What would you say about your Erasmus experience?

Cice from Italy

I don't know if I'll be able to write everything Erasmus has meant for me. Exactly 7 months have passed since I got out of the car of a sweet couple of Polish boys who offered me a ride from the airport to the Jowita dormitory, which is, now more than ever, my home.

I promised myself to write a thought a day from the beginning of all this, and, although not in a way I expected, I did. Every day I did it watching the sunset from a window of my beloved 7th-floor kitchen. The sunsets of Poznań are my logbook, collectors of memories, caskets of my thoughts. To gather some of those thoughts, I looked at all the photos I took of them, admiring mixes of colors. Every day so different and so beautiful. I will always have a special place in my heart for those images.

Now, I really want to list a few things that I'm thinking about are making me smile: sweats to go shopping at the Biedronka, hours spent wandering around the Avenida, useful purchases from Tiger, pączki on the street, hot dogs form Żapka (at any time!), kebabs (“spicy but without onion” from McDoner), races on Wednesdays to arrive at 9 o'clock at Prywatka and the unforgettable one złoty beers, thousand adventures that took place within the walls of Cuba Libre, afternoons spent in Starbucks when the internet in the dormitory was still a dream, parties in the rooms and strong flavors coming from the dorm's kitchen, noise and silence coming from the corridor, Administration that knocks softly on my room making me risk a heart attack, rice in bags, extra strong beers, thousand flavors of Soplica, Kultowa and its unparalleled smoke hood, traumatic alarm clocks and unforgettable walks to class, karaoke, falls on the floors of every corner of Poznan, meals eaten standing up, traveling with ESN, crazy travels with crazy people, meetings at 6 in the morning, a search for Italian pizza, pierogi of Stara Pierogania, windows that don't open and the machines of Jowita... 

All this would mean nothing if every single of them didn't make me think of all the people who have been with me throughout this incredible journey. But Erasmus is not just that, that's just an outline of what it means to me. Life during Erasmus gets amplified, from sensations and emotions to relationships. Everything is stronger, whether it is something good or bad. I don't know exactly what the reason is, but it is as if you feel hungry for life as if there is a song in the background, the one you always listen to when you need a bit of charge. It's like when you start a new TV series and you finish it in one day because you are just so curious to see what happens next.



Within this magical sphere, an Erasmus bubble, all the traveling companions fit in, and it so happens that you end up telling each other about your whole lives. Slowly you fill your heart with a thousand stories from other cities, different cultures and traditions, and, at the same time, with a thousand questions. Countless ways of seeing life arise in you and you feel richer than ever.

I remember the days when I had to say goodbye to all the people who made me so rich after the first semester ended. It meant a lot to me, to feel all that sadness, all the emptiness because I realized at that moment that I found a family. Strange,  but still family.


Then when I thought I have no more space in my heart, the second part of my Erasmus started. It passed mainly within the walls of this strange 12-story building. It gave me a great opportunity to get to know some people even better.

I don't know if I was able to convey what I feel. My Erasmus is all the faces, all the looks, the laughter, the tears, the joys and the worries, all the melancholy, the anger and the confidences that have been given to me. I will never stop thanking this land for allowing me to live through all this. 

When I think that soon I will no longer be able to run these corridors, meet new people on the stairs, see those sweet little girls fighting or come into my friends' rooms at any time and that I won't see random people enter my room anymore, I feel like crying. In a little while I will no longer watch the sunsets from this kitchen, but they will always remain inside me, together with all the people I thought of watching them. Thank you, thank you Poland! Thank you Poznań! Thank you Erasmus!


Natasza Mikołajczyk

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