As an Erasmus student I wanted to share with you some tips that are currently helping me. I see that most of my fellow students are going on a Erasmus or exchange year next course, everyone could tell it by their faces, I can see fear and excitement, so I thought that my tips would be helpful for everyone.
First of all, it is completely normal to feel fear when you are going abroad, but really you shouldn’t feel that way because you will find what you are looking for wherever you go if you know how to search for it. However, I found it really helpful to have a friend you can trust from the beginning, someone who would show you around, that way you won’t get lost, you also should ask him or her to show you different cultural issues, as famous bands, the most popular newspaper or magazines,radio stations, etc, so as you to be completely integrated in the society of that country.
On the other hand, and as a language learner each one should have his or her own tricks to make the most of this experience. Those are some of mines:
– To have a good language exchange partner . Having a good language exhange partner is really important, since you will probably be able to express yourself in the native language in a few weeks or in a week but our aim is beyond that, what we want is to really master the language we are learning. Therefore we should ask our language partner to show us as many useful expressions as possible, more specific words, etc. Because at the end, the only way to really learn vocabulary is calling thins by their own name not just trying to explain what we mean in a roundabout way.
– To note the new voabulary we learn. While being abroad we will be learning new vocabulary every day, but trust me, even if in the moment that you listen to a new word you think that you will remenber it and that you will star using it, you won’t , because you will come across new words every single day. Therefore I think it’s worth it to spend some time every day trying to summarize the new words we have heard that day. In my case, I have a terribly bad memory, so one of my methods to remember words is to associate them to a particular situation. What I do is to write down the word, where did I listen to it or who said it to me and a clear example that explains what it means.
Those are little tips that are helping me in this amazing experience that is the Erasmus at UL, I’ll try to share more of them with you !