice – be wise when you are choosing a university and understand your goals, there are differences between one country and another.
Apart from work, me and all community chilled, once even another at for the party, not least to that was awesome, but next the started in the early morning, we got back on the first train and straight forward to the university. Apparently, it was not the best idea, but this is how great and crazy stories from student life starting!
Indeed, my expectations didn’t match – expecting less, life gives you all the glory and each discovery is exciting. I would never pity time there and you also wouldn’t. I bet, do this step and you would get many stories to tell when you back alongside with gained knowledge. If you want to hear more, just find me at the university. Good luck!