Today I’m here to talk about something that has been on my mind a lot lately. The Erasmus programme is a student exchange programme in the European Union for university students where you can go study abroad for one semester or a whole year in some cases.
To be honest, I’d never given this much thought. I’d never wanted to go. Well, maybe deep down I wondered how it would be but the idea of it always scared me. I’m a really shy person and I’m not a people’s person at all. I have my group of friends with whom I’m really comfortable but when it comes to new people, I’m just really awkward and quiet and some times I get a bit anxious and uncomfortable in social situations. That’s one of the main reasons Erasmus was always a no for me. I couldn’t even imagine the possibility of going off alone to another country for a whole semester, knowing it would be really hard for me to talk to people and make new friends. Even though in the past year I’ve been trying to fight my shyness and be more sociable, it still scared me. Another reason I never questioned going abroad was because I was (still am) scared of living by myself. Also I didn’t want to risk losing a semester at uni because not all subjects at the university abroad were equivalent to the ones in my university and I would have to do them after. So, as I’ve said, it was always a no. My parents asked me if I ever considered it and my reply was always that I didn’t want to go. However, it hasn’t been like this for the past couple of weeks…
What changed? I really don’t know. I just know that I’ve been considering the Erasmus project more and more. It still scares me to go abroad for a semester but I’ve been wondering if it wouldn’t be the best for me. Since uni started again last week I’ve been feeling kind of weird. Some times it seems like I don’t really belong anywhere in this city but, on the other hand, I feel like I’m getting along with people from my year better than ever. Erasmus has come up in conversations a few times in the past two weeks and it just makes me think about it even more. Maybe it would do me good, you know? Specially because there’s so much of the world for me to see and I just feel like I’m stuck in this little city called Coimbra. Don’t get me wrong, I love studying here and I love my city but I just feel like that isn’t really enough anymore. And I know this would be a great experience for me but I don’t know what to do. Some days I feel like I really want to go but other days I feel like I don’t.
If I did go, I would only go next year, so one might think I still have plenty of time to decide but the problem is that I have to send in my application to the Erasmus programme between December and January so I need to make a decision until then. Furthermore, next year I start my Master Degree and there’s two different areas in Chemical Engineering that I can choose from and I’m still uncertain about that too but if I want to apply to this, I will have to choose before applying, which is a problem as well. Another thing is that I have to choose between all the different places where I can go (even though that’s not really a problem because I have one place in mind, since I would love to go to the UK and the only place there is Leeds).
Anyway, I’m really conflicted about this whole situation. I really don’t know whether I should go study abroad or not for a whole semester and I really have to think this over. I think I’m going to talk to my parents as well to know what they think and I know this situation will come as a surprise to them.
Also if you have an opinion on the matter, please share it with me, because I’m sure it’ll help.
Until next time,