Erasmus - what a great opportunity!

It was the biggest opportunity in my life. Erasmus was the chance to meet with new people from another country and learn a lot of things about their culture. Also for Turkish people, it was the chance to travel around Europe, because we can get visas as Erasmus students. When I thought all these reasons I decided to make an exam and go to another country for one semester. I was thinking the hardest part is the exam but it was not. The hardest part was choosing the country, in which country do you want to spend your Erasmus time? And for this choice, I didn’t have too much time. I decided in 5 minutes. Until the last moment, I never think about countries or universities. I saw my options and I chose Poland. I didn’t know anything about this country before Erasmus. But I thought Poland could fill my expectations. Because my biggest aim was to travel around Europe so I need the country which is central to Europe and I can go everywhere easily and also I need a country which is not so expensive and Poland was the best one because they are not using Euro and their currency is cheaper than Euro. And because of all these reasons, I chose Bydgoszcz/Poland.

Bydgoszcz. It is hard to say the name I was wondering how would be the life there? In the beginning, I was afraid of my choice. Because ı didn’t know anything about city or country and ı didn’t know anything about Polish culture, Polish people, etc. There were some stereotypes about this country and the most popular one was they love vodka. Actually, this is true but not for all people. When I come here I understood the hardest part is the language. The Polish language is the most difficult language for me. It is hard to talk, hard to write, and hard to understand. I almost spend one year here and still ı don’t understand.
My first impression about this country was people are really friendly and they like to help. I came to Warsaw first and I had to go to Bydgoszcz by train. But the problem was I can not say the name of the city how can I communicate with people? I was showing the name from paper and ı was asking how can ı say this name. Another problem was it is hard to find someone who can speak English.
Finally, ı came to my new university, my new home. The campus was like my university in Turkey. Everything is on the campus and also the place where ı am staying is on the campus too. The university is located in the city center so ı didn’t need to use a bus or tram here. I can walk everywhere easily from the university. People who are working in the university are so kind. The first week they organized orientation week for Erasmus students. They organized a lot of events, games, etc. Also, we met the mayor of the Bydgoszcz. This orientation week helped me to learn something about Polish culture quickly. I met new people from other universities. I had a lot of fun. And ı started my Erasmus life in the best way
The first semester we went to high school as a teacher for one day. It was a different and really nice experience for me. I had the opportunity to show Turkey. I tried to teach some Turkish words. I spent one day in this school and ı really like it. This helped me to see how its education in high school, what are the differences between Turkey and Poland, etc. The students were really respectful. They listened to us carefully and they ı asked questions, they really wanted to learn. Also, they tried to teach us Polish so ı had a really good time in this high school.

I didn’t have too many regular classes here. Generally, the visiting professors were coming and teaching us for one week or more. Because of this ı had a lot of free time to discover this city and country. I had also Polish language classes. I had really nice teacher and she did her best to teach us this language. Of course, it was really hard. Especially the writing part was the worst for me. It is totally different from my language but the first-semester ı learned something in Polish
Visiting professors is also was a really good opportunity for us. Because they were coming from other countries and ı saw the different countries’ teaching methods. The teachers were really well-prepared and nice. I learned a lot from them. Also, ı learned about their cultures sometimes some words in their languages.

In Turkey, ı have regular classes, maybe one time or twice ı can have opportunity to have visiting professors. Lectures are harder than here in Turkey. All these reasons pushed me to stay in also the second semester. The winter was really hard in this country so ı wanted to see how would it be in the spring Second-semester ı didn’t have Polish language courses. So my only regular class was English. I had the opportunity to travel in the first semester.

Here also ı had the opportunity to join INTERATE. I was lucky because this year it was in Poland, at my university and International Office chose me. There were a lot of people from around Europe. I made new friends, ı learned about their country, their culture. And also INTERATE really helped to improve my language skills. Also, ı met a lot of professors from different countries. We had a simulation game at the end of INTERATE. Teachers prepared us for this game. The first time ı worked on an International Project. It was a really big opportunity for me. I understood how ı would work with people from other countries. I saw the cultural differences. I had a lot of useful lectures from well-prepared teachers. I had my best 2 weeks because of INTERATE. Also, ı get the certificate and it will be useful for my CV.

After two semesters ı had the opportunity to stay here during the summer. I started my internship at the International Office of the university. This internship was really important for my future life. During my stay in Poland ı learned a lot of important and useful things and these things will be good for my life not only for my CV but also for my personal life.

I spend almost one year in this city, in this country. I didn’t have any big problem. In the beginning, ı thought there is nothing to do in this city but when ı started to learn ı also started to have fun. Bydgoszcz is smaller than my hometown in Turkey but it was not a problem. I traveled to other cities also near Bydgoszcz. And ı understood there are really nice cities in Poland to visit. Like Krakow, Poznan, Warsaw,etc. Every city has different beauty to see.

To sum up, ı never had regret choosing Poland. I always had fun here and ı made really good friends. Also, ı was really lucky about the university because this university is the best option for Erasmus.
I will miss here when ı leave. And for sure ı will come to visit again. 




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