Culture Shock. It is a term we have all heard a hundred times before and it is something that every university will mention in pre-departure meetings. As Erasmus students, we all associate these two words with the beginning of our time abroad. But what do they actually mean? And is it possible to get “culture shocked” twice?
While it may not be a recognised medical condition, that glum feeling you get when you return to your home university is definitely normal, and something that every Ex-Erasmus student experiences. Right? In our new series, you can follow our author’s way back into ‘normal-life’ after an eventful year abroad.
“It all started when I took a trip to see some relatives in Germany and then went to Bulgaria to see some friends. Since then the ‘instinct’ of the traveler awoke inside me. I usually choose places with cheap flights and go. Just like that. I arrive, find a hostel nearby, choose a room and then discover the place.”
Antoine and Julie, two 20 year old French college students, spent their “workers’ internship” in an Indian orphanage where they discovered girls striving to get an education for a better future. They tried to encourage and entertain them during the summer.
After having finished high school, going directly to college may seem like the logical and even only step to take in countries like Spain. However, in other countries like Germany, going on a gap year has become a hot topic. A cultural difference shown in two questions: What are you going to study? v. What are you going to do? And explained through the Erasmus experience of the author.
Europe is going through a hard time, and it is only with faith, and a little bit of idealism too, that we can overcome this crisis. In a letter to her native continent our author recalls the best moments of a youth spent with eachother and holds out hope for the future. A love letter to Europe.
You’re 18, 25 or even 30 years old. You’re eager to see the world, to have an international experience that will leave a mark on you before you carry on with your life. And the only condition is the price of the adventure. If you add to this your passion for children, it’s very likely you opt (if you haven’t already) for the same as Esther, Heather, Janika or Rode, and work as an au pair abroad.
On the curvy roads of Armenia I feel sick and lost, waiting to get to the destination.
Irina is a young woman from Romania; a traveler’s soul. Born and raised in Bucharest, she has been traveling since she was 9 years old. She has sung in a choir for 20 years now, and many of her first trips were as a part of this group.
Karol Zientek is a young Polish journalist who one day pointed at Singapore on a map and decided it was far enough away to go hitchhiking. His decision brought him 10 months of travelling without paying a penny for accommodation, and many, many unforgettable stories. He started a blog to give advice on cheap travel, and to share experiences.