Bridge-builder between cultures, crash course in languages, official destroyer of your adultolescence, liver and beer-belly trainer, murderer of long-distance relationships and Don Juan for meant-to-be couples… But, above all, great experience and unforgettable memory for everyone that was lucky enough to go through it… Erasmus, only you know how to bring happiness into the life of a college student!
Here are the 61 things that every Erasmus student has gone through during the best year of their life:
1. The adrenaline rush of the night before starting your adventure (feeling exited and scared to death at the same time).
2. The overwhelming moment when the plane lands in a new country and there is only one question in your mind: “Now, what?”
3. Swearing again and again that you’ll never socialise with other Spanish Erasmus students in order to learn another language…
4. …and end up hanging out with them. Old habits die hard!
5. Inviting your 3 friends who are visiting to a sleepover in a 10-square-metre room. For someone who decides to cross the border for you, all that and more!
6. Not understanding a word your teacher says. Or your baker. Or your roommate.
7. Spending more on booze than on food without turning a hair.
8. Considering changing degrees only to go on Erasmus.
9. The first thing you learnt in your new language was “hello”; the second was a swearword.
10. Losing it over the “Learning Agreement”…
11. …and driving yourself crazy calculating the number of credits you need to complete (and what you need to do to pull them through doing the bare minimum).
12. Feeling like an ambassador for having exported the philosophy of “botellón” beyond the Spanish frontiers.
13. Feeling emancipated for the first time.
14. Watching the movie “The Spanish Apartment” during and after your Erasmus.
15. Being more open, talkative and self-confident than ever. But especially, after your third drink.
16. Feeling ashamed of yourself whenever you try to communicate in your new language. And feeling no shame at all from your third drink onwards.
17. Travelling like crazy thanks to low cost tickets from Ryanair.
18. Being up for partying day in and day out, and feeling more alive than in the last decade.
19. Strongly believing that the worst thing that can happen to an Erasmus is to be awarded a 6-month grant and miss the first or last part of the academic year.
20. Knowing that the best spots to throw a party are student halls.
21. Feeling like Ferrán Adrià whenever you cook a Spanish omelette while all your roommates go crazy over it.
22. Start panicking when someone urges you cook a “paella”.
23. Calling your mother to find out what’s in “paella” besides rice.
24. The people you just met a week ago are now your newfound family, because everything intensifies when you are on Erasmus.
25. Thanking yourself for having chosen an Italian University as your destination: good food, hot boys and girls, little time for studying…
26. …or hating yourself for having decided to go to the North… People study real hard there (although everything goes away when there are beers involved!).
27. Having your wall covered with pictures of your family and friends back home.
28. Going to German, Italian, Finnish, Spanish, Polish parties… and having the time of your life.
29. Thinking about committing suicide on your going away party.
30. The best beer is the cheapest one.
31. Missing the “ñ” on your keyboard.
32. Hearing about the legend that says that a couple survived the long-distance during Erasmus… although the stories about the Loch Ness monster will sound more believable to you.
33. Ending the night eating pasta locked in a room with other 10 people.
34. Making the promise that you’ll go on a trip together every year.
35. Erasmus-orgasmus: there are so many flings and hook-ups in an Erasmus week as in a Mexican soap opera…
36. …and you have been involved in one at least once.
37. All conversations with strangers begin with «Where do you come from?».
38. Missing «Tomate frito» (Spanish fried tomato sauce): How can they have so many varieties of tomato sauce (with rosemary, basil and peppers), but no «Tomate frito»?
39. Your home is not that far away when you have Skype.
40. Finding out that there is a place with more people than Zara during sales season: the queue at the University canteen.
41. Having dinner between 7 p.m. and 8 p.m.
42. Watching a football match without eating sunflower seeds (and not fully enjoy it).
43. Having said, at least once, the biggest fattest lie in the Erasmus code: «I am not going out today» (and, obviously end up partying).
44. And another classic lie: «I am going to school tomorrow» (and, fail to succeed because you fell asleep, obviously).
45. Stealing a glass/poster/plant/traffic sign/addanyotherobject and decorating your room with it.
46. Living under the impression that every day is a Friday.
47. Decorating your room with empty liquor bottles.
48. Having conversations in 4 different languages at the same time: Spanish, Italian, English and Drunk
49. Showing interest for supermarket deals (this week Nutella is on sale… let’s go to the mall!)
50. Having your fridge empty (but always having beer).
51. Being more in party mood than David Guetta in New Year’s Eve.
52. Confirming that the probability of bumping into a Spaniard that speaks English is inversely proportional to finding a German wearing sandals without socks.
53. Putting in a bit of weight (maybe eating pasta, pizza, rice, buns, pizza, pasta, burgers, pizza, ice cream, pizza… has something to do with it).
54. Passing an exam without deserving it and, probably, without having even studied.
55. Falling in love.
56. Looking like a vacuum-packed ham smuggler when you come back from Christmas at home.
57. Having lived more experiences in 9 months than in your entire life.
58. Thinking that the best thing about the end of Erasmus is getting to eat your mom’s home-cooked meals again. If not, you’ll always have «chorizo» sandwiches.
59. Realising that the worst thing about Erasmus is that it has to end.
60. Suffering from the Erasmus paradox: you come back as a grown adult after having lived the most reckless year of your life.
61. But, above all, you suffer from the horrible post Erasmus depression (which will haunt you again after reading this post).