«Erasmus is not a year in your life, but your life in one year»
I’m writing this post 20 days before leaving. Leaving. Such a difficult word for me right now, not only to pronounce, but to think about it. One year ago, I wouldn’t have been able to think of Belgium as my home. Home, sweet home. Since we came here, everyone has changed. I know some of you will be reading this and saying «C’mon, Tess, it’s only been 5 months!», but I swear it’s true.
We arrived in Brussels at the end of January more lost than Nemo with tons of luggage bigger than the residence room. And then, suddenly, after hours of plane and trains… boom! Everything is in Dutch and you don’t understand a thing. I remember coming here with the idea of learning some Dutch words, but so far we can only say «alstublieft» and yes! I looked it up online to write it!
However, we have learnt about Dutch culture! Beer has become water to us, we have adopted all the belgian culture about beer and we would be able to drink it for breakfast with some cereals if we could. What I don’t know for sure is what will we do when we come back to our hometowns and discover that there are actually more existing drinks.
What about going back to sleep without people partying in the garden and without ordering 6 pizzas in Domino’s promotion for dinner? Will we be able to survive more than a week without (belgian) french fries? And I personnally don’t know how my timetable works right now, I’m eating most of the weeks 2 hours earlier compared to Spain and it’s gonna be hard returning and wait these hours before lunch.
When living with 100 international people, you are not only sharing cloths, but we all have lots of notes in our phone with around 90 sentences and useful words in different languages to order in restaurants, insult or even flirt. Now I know that I can go to Greece and pretend I know what I’m talking about for 5 minutes. And how will I get there? With my new best friend Ryanair, of course. When I open my internet browser I don’t see Google anymore, Ryanair is my new home site. I have travelled to ten countries in five months, which means two countries per month on average, wow. If you are afraid of planes, go on Erasmus for shock therapy. Now Belgium, Germany, France, Netherlands, Croatia, Bulgaria… I left a part of me there to become who I am now.
But it’s not the countries I have visited what has helped me mature, it’s you, guys. Every one of you has tought me something very valuable and I’m really, really thankful.
I hope you all feel that you have also learnt from the people here, at least some dance moves from Valery, Jana or Georgia, or Romane’s unique hand dance move! Or maybe you didn’t learn about dancing, but if you have lived in the 1st floor you are into decorating doors thanks to Adam and his tape, able to glue anything.
Cooking may have been also your new discovery this year because of Guntars‘ luxury dishes or because of Robin’s pasta menu. Or maybe you didn’t learn how to, but you tried a lot of original recipes from all over the world such as Naye’s tacos, Irina’s tortilla de patata or Buse’s Turkish-food-with-no-English-translation. I’m sure that Amir will continue saying «Cariño, por favor» for a while as Eso says «Oh, my gosh, oh, my gosh» and we can all agree and say that Núria speaks more English now than at the beginning of the semester. Does anyone know for sure if Paul or Lore are Spanish or French?, -sorry, I meant Vask, Lore.-
If María and Mariaje have already tought you «Despacito«, Ambrah has discussed with you something about China or you are in a selfie with one malaka, then you can confirm that your Erasmus in Kortrijk is completed.
To all of you and to all the ones I haven’t mentioned, thank you. This experience has been life-changing and it wouldn’t have been the same without you and all those details I will always keep with me.
I also wanted to thank this opportunity to the whole International department in UNAV and VIVES.
PS: Hey! Has anyone checked if Javi is still in his room with Mattias playing FIFA?