Dear Aya, now that one month has passed since I arrived in Zielona Gora, I would like to share my experience I have gained so far as an Eramus student at the University here. I know that you also wanted to apply, but because of other obstacles you couldn’t, so believe me when I say after this letter you won’t miss a chance to become like me next year. Also, I didn’t forget to act as some kind of scout for you, so here are the information that you will be interested in.
The prospect of being away from home for a longer period, I was kind of sceptical how I would be able to handle all the challenges that come with it. I was probably lucky enough that none of my anxious thoughts was realized. I am not saying that you won’t feel homesick from time to time, but that is totally normal. Bear in mind that this technological world won’t allow you to feel like that all the time, all these apps are there to connect us with our loved ones from different parts of the world. The first thing that I want to share with you is my impressions about the dorm. My dorm is called “ Wczesniak” and let me tell you something, you won’t believe how well equipped one dorm can be. The rooms are amazing! Let me offer you some advice, do not request for a single room in the application form, because it’s not fun at all. For example, I requested a single room, but as time was passing by, being alone was kind of depressing and I wanted to change that as soon as possible. Luckily enough I found two girls from Turkey and after that our room has been more lively and harmonized.
You are probably curious to know about the city itself. This is how I see it, Zielona Gora is a quiet and small city, with everything in it. I am surrounded by nature and green landscapes everywhere, and you know how much these things are appealing to me so I was more than happy, even though the city has its urban parts, everything is well organized and worthy of sightseeing. The architecture of every building was breathtaking for me and also you will see such colorful buildings around you, that sometimes it resembles fairy tale descriptions.
Read this part carefully, because I know what you are actually looking for. If you really want to improve your language skills, Erasmus is a perfect opportunity to do so. I will take myself as an example again, since you know how many times I was trying to force you and me to speak English all the time, but not with much success, but thankfully Erasmus has given me unlimited time for it. Now watch this, I am using English so much that I broke off the language barrier between my native language and English and everything that earlier I was not able to express in English, now I can. Can you actually believe that? Every day I can see and feel that my fluency in English is increasing and now I am convinced that you can’t wait to become an Erasmus student next year.
Let’s talk about the thing that I personally cherish most i.e. long-life friendships that I have made during my stay here. I have met so many different people in the first couple of weeks and heard such a variety of different languages that sometimes it was hard to catch up with everything that was happening. Don’t worry, I know you want me to be friendlier than I was ever before, and I did that. I have created my personal group of people that I spend most of time with, it is a mix of Spain, Greece, Turkey and Bosnia, and obviously Polish students.
I have always liked to compare languages, so I am doing that with Polish and Serbian and you will be surprised how many words in Polish language resemble ours in Serbian. To be honest, Erasmus does feel like a one big family. We spend time with each other, we explore the city together, we chat, laugh and go out for dinners together, and the bond is getting even stronger when you share classes together.
These people will have a special place in my heart and now more than ever I am happy that I have applied for Erasmus exchange student programme. I don’t regret it in any shape or form. I would recommend it to everyone, but most importantly, I want you to experience all of these, so I can be the next person that will receive this type of letter. I want you to try this and hopefully you will be sharing my opinion about every single thing that I have mentioned so far. I almost forgot to give you some insights about the classes. Yes, you can have a great time in Zielona Gora, but you are a student and you have to carry some responsibilities that you need to fulfill. I am sure that this will be like a piece of cake for you. We were always praised about our punctuality and our engagement during the class, back on our home university, so here your hard work will pay off. Our Professors here are not too strict, maybe for others they are, but for me it’s totally alright. I always attend my classes and you are always provided with materials that you need during the class. The Professors are really kind and helpful, like most Polish people that I have met so far. As for the teachers, they speak perfect English and everything is easy to understand. With that in mind I would like to finish my letter with invitation for you, the ‘future’ Erasmus student, do not hesitate to apply for this amazing grant and believe me you won’t regret it. This was my best choice that I have ever made. If you want to push yourself harder for the sake of education, if you want to learn more, to know more and experience more, then Erasmus is your perfect goal!
Best regards, your friend, Lejla Hanuša!