The process of becoming an Erasmus student is not all sunshine and roses

This is the first article about my experience as an Erasmus student and I decided to write about it because not everybody knows what this experience really implies. I decided to go to Denmark for one semester and to study journalism there. I am writing this article from my dorm and I thought that before writing about my actual experience, it would be nice to tell you about the first level of becoming an Erasmus student, so this is it.

paperwork
Foto: Isaac Bowen/Flickr

Go with Erasmus, they said. You are going to have fun, they said. They were right, but the process before the actual leavening it’s not so fun.

Be prepared to be drowned in documents. Not drowned actually, because you have to print or to obtain those documents and just then you will swim in papers. But you will not have enough time to enjoy your swim, because you will have to deliver the papers to the Center of International Cooperation in order to obtain your scholarship.

Of course, you are going to start stressing about these things at least a month before. You ask when you should start completing the documents, but you are calmed down by somebody who tells you that there is time and that you will be announced.

Somehow you wake up, a week before your leavening, with no documents and a lot of exams and projects to take. You still have no documents, because you need some signatures from important people and important people don’t sign the papers right away. You need to wait at least for a week for them to call you and go after your documents. A lot of exams, because the majority of teachers want you to take the exam in your last week, because they don’t want to make another type of exam for you and skip out a few topics from the latest lectures. Well, you don’t blame them, you would probably do the same. After all, it was your choice to leave the country before the exam session.

Somehow, you manage to do everything, but you still have to write a few articles and to finish a project. You can send them through email, so no stress (haha). You have three days left. Your mind is a roller-coaster. You want to finish your projects (you don’t need emotional baggage with you), you want to meet with all your friends, to see all you relatives (you must, actually) and to finish your luggage.

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Foto: Becky Stern/Flickr

The luggage part is the interesting one. How can you compress all your things, when your ticket says that you are allowed with only 23 kg on board? Well, you don`t. You are going to give up things that you said you will definitely take with you. You want to put soap, shampoo, toothpaste, everything, just not to buy it from there, because you heard it`s really expensive. So, you act like you will have to pay a fortune for a shampoo, but then you see that your luggage has 27 kg. So, you start throwing out everything that could be bought from the supermarket. Your clothes, though, those can’t be bought form any supermarket. And your shoes… You definitely need more than one pair of shoes for 5 months. So, a lot of decisions and a lot of giving up at things, which is not necessarily bad.

And of course, you are going to have an emotional baggage with you, because, with all the preparations, you didn’t have the energy to finish your projects.

This is my version of the process before being an Erasmus student.

More about the adventures of two Romanian journalism students (I am here with my colleague Sandra) in Denmark, in the next article.

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