Erasmus + Success Stories
Gergana's impressions from University of Angers
“I LEARNED WHAT CANNOT BE LEARNED IF YOU JUST STAY IN YOUR COMFORT ZONE AT HOME”
Erasmus+ Period: 05/02/2019 – 05/04/2019
“Colorful” - this is the word most people use to describe Naples. It is a city of contrasts. At one moment you walk down a street with untended buildings and at the next you are left stunned by a spectacular view of the sea, embraced by the gentle violet arms of Vesuvius. The city is so full of remarkable buildings, large museums and cultural heritage and at the same time so vivacious, you could feel its pulsing life, running through the narrow streets. And Naples will surprise you at every corner.
Before going on my Erasmus+ traineeship I had a lot of doubts if I would enjoy it, if it would be a contribution to my education, if I could get along with the people there, if I would survive on my own. I never expected it to be so easy, natural and satisfactory to deal with all that through the communication with people so positive and hospital like only Neapolitans can be. Almost everybody I met was more than nice and helped me with everything they could. That made struggling with everyday issues effortless. Even in the academic environment of the university all the professors and students were very friendly and eager to help me get the most of each day I spent there. Their warm, Mediterranean temper can always bring the smile to your face and even if you are expecting it they can always surprise you with another charming gesture. I am profoundly grateful to the professors and the dean of the university for letting me explore different approaches and especially for adjusting the program to my interests and skills. And of course, I am thankful for teaching me the most important lesson - your day cannot go right without a nice, strong Italian coffee in “Napoli, where coffee is a cult”.
But it wasn’t just the locals who made my stay unforgettable. I met with students from many other countries with different experiences. This is one of the best features of the Erasmus+ Programme. The thing in common between everyone I met was that they were very positive and curious to find out as much as possible about other cultures. It is good to know there are organizations, taking care for events where you can spend a wonderful time, getting to know both other Erasmus+ students and the most attractive sites nearby. But for me the greatest pleasure was unraveling the city’s most beautiful corners unexpectedly. Feeling the magic of the morning sun, sitting on the stairs of “ Piazza Bellini” under the sound of jazz music from the Conservatory or walking by the sea under the stars, watching the hundred lights gathered around the coast... Dancing next to Castell dell’Ovo or eating ice cream on via Toledo, you will not be left without a pocket, full of amazing memories. And the pizza! I may need a whole paragraph to describe what cannot be described - the Neapolitan Margherita. You simply cannot go wrong wherever you buy it from, especially if it is shared with a friend.
“What did you learn?” is the question everybody is asking me. I learned what cannot be learned if you just stay in your comfort zone at home. I learned the importance of communication with people and having a positive attitude towards new ideas, places and approaches. Having a different perspective is one of the most precious opportunities the Erasmus+ Programme can offer to you! It could literally give your life a new direction and clarity of what you want and how you can achieve it. For me it was a great inspiration both for my professional and personal development. Most importantly it is a wonderful reminder that “Non scholae, sed vitae discimus.”.