Erasmus in Poland (guest story)
Inspiring guest story about Erasmus in Poland
Hello everyone. As I promised, we have a super funny and nice story for today. It is again about Erasmus in Poland, but this time, our storyteller is from Turkey. Remember, there is another story that talks about this subject. In case you want to know more, go back to that article. AFTER YOU READ THIS ONE, of course! He talks about his experience but also his story has valuable lessons about friendship, family and following your dreams. You have a lot to learn from him, so enjoy ! So…here is his story:
My Erasmus experience
It was the second year of my bachelor’s degree at Bahcesehir University Istanbul, Turkey. I was a social student and I was already working in Student clubs as an active member. Meanwhile, I also had my own radio show named “SendeYaparsin” meaning “you can also do it” where I was speaking about motivational topics and tried to inspire my listeners. So as someone who always to wanted make something more out of University Academically, I decided to apply for Erasmus in the 1st year of my Bachelor’s degree. I had 3 options to choose from and I was kind of in confusion to decide which country to go to. Right at that point my friend from the student club that I worked for, suggested me to go to Poznan, Poland. He was saying that its perfect city for students that want to travel, to have fun, and of course educate themselves 😄Eventually and doubtfully I decided to put Spain as an option on the 3rd place and 1st and 2nd, I decided to write Poland. By the way, I can’t forget to mention that I wasn’t a really organized person back then. I applied on the last day of application process even though I had 8 months to send in my documents 🤷🏻♂️ 😂, After all, my application process was successful and I was able to tell that sometimes things happen for a reason, and I knew it was beginning of a new journey.
My beginning in Poland
I can say that My Erasmus journey didn’t begin really well at first. As a student moving to a totally foreign country I had to travel about 12 hrs in total to come to Poznan, Poland. First, I had to take a flight from Istanbul, Turkey to Berlin, Germany then from there I had to take 8 hrs trip by bus to Poznan. After an exhausting trip, I needed my mentor to take me from the Bus stop on the time we have agreed on, I took my huge luggage (3 of them) and waited for her. But unfortunately, the mentor that my university had assigned for me didn’t show up. I was tired, and frustrated a little bit. I connected to the Wi-fi that I found in the mall to ask for someone to pick me up. Long story short, they assigned me my first Polish friend which I still meet, Marta, to take me up from the bus station. She was really welcoming and nice to me and decided to take me to my “new home” – Dewizka student dormitory, which was gonna be the place I will stay for the upcoming 3 years.
It was around 11 pm, all dark, and with the last bit of my power, we carried my huge luggage to the 3rd floor of the Dormitory (lucky me 😄). My mentor got the keys to my room and opened the door for me. As soon as I got in the room I was in total shock. The room was extremely dirty there, there was rotten lasagna on the table and my first roommate, Vladislav, was sleeping under a huge pile of dirty clothes. So at first we didn’t recognize him and started moving in. He jumped out of his “bed” to greet us 😂. We got kinda scared. After the “warm welcome” of my roommate, he decided to invite me to my first night out in the city with his friends. It was a crazy night for me since 5 of us drank 70 shots and some beers, that night I understood the Polish way welcoming.
Friendship and Parties
My Erasmus was such an amazing experience its hard to express it in words. The amount of joy and events are definitely once in a lifetime. I can mention some of them so that you have something in mind. The first week of my Erasmus experience was the highlight of the whole 5 months. This week is called the “orientation week”, where everyone gets to know each other. We play games, every night some fun events are held, and most importantly friendship groups for the rest of the Erasmus experience are formed. In the first week, we had a “Tram party” where every exchange student party inside a tram that moves in the city for one hour straight.
We also had an event called pub crawl where you play random games in each pub and complete them to get a chance to move to the next pub. This goes on for the rest of the night until you find yourself sleeping in a bush 😂. One of the most valuable gainings from my Erasmus experience was my best friend Eveline. I actually got to know her in one of the orientation week events. The first time I met her I thought we would never be friends and she seemed a little mean. But within time as we got to know each other and partied an amazing friendship and trust was built among us. I wouldn’t even imagine it would be this much of a friendship to keep it for a lifetime. Within these 5 months, she became my secret keeper, party buddy, wingman, gym buddy, and more. I’m, sure she will say the same for me, right Eve? 😂
Long story short: Erasmus gave me so much. Of course, it’s not only about good parts. There are bad moments but you get to learn and grow from them.
Ending / Tough decision
As my Erasmus experience was coming to an end, a small sadness grew up inside me. I loved the city, the friends the atmosphere, the time I had for myself, and more. Eventually, I found myself looking for a way to stay there more. That’s when I spoke with my family about transferring my University in Turkey to Poznan University of Economics (in Poland). They told me to ask the University procedures on transferring and after a little research I found out that I wasn’t able to transfer and had to University from scratch. I was little afraid and shy to ask them on starting my Bachelor degree entirely from the beginning. In the end, I was surprised how my family welcomed my desire to stay. All they said was: “if you feel happier there stay, 2 years that you will loose is nothing compared to your happiness.” At that point in my life, I was able to understand how lucky I was, and extremely grateful for the family I had.… It definitely was a life-changing moment for me.
After everything, I came back to the University that I originally came for The Erasmus exchange program (in Poland). I was extremely happy to start a new journey here. It’s been 2 years since I’m a regular student here and all I can say is I’m so happy that I took the risk and made this decision. It was one of the best decisions of my life.