10 Things I Experienced as an Erasmus Student

Omar from Spain, Summer Semester 2017

Everything started when I began looking for my accommodation, sending documents to the receiving institution, checking Google flights, etc. Arriving in Remagen I really didn’t know what to expect!

Here are some things that were part of my experience as an Erasmus student:

1. Your mother will miss you

She won’t be cooking or taking care of you anymore! The Mensa ladies will try their best but nothing is as good as the food our mother cooks!

2. Having visitors at your place is the norm

Friends will come to visit you, international guests, family being worried and needing to check on you or people after a party, this is going to be normal.

3. Your family/friends won't recognize you anymore

Living 5 months by yourself is going to change you. I grew up and became a different person that I once was, whether it was physically or mentally.

I was just a young teenager when they left me at the airport, nervous, confused, didn’t know how to cook, but now I am a completely new and different person. I think, my family won’t even recognize me! There will definitely be some critics and some compliments about my new habits (tea, running, being punctual), but in 5 months a lot changes.

4. Winter in Germany

In Spain, +15ºC is the normal temperature for winter and even then, I used to wear thick winter jackets, gloves and scarfs. I still don’t know how I survived winter in Germany with -10ºC sometimes (although people from Remagen did say it was one of the warmer years they had had).

5. Free time is impossible

On those Sunday mornings, when all I wanted to do was just watch Netflix there was always something to do. Either my flatmates or the internationals had always activities that we could do together:

  • Cycling along the Rhein
  • Going to parties/festivals
  • Travelling around small villages or huge cities
  • Campfires
  • Random dinners

6. Intercultural food

There was always so much food from all over the world, it was impossible not to eat everything. International dinners are the best, you get to experience what other cultures eat and you get to hang out with all the internationals!

7. Going out!

In Remagen, going to Baracke is almost mandatory! Some nights can get a bit crazy and Germans do drink a lot of beer!

8. Photos everywhere

The number of photos you will take, that people will take of you and the number of selfies you are going to have on your phone is going to be A LOT. If you are someone that doesn’t like to be in pictures you better learn that it is going be different and you should be creating memories.

9. Having no money

Having less money means you need to be more creative. When you are broke inspiration comes. The time when I had less money is when I started to enjoy things like

  • Travelling to cities where the cost of travelling is cheaper, and they will surprise you a lot
  • Using services like Couchsurfing and meeting awesome people!
  • Visiting the best hiking trails enjoying nature - Just relaxing and doing campfires with your German friends

10. You will visit so many places you will be tired of it

Your brain should rest and assimilate all that you have seen, experienced and deeply lived. I don't know exactly how many places I have visited in the last months, but it was a lot!

In the end, there were a lot of good things related to my Erasmus experience. Unfortunately, it is coming to an end soon! But I will remember and cherish every moment I spent in Remagen and in Germany.