Never wait for someone to make a dream come true, take the risk and you will see the giant world of knowledge that awaits you!
The Erasmus experience is lived differently by each participant and the learning and motivations to accept the challenge of leaving the comfort zone are also diverse. The testimony of Ana Rodrigues, a student of Dietetics at the School of Health, is pragmatic, and at the same time engaging, but it is mainly a testimony of personal overcoming. After all, is this result we are looking for with an Erasmus experience, right? Below, you may find an excerpt from the e-interview to the student who embarked on the Erasmus experience and who suddenly finds herself teaching Portuguese at the university that hosted her in Lithuania.
Name: Ana Rodrigues
Age: 21 anos
School: School of Health (ESSLei)
Course: Bachelor in Dietetics
Selected Country: Lithuania
What was the 1st impact of the country?
I’ve arrived quite late, but soon I was welcomed by a group of Turkish people who was drinking tea, the typical black tea.
Everything you’ve heard by others about Erasmus soon begins to make sense. The first minute after my arrival I felt like home (…)
How was to leave out of your comfort zone?
The time has passed and I was missing home so much. I wanted to go back again, I wish the days could fly, and I was on the phone with my friends in Portugal all the time. Suddenly, the work and the activities started to fill my whole day and the days started to pass faster, too faster, in fact.
Leaving my comfort zone made me felt a huge mix of emotions. It still does. I even doubted my sanity. I spent the whole trip to Lithuania crying because I did not want to leave home and left everything behind, probably an unnecessary drama. I didn’t want to start all over alone, in a country where I didn’t know anything or anyone. When I arrived at Lithuania the feeling of getting to know everything and everyone spoke louder and suddenly I just wanted to stay.
How did the invitation to teach Portuguese happen?
I had never imagined myself giving classes, especially to people with the same age as I or older.
We have a group on facebook with all the Erasmus students who are in this city, the mentors are fantastic and they are always organizing new programs and activities.
What was the easiest and the most difficult thing of this experience?
Since my bachelor is in Dietetics one of the difficult things was the adaptation to the menus used in Lithuania. As a trainee in the food department in a hospital, I have to know how to evaluate the menus, which really go far beyond the typical dishes I’m used to in Portugal. Also to communicate with the local people was is difficult. It still is.
I can say that the easiest thing was the integration, making new friends and travel to nearby countries.