close icon

what are you looking for?

close icon

badges you can earn

earn editorial badges by uploading a number of stories.
  • 1
  • 10
    senior writer
  • 20
    sub - editor
  • 50
close icon

Sign Up

use your university email address to create your account.

Username already exists, please use another email address.

Please ensure all fields aren't empty

  • Please Select
  • Abertay University
  • Aberystwyth University
  • Anglia Ruskin University
  • Anglo-European College of Chiropractic
  • Arden University
  • Arts University Bournemouth
  • Ashridge Executive Education
  • Aston University
  • Bangor University
  • Bath Spa University
  • Birkbeck University of London
  • Birmingham City University
  • Bishop Grosseteste University
  • Bournemouth University
  • BPP University
  • British School of Osteopathy
  • Brunel University
  • Bucks New University
  • Canterbury Christ Church University
  • Cardiff Metropolitan University
  • Cardiff University
  • City, University of London
  • Courtauld Institute of Art
  • Coventry University
  • Cranfield University
  • De Montfort University
  • Durham University
  • Edge Hill University
  • Edinburgh Napier University
  • European School of Economics
  • Falmouth University
  • Glasgow Caledonian University
  • Glasgow School of Art
  • Goldsmiths, University of London
  • Guildhall School of Music and Drama
  • Harper Adams University
  • Heriot-Watt University
  • Heythrop College, University of London
  • Imperial College London
  • Keele University
  • King's College London
  • Kingston University
  • Lancaster University
  • Leeds Beckett University
  • Leeds College of Art
  • Leeds Trinity University
  • Liverpool Hope University
  • Liverpool John Moores University
  • London Business School
  • London Metropolitan University
  • London School of Economics and Political Science
  • London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine
  • London South Bank University
  • Loughborough University
  • Manchester Metropolitan University
  • Middlesex University
  • Newcastle University
  • Newman University, Birmingham
  • Northumbria University
  • Norwich University of the Arts
  • Nottingham Trent University
  • Oxford Brookes University
  • Plymouth College of Art
  • Plymouth Marjon University
  • Plymouth University
  • Queen Margaret University
  • Queen Mary University of London
  • Queen's University Belfast
  • Regent's University London
  • Robert Gordon University
  • Rose Bruford College
  • Royal Academy of Music
  • Royal Agricultural University
  • Royal Central School of Speech and Drama
  • Royal College of Art
  • Royal College of Music
  • Royal Conservatoire of Scotland
  • Royal Holloway, University of London
  • Royal Northern College of Music
  • Royal Veterinary College
  • School of Advanced Study
  • Scotland's Rural College
  • Sheffield Hallam University
  • SOAS, University of London
  • Southampton Solent University
  • St George's, University of London
  • St Mary's University, Twickenham
  • Staffordshire University
  • Swansea University
  • Teesside University
  • The American International University in London
  • The London Institute of Banking & Finance
  • The Open University
  • The University of Law
  • Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance
  • Ulster University
  • University College Birmingham
  • University College London
  • University College of Estate Management
  • University for the Creative Arts
  • University of Aberdeen
  • University of Bath
  • University of Bedfordshire
  • University of Birmingham
  • University of Bolton
  • University of Bradford
  • University of Brighton
  • University of Bristol
  • University of Buckingham
  • University of Cambridge
  • University of Central Lancashire
  • University of Chester
  • University of Chichester
  • University of Cumbria
  • University of Derby
  • University of Dundee
  • University of East Anglia
  • University of East London
  • University of Edinburgh
  • University of Essex
  • University of Exeter
  • University of Glasgow
  • University of Gloucestershire
  • University of Greenwich
  • University of Hertfordshire
  • University of Huddersfield
  • University of Hull
  • University of Kent
  • University of Leeds
  • University of Leicester
  • University of Lincoln
  • University of Liverpool
  • University of London
  • University of Manchester
  • University of Northampton
  • University of Nottingham
  • University of Oxford
  • University of Portsmouth
  • University of Reading
  • University of Roehampton
  • University of Salford
  • University of Sheffield
  • University of South Wales
  • University of Southampton
  • University of St Andrews
  • University of Stirling
  • University of Strathclyde
  • University of Suffolk
  • University of Sunderland
  • University of Surrey
  • University of Sussex
  • University of the Arts
  • University of the Highlands and Islands
  • University of the West of England
  • University of the West of Scotland
  • University of Wales
  • University of Wales Trinity Saint David
  • University of Warwick
  • University of West London
  • University of Westminster
  • University of Winchester
  • University of Wolverhampton
  • University of Worcester
  • University of York
  • Wrexham Glyndwr University
  • Writtle University College
  • York St John University

By creating an account you agree to the uni news Terms and Conditions, and agree to receive marketing communications.

close icon

subscribe to uni news

get the latest articles straight to your inbox.

8 things I wish I'd been told before starting Erasmus

Before beginning Erasmus, I was excited to experience a new culture, meet new people from all over the world, increase my independence amongst a whole host of other things.

Whilst these have all been great benefits I have definitely experienced in my first month, unfortunately for me, I was slightly naive to the challenges I would also face along with all the great positive benefits of the Erasmus programme. So, I have compiled a list of things I wish I'd been informed of for anyone who is considering taking up the Erasmus programme in the second year of university.

1. You will have to do a lot of adulty-things


When I say adulty-things, honestly, I mean the kind of things you ask your parents for help with. More specifically, I mean spending a week trying to find the registry office to register as a citizen, I mean going to the bank and creating a new bank account with people that speak barely-there English. It's these kinds of things that to me felt really challenging at the time, but in reflection, these are just the boring things you have to do when you get older (albeit slightly harder doing it when all directions and signs are in German). On the upside, these kinds of challenges enable you to build a higher level of conviction you have in yourself, and so you become more self-reliant and cool-headed in the face of things you would usually receive help with.

2. Language barriers may prove challenging
Depeche Mode 90S GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

Overall, 99% of the people you meet in your new country will speak English, and they will be lovely. Sometimes, however, (mostly at supermarkets) you will come across someone who is commanding you to do something in German and you just have to stand there with this puzzled look on your face looking like a bit of a twat. Just make a sound and hope they realise you're foreign.

3. You will walk into the wrong class and it will be very embarrassing
No Laughing Matter Kanye GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

My first class at my Erasmus university confused me, to say the least. I sat there, looking at the PowerPoint presentation, seeing that the language was in German. Suddenly, dread filled my mind and I realised I had signed up for a class which was being taught in German. If you can't laugh at yourself, then this experience is going to seem a lot longer than you'd like.

4. It can get lonely, and you may feel like a bit of an alien
Lonely The Simpsons GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

When I joined my classes, I felt like a bit of an outsider as I was the only Erasmus student in 9/10 classes, and all the students would always talk to each other in German. But, don't worry, just take the initiative and courage to talk to those around you (as they can all speak English fluently) and you will make friends in no time.

5. You will find a new-found appreciation for your hometown (and the people in it)
Miss You GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

Sometimes, it always feels like the grass is greener on the other side. And this is especially true when you move away. Typically, when I live in Birmingham, I can't help but dream about all these other wonderfully exotic places I could be living in. Yet, when you eventually leave Birmingham, you actually miss it and think about all the wonderfully shitty things that make it your home. Yes, I'm talking about Snobs. Perhaps it's more about the people in your hometown rather than the place itself, homesickness is a new feeling which I am learning to embrace. When I get home I am going to walk through the streets of Digbeth as though I am walking through the clear blue waters of the Caribbean.

4. Nothing good comes easy
Stressed Out Stress GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

Admittedly, I've found this to be true after having experienced many difficulties in my first week here. I was feeling defeated, low-spirited and homesick which made me into a bit of an over-sensitive wreck. But now, a month in, I am loving my experience and feeling really comfortable and at ease here. Sometimes, you just have to get through the hardships of the first week to approach a place where you feel more at ease and at peace with your surroundings and your situation. It can take quite a few challenges for you to eventually reach a level of contentment in your new home.

7. You will meet more international people than locals
Broad City Illustration GIF by Kim Campbell - Find & Share on GIPHY

Living in student accommodation will be one of the best decisions you make. This is because you will literally be living in a culture pot of so many different people from so many different countries with their own unique lifestyles. Luckily, English is usually the common tongue, but it's fascinating to end up with such an eclectic group of people as your flatmates. Overall, I think it's known that the essence of Erasmus is to meet people from all over the world. For some reason, I thought I'd be mainly encountering Austrians, but 75% of people I've become friends with come from different countries worldwide.

8. Make the most of your time
Time Watch GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

Four months seems like a massive amount of time when you are doing your Erasmus studies. Yet, in the grand scheme of things, four months really is nothing. It will fly by, and you will be arriving in your new country as soon as you will be leaving. I've been here for a month and I can't believe how quickly it's gone already. So, with this in mind, make sure you take up opportunities like trips, and explore as much of your surrounding area as you can, as there's a good chance you will never be living in this country ever again. So don't waste any of the precious time you have.