My Erasmus Experience

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I am almost an year late with this post but recently I have been reminiscing about my semester abroad and decided to share my opinion from today’s perspective. I scrolled down my Instagram feed to find anything I was doing around this time last year and this picture showed up from exactly one year ago.

This is Ioana. I met her at my very first day in Prague, where I spent my semester abroad. I got there just in time for the Orientation week and we happen to be on the same team while playing games with our colleagues around the university.
So this really chatty and competitive Romanian girl and I were talking all afternoon sharing personal details. We just clicked. From this minute on, we were texting and meeting all the time. We spent so much time together and to be honest, until then I found it hard to be that close to a girl. But this Erasmus semester proved me wrong and somehow it restored my faith in close female friendships. Before continuing, I am just going to quote myself and give you at least an idea of how I feel about this girl.

So, I am definitely not the type of person who likes to publicly congratulate their friends on their birthday, BUT I wanted to share some thoughts on the matter of friendship and the birthday of my soul sister presented a great opportunity to do so.

Yesterday Ioana had a birthday. And I thought a lot. Nothing life changing though. Just what I already know. I am so damn lucky to have her in my life. She is everything I want my nearest and dearest to be. She is incredibly thoughtful, honest but not rude, supportive but not in the way most girls are (Thank God!), logical (thank god again!) but sensitive. She is driven and full of energy and ideas; she has a positive mind and a tender soul. I love her so much. Ioana, as already said, please stay the same (does it get any better? Somehow I doubt that.)
[…]
This is seriously a blessing. Who would have thought I would meet my soul sister in the face of a chatty Romanian girl who lives in Germany while doing a semester abroad in the Czech Republic?

As I said, Ioana is a blessing.

People like her is the reason to do an Erasmus semester.
Let’s put it this way: The whole Erasmus experience is kind of overrated. There are crazy parties and lot of fun, yes. But as someone who was born and raised in Eastern Europe I’ve seen crazy. And I’ve seen parties. And living in Germany since August 2013 I’ve seen international, too. But people, guys, the people are the reason why you need to take this opportunity.

No matter where you’re from. No matter if you have been abroad or not. No matter if you have met a foreigner at all – go abroad! There is a chance you meet friends for life. And I mean a real friendship – the one where distance doesn’t matter, where you don’t need to see each other every day to know you can count on the other person.

Most of my friendships are international and I am so grateful for this. Another amazing girl I met in Prague is Petra. (I know you are reading, dear, and that’s why I allow myself to use your name!) It’s kinda funny actually. When I was visiting Prague in July I really wanted to meet with her, but at the time she was in China and right now she is in Canada! How crazy is that?! We had a class together and suddenly we were meeting and talking for hours. She is a really good person, she is so sensitive and understanding, but logical and down to earth at the same time. And my God, she is so beautiful and stylish, I don’t know many people who can pull off red hair like she does. She is a lady in every sense of the word. I catch myself trying to be more calm, more gracious around her. I can only hope I can give her something in return.

I also met L., she has the same gracious aura around her. She is trustworthy, kind and funny. She was born and raised in Ukraine, but she has been living in the Netherlands for many years. International much? Haha. We share a passion for fitness and healthy eating and I miss our conversations about different cultures and mentalities, which we had over a glass of wine.
I hope I get to visit her one day, perhaps even during one of the festivals?

It feels really nice to read this. Thinking about my semester in Prague really warms my heart. I can only encourage you to take advantage of this amazing opportunity and to apply for Erasmus and I hope you’ll get to have the same amazing experience that I had.
– Innah 

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