The first two weeks of this course have been the hardest for me. Being the introverted person that I am, takes me a lot of time to put myself out there and start a conversation. As expected, the course members were people of diverse backgrounds and that didn’t make it any easier. Different countries have different mentalities so even the approach can’t be the same. I spent way too many days locked up in my room reading books and watching movies.
Luckily my best friend lives here so at least, I could talk to her and hang out when she had the time. Having someone who can support you, especially if they have been through the same experience themselves, is very important in cases like this.
Everything gets better with time
But everything gets better with time and so did this. I tried my best to let my hair down and to just go with the flow. Starting a conversation isn’t really my thing and doing so without constantly feeling like you’re being a bother, makes it even harder. It takes some time to realize that even other people are in the same position as you. This is a new experience for all of us and each is doing their best.
InterDaF played an important role too. The many extracurricular activities they organized were designed precisely to encourage socialization and stimulate cultural awareness.
Take it easy
So, what would I suggest to someone who feels just like me:
Take it easy. Everyone is going through the same thing and we should all be aware of that. Do not spend your time in the dormitory as I did. Books and movies are great indeed, but they are not the reason you chose to come here. Getting over your anxiety, interacting with people from such different countries, the magical discovery of a brand new city; these are the things that make you grow as a person, be more responsible and independent.
A summer school is not only about the subjects. There are far more important things that you learn from this experience and you should really try to make the most out of it. Challenge yourself, step out of your comfort zone and you will realize that, at the end, this will be one of the most beautiful and invaluable experiences of your life.
at the end, this will be one of the most beautiful and invaluable experiences of your life