Picture by Zoe Conway. All Rights Reserved.
I myself have just returned from five months studying abroad in Tarragona, Spain and have learned that not every college has such a student welfare centred agenda like UL does. This is because UL’s student centre plays a large role on the campus. Along with this, there were almost no clubs or societies associated with the college, resulting in a large feeling of loneliness as I arrived in a new country with no one beside me. There was however an Erasmus Facebook group that allowed all Erasmus students to contact each other and arrange trips, nights out and meetups. My one recommendation if you are going on Erasmus alone like I did, treat this group as your best friend until you make a few close ones.
It may seem daunting to arrive to these events on your own at first, but that is the best way to start making friends. And if you can’t think of anything interesting to say about yourself at first, because you are just that nervous (which is completely fine), just ask a few people about themselves, everyone at these meet ups are on Erasmus, meaning they are in the same boat as you. Some great questions that help to get people talking are;
- Where are you from?
- How are you finding it here?
- Are you in (name your subject)?
- How long are you studying here for?
- Have you found a god coffee shop yet?
Those are just some of the things that I found helped me find my footing, and make a few friends on my solo trip to Spain. What about you? Any other tips you can think of for future Erasmus students or worries you’d like to talk about?