When I told my friends that I was going to Bucharest for a few days, the reactions were more or less all the same: how on earth did the idea to visit Romania come to you?
The most obvious answer was that my best friend was there as an Erasmus student, which made it a great opportunity for me, as I would have probably never thought of Romania if I had to plan a trip by myself.
The important word here is ,,opportunity”. Going to Bucharest, visiting the town thanks to my friend, meeting her flatmates and friends, and tasting a bit of the life there was amazingly satisfying. I didn’t expect to feel so well in Bucharest, and was surprised on many levels. My view on Romania was incorrect as well as outdated; also I am glad this trip proved me wrong since I might go back someday.
We usually have so many prejudices against countries or people that we miss chances to discover the other and to find out more about ourselves. And that’s exactly why Erasmus is so worthy of interest.
I myself spent a few months abroad last year, and this adventure is one of the best times of my life so far. Not that I want to sound like old people saying “high school / university / whatever will be the best years of your existence” (do they even realise how harmful this could be to someone who’s not having that much fun?).
Anyway, Erasmus was great for me. And I haven’t met anyone yet who thought the other way, although we all had very different experiences, depending on the country, the university, the context… I guess the common point is that the programme gives you all sorts of challenges that eventually end up transforming you.
My short stay in Bucharest reminded me of all the fun you can have and all the awesome people you can meet, if you do the little effort of making a step forward. That’s the first challenge.
Then, you might have to work hard on your classes (Erasmus is enjoyable, but it isn’t a complete joke), you might have to deal with a complex love life (right, drama girls?), you might feel exhausted or homesick sometimes, you might be concerned that you won’t have time to do all the stuff you want to do before you leave (just admit you won’t, it is somehow comforting for it gives you the idea that you will comeback someday), you might fall in love with the place so much that it will be heart- breaking to go back home…
Of all the challenges that the Erasmus experience represents, the most important one is to be yourself. It is through the opportunities you take that you will understand the true you and share it with the others. Erasmus is about confronting yourself with a diversity of people, languages, cultures, points of view that will help you assert yourself.
Visiting my best friend in Bucharest allowed me to see how much she had changed and how far she had gone. About this, what can I say? Well, thank you superflatmates, thank you other friends or lover, thank you Romania. You have been great guides through her blossoming, and now she’s the most extraordinary flowers of all.