terça-feira, 18 de janeiro de 2011

Erasmus - "The time of our lives"

“The time of our lives”

One of the most important periods in a student life is coming. The end of the semester is just a few exams away. For most of the students studying in Hanze University it’s time to make the math of the credits, and study to get them. On the other hand there are the international students. It’s time to get together with friends for the last time, get the exams done and the time that most of the foreign students were afraid has arrived. Time for packing and get their own way home. This is the sad period after 5 months away from home while they got their international experience. But it’s not all sad. It’s time to remember all the experiences during the stay here in Groningen that, good or bad, they will always be remembered the best possible way.

Before all these International students came here to the city of Groningen and to the Hanze University, they probably didn’t know what to expect from both. Most of them made some search about the city and the university, but what to expect in a personal experience was not clear. Groningen isn’t one of the most famous cities in the Netherlands but still, thousands of students international students come here. In the Netherlands, the city is known as “The city of students”.

“The Hanze University is much bigger than my home university. The course is great and the teachers, they really look like they have professional experience in the areas they’re teaching.” Laura Groz, Portugal

“It has been a good experience. The course is very hard, lots of work to do but still, it was great. The teachers here bound much more with the students than back in my home university”. Iciar Diaz, Spain

During this last month, the international students have been the focus because of the end of this journey in their lives. Some interviews have been made, and in general the experience was great.

The students normally use the opportunity to go abroad to learn their course area in an international basis but the international experience isn’t just about school. It’s also about having the time of their lives, having fun, travelling and trying some things that they never experienced before.

“I had lots of fun here. Not just in an academic way but outside as well.” Martin Meany, Ireland

“Despite being so far away from home, this was a good journey where I’ve learned a lot.” Marcelo Chagas, Portugal
The final countdown to the end of the best experience of these young people’s lives is a reality now. Happy to go home and find the old friends and their own home but sad to leave the new ones. Going away from home is hard and bonding with different people, a different culture with a different way of thinking is even harder. Five months seemed like a long way to go when they got here but now seems like way too short.

After the abroad semester is over, the student’s feelings are divided. Some want to go home because they miss their family and friends and some are going because they have to. This city will always have a special “place” in their hearts. Most of them will advise people from their own University to spend their year abroad in Groningen.

“At first, I came here I had to do my year abroad and Groningen was the only option. But now I can say that I most certainly will advise my fellows back in Ireland. Groningen was a great experience and I hope that more can experience the same.” Declan Teefy

“Groningen was not my first option because I wanted Warsaw in Poland. I loved my stay here and Groningen will be a place to visit again and maybe even in the future something more.” Marcelo Chagas, Portugal

Rui Valadão

Journalism minor

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