Erasmus 2016/17 was the best experience of my life so far. Not only was I able to break up the intense nature of my degree by moving away to study modules that I had heavy interest in, but I also got the opportunity to push myself out of my comfort zone and immerse myself in a different culture for a year. In this, not only have I now gained friends for life from Finland, Germany, France, Italy, America and Poland, but I have also learnt so much more about these countries and their way of life which has helped me to be more open minded. In this, I am now 10x more focused to begin my final year, I’m excited to take weekend breaks away to meet my friends abroad, and I feel like I have learned the art of perseverance, or in Finnish, “sisu,” which has allowed me to know exactly what I want to do and to do anything I can to attain it. As a bonus, the teaching styles were so different in Finland that I had excess time to travel to places I never would have thought I had the time/resources to explore otherwise, and saw the beautiful Northern Lights which had been a dream since I first watched polar express as a child.
There is always help when the fear kicks in both from Surrey and the partner university, and your Erasmus friends become like family. I was able to conquer all my fears here and feel truly unstoppable in my dreams now. Overall, I found myself in Finland – and I couldn’t recommend taking this year to study/work abroad to shape you as a person and in your career.