Gorica Stevanović, a PhD student of the English Language and Literature Program at the International University of Sarajevo (IUS) is doing her Erasmus+ exchange at the University of Zielona Góra (Poland) during the 2017/18 Spring Semester. She deems that this is a one-off experience both for her academic and professional life:
“I have been in a Polish town Zielona Góra for almost a month now and this is a small update on my experience so far.
When I was presented with an opportunity to live in this town for a few months, I thought it might be useful not only for my career but for my personal life as well. An opportunity to take a break from the routine, experience something new, and see the place that I would not have otherwise visited. I was right in many ways.
Traveling and meeting other people is a learning experience in itself. And yes, sometimes no one speaks English but you learn a few Polish words and smile a lot and somehow communication takes place without you even trying too hard. Sometimes the opinions people have wildly clash with your own and their experience seems radically different from yours but you stop and listen and talk and learn. Always learn. And more often than not, people surprise you with kindness and an open heart, when you least expect it.
No matter where you go and what you do and how challenging Erasmus can be, and it can indeed be for some at the beginning, the experience is what you make of it.”