My Erasmus in Palma de Mallorca
Hi, it’s Sam again! Today I’m going to tell you about my Erasmus experience that I had two years ago.
During my university studies, I had the opportunity to study abroad as part of the Erasmus program. Studying english philology at the time, I wanted to go to a Spanish speaking country since it was the language I wanted to work on the most despite what I was studying. And one of the universities that offered such courses in Spain and that was a partner of my university was the UIB, la Universitat de las Illes Baleares. So, after sorting the different paperwork, I was off to Palma de Mallorca to live abroad for the first time.
Finding yourself in a whole other context can be overwhelming at first, but once you get your bearings and get to know the city, the university and make friends, everything becomes easier. As a foreign student, the university made sure we were well welcomed thanks to a meeting explaining all the paperwork we’d have to deal with now that we were going to live in another country, and thanks to a student association called ESN (Erasmus Student Network) that organized various events to adapt ourselves and socialize. With them, we were able to discover the city through games, learn about the local culture, party, and go on hikes since Mallorca has a very nice mountain range on which you can do that.
But after all the integration fun, school started, and I realized that it wasn’t going to be a walk through the park, the expectations being higher than my French university. That resulted in my increasing absence in the Erasmus parties and other events, something which influenced my social life. I was always told that during an exchange semester, teachers give good grades easily to foreign students. That is probably true but not where I was, so I had to spend a lot of time at home working on essays or commentaries while the others were having a good time.
However, it didn’t prevent me from traveling on the island to see what it had to offer in terms of mountain views and beaches. Because that’s what Erasmus is about, traveling. Such an experience allows you to become more mature by being away from home and anything you are used to and sometimes you must face challenges alone. Plus, the number of things you learn on such an adventure, whether it is about a different culture, other people or yourself, you always come back enriched. It is for these reasons that I believe that everyone should live a similar experience, even twice if possible because it is never a loss.