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Thinking about an Erasmus Semester?

Being already a foreign student in Germany, it never crossed my mind to do an Erasmus semester. I had heard a lot and knew many students at my university who were also doing an exchange Semester but I didn't know exactly what it was about. I was neither expecting me to like it so much, in such a short period of time. Here I tell you my experience living on a small island in the Mediterranean.

Street in Nicosia old town
Street in nicosia old town© Nathaly Open fig caption
  • One of the best experiences I've had since I arrived in Germany, it really is a privilege to have had the opportunity to live in another country, and at the same time study. it opens the doors to a new culture, which over time you learn to accommodate and appreciate. I would certainly do it again.

Well, a short explanation, Erasmus is an international exchange program that facilitates connecting different Educational Centersw with others, offering a cultural Exchange and an opportunity to extend our knowledge, by being able to live for a certain period of time in another country, giving us the opportunity to meet students from all possible countries, new languages, cultures, customs, etc.

When applying, at my university they sent us a fairly extensive list with different countries and universities. At first I was overwhelmed because there were too many countries and cities that had always caught my attention, and I didn’t have much time to choose. At the time of submitting my application, I based myself on: Where would you like to live for a few months and probably will not have the opportunity to do so again?

And so I arrived at the Island of Cyprus. Located in the Mediterranean sea. Greek culture has always caught my attention thanks to the similarities it has with Latin America Culture, and I had never been to Greece so it seemed like a very good opportunity. The country has a very interesting history, and despite the fact that the official languages ​​are Greek and Turkish, a large percentage of the population is fluent in English. That was also one of the points in favor since communication in another country is always key.


The University
The university I chose was located 10 minutes from my house by bus. I chose it because I really liked its facilities and the different study programs it offered. I liked it very much since they also offered us sports and cultural clubs such as the dance club, walks, soccer and even debate. Without a doubt the integration and good relationship between their students stood out. It had a British education system, different than in Germany, but even so, I was able to adapt. It felt like studying while you were on vacation, because we also had exams, projects, presentations, and at the same time, we could take the bus to the beach or to the mountains whenever we wanted.

The Island
The Island was like a small paradise, it had the perfect combination between typical Greek architecture and modern buildings. With a climate very similar to that of Latin America and many hours of sunshine. With beautiful and practical cities, paradisiacal beaches, mountains with different climates and extensive flora and fauna, the Island lacked nothing.

Rooftop full of lights
Rooftop full of lights© Nathaly Open fig caption
  • I lived in a room, in a shared apartment, located in the middle of the city. The location was incredible since the central bus station was a 5-minute walk away, restaurants, museums, cafes and shops were all minutes away. We had a beautiful terrace where I spent most of the summer painting and eating. The coexistence could not be better, we were all from different countries and even so we always felt at home when we were together.

Four persons walking in Nicosia old town.
Four persons walking in Nicosia old town.© Nathaly Open fig caption
  • I felt that when I arrived, everyone was welcoming me with open arms, by that I mean not just Erasmus students, but Habitants in the Island in general. They were always ready to help the stay and every little inconvenience to be resolved as quickly as possible.

At the university I attended, there were many Erasmus students. Most of them already knew each other since they had arrived weeks before, so they could have time to get used to it. Fortunately, that wasn’t an inconvenience, and in my first days I was able to meet almost everyone and without us noticing to, we formed a community, in which we were to help each other and make each other company. Different countries and languages ​​and yet we all get along very well. Also important to mention that thanks to the events organized by the communities dedicated to Erasmus, we were also able to connect with students from different universities and even from different cities in Cyprus.

I know that the lines above describe everything as if it had been perfect, obviously there were moments where I missed Germany and Peru, my friends and family. But now looking back on the whole experience, I only take the best of the island with me in my head, all the moments and teachings that will always accompany me. I feel grateful to the Island for letting me live there for these months, with all the people I met, Erasmus friends and random friends who still live on the Island. I grew up and saw the people around me grow during that semester. Without a doubt, if you have the opportunity to do an Erasmus semester, don’t hesitate, daring and jumping into something new has never done me as well as in the Erasmus semester.

Erasmus is about discovery. A new country, a new culture, new language, new people and even yourself.

Airplane window
Airplane window© Nathaly Open fig caption


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