Second semester is officially over, guys!
Erasmus students are constantly partying and traveling. Moreover they rarely have to study as they do not have that much courses anyway!
To put it in short being on Erasmus is a blast.
So it seems… I aked about 70 people what Erasmus really is.
While our parents think that we are blowing all our money on whatever our relatives think that we are studying so much we barely have time to go out.
But they are not the only ones with an opinion on our day to day Erasmus life.
Our professors think that we only came to escape actually having to study in our own country.
Our friends think that we are chilling all day, sleeping, clubbing, drinking and going out on various dates etc.
Are these allegations true or false? Well the answer seems so simple but let us find out together!
New timetable, new courses, new professors and even new crowd of people. But that is not all! This actually means that for some of us the Erasmus experience is officially coming to an end. Hence we will be saying goodbye to good friends (some, we unfortunately just met recently and are still wondering why we did not meet them before…).
A while ago i carried out a survey in which some of you took part in. For this i asked about 70 people to join me in. Both girls and boys. I was interested in what the average Erasmus students thought, did and experienced at their arrival to Lyon. Here is the evaluation of the survey!
“What does/ did the regular Erasmus student think?”
“Is/ Are the average Erasmus-Student, -s in a relationship or single?”
“Will/ Was my budget (be) enough?”
“Do/ Did i party too much or go out too much?”
“Do/ Did i drink too much?”
If these are your question let us look at the answers together.
1. In what Uni Year are you?
2. How long are you staying?
- 1 Semester: 65,9%
- 2 Semester: 34,1%
3. Would you like to extend your stay?
- Yes: 13,6%
- No: 52,3%
- Yes, but i cannot: 34,1%
4. Are your studies recognized at your Home University?
5. What is the main reason for your Erasmus mobility?
- Fun/ Travel: 4,5%
- Required for studies: 11,4%
- Learn a new language: 0%
- Advance your language skills: 29,5%
- Get to know other people: 2,3%
- Expand your horizon: 50%
- Other: 2,3%
6. How many courses do you take?
- Up to 3: 13,6%
- 3–5: 29,5%
- More than 5: 56,8%
Now this one is very interesting. We are all on the same Erasmus mobility program but our universities are the ones deciding on how many credit points we need. In Frankfurt, Germany for example Erasmus-Students only have to pass 2 exams which equals 10 ECTS points, same as most of the italians i spoke to. Whereas i need 30 ECTS points which are 6 courses per semester i have to pass. I know…how does that add up? It varies strongly from country to country and from each university.
7. What is your monthly budget?
So now let us talk about money…
- Under 1000€: 65,9%
- 1000€-1200€: 27,3%
- 1200€-1500€: 6,8%
- More than 1500€: 0%
It is official leaving the country does not necessarily make us richer 😀
Frankly speaking, living in France is very expensive…really expensive…ridiculously expensive sometimes compared to Germany.
8. So how do we cope with being poor students? On a scale from 1–5 (1 not at all- 5 pretty good)
- 1: 2,3%
- 2: 4,6%
- 3: 43,2%
- 4: 31,8%
- 5: 18,2%
9. What do you do in your leisure time?
- Sports: 50%
- Music: 38,6%
- Work: 15,9%
- Travel: 90,9%
10. Did you know anyone before coming here?
- “No”: 17x - a lot of you gave this answer
- “Two girls from my uni at home.” -
- “Some other students from my home university are staying here as well and we’ve opened a Facebook chat with all freshers and Erasmus students before our arrival.”
- “I had some contacts in Lyon that I got thru my work in my home country.”
- “My boyfriend.”
- “I have a friend from Lyon, however she goes to uni in Strasbourg.”
- “Je connaît personne.”
- “I didn’t know anyone here, but met a new friend on my first day.”
- “Yes, but only another student from my university. We don’t have (almost) any contact. So I think it’s more ‘no’ this question.”
- “Yes, i knew sone french girls i met in Paris.”
- “Yes. Some friends from Romania.”
- “No, not really. I spoke to some People on Facebook before I got here.”
- “Yes my best friend.”
- “No, I didn’t. I prefered to do this experience all by my self to get to know myself better and become more independent and self-confident.”
11. Are you in a Relationship?
- Yes: 47,7%
- No: 52,3%
11. 1. For those that answered the previous question with ´YES´: How long have you been together?
- Recently: 4,8%
- Less than 2 years: 42,8%
- More than 2 years: 52,4%
12. How do you deal with your Long-Distance-Relationship?
- She/ He is also doing an Erasmus here: 13,6%
- Good: 45,5%
- Ok: 27,3%
- Difficult: 13,6%
13. How often do you go out per week?
- Once a week: 36,4%
- I do not go out: 6,8%
- More than twice a week: 56,8%
14. How much do you drink? (alcohol)
- A lot (more than in my Hometown): 86%
- Decent amount (not that much/ once in a while): 12%
- I do not drink: 2%
15. What do you like about your Erasmus so far?
- “Getting to know new people, travel, experience a different culture, learning the language.”
- “My French is improving every day which is great!”
- “I also love meeting new people and discovering beautiful parts of France and of Lyon that I’ve never come across before.”
- “Everyday is exciting. I leave the house everyday thinking anything can happen. And something usually does, even if is just meeting someone new and different people.”
- “People from so many countries around the world.”
- “Lyon as a city is so beautiful :).”
- “The lecture and the Mensa.”
- “Erasmus m’a donné des bases pour le future.”
- “The city and the landscapes of this beautiful country – people could be nicer on my opinion (the French !! :D).”
- “My internship and activities i manage to do with people i met hereI like. Living in a different and rather large city.”
- “Studying in a different language.”
- “La possibilité de voyager et découvrir les villes/villages près de Lyon mais aussi la possibilité de améliorer mes compétences avec la langue.”
- “Everything you learn about yourself, life, others,…”
- “I’ve met some great people and the modules are great, because I could choose them freely and focus completely on my interests.”
- “I feel more strong and responsable, I know that I can live abroad alone and I can enjoy it. I love the continuous challenge to meet new people, to study in another language etc.. it makes you feel alive.”
16. What was your least pleasant experience so far?
- “The admin and stress at the start of the year.”
- “Very unorganised University.”
- “Least pleasant experience was probably rude encounters with strangers.”
- “Dealing with awful french people.”
- “The administration in France is not efficient at all! And I think the university here (université lumière Lyon 2) is quite unorganized and unhelpful at times.”
- “The amount of alcohol consumed on a regular basis.”
- “Participating in a pub quiz.”
- “My “stage hospitalier” is very difficult, I didn’t manage to fit in so far.”
- “The prices at the supermarket^^.”
- “Losing stuff.”
- “Problems with finding flats or with owners.”
- “Trip to the Coast.”
- “ERASMUS integration-party.”
- “Passer du temps avec ma famille et mes nouveaux amies français en Lyon.
- Halloween Party.”
- “Trip to beaujolais.”
- “For the first two weeks I stayed in a shared flat with 2 French and 2 Mexicans and the flat was disgusting ! I didn’t even had a door to close my room, but I was desperate as it was so difficult to find a flat here. Luckily, I moved again!”
- “That one course where I didn’t understand a word.”
- “The French administration. The public transport is only until midnight.”
- “Searching a flat; Struggling to find accommodation.”
- “I had many problems in my student residence.”
- “Some troubles with my roommates but nothing major.”
- “The least pleasant experience is my residence because I live alone with no contacts with other people in it.”
- “Finding somewhere to live it took me over a month and in the mean time I had to move 3 times with air bnb.”
17. Would you consider being well prepared for your mobility by your Home University?
- Yes: 31,8%
- No: 38,6%
- It depends: 29,5%
18. How do you manage being Homesick?
- “I am not homesick.” 37x.
- “Eating sweets and going on, skyping to the family.”
- “I do plenty of things to regret nothing. It’s only 5 months.”
- “Je ne souffre pas trop de homesick car je suis habituée à habiter toute seule. Ceci se n’est pas ma première experience à l’étranger.”
- “I Facebook call my siblings and parents and have an ongoing fb chat with my friends from back home.”
- “I am not really homesick. It’s good to be away for once. And just grow as a person. Be more independent.”
- “It s tough but it´s easier when you talk with your friends about it.”
- “I manage it because it’s only 4 months. Probably if it was one year I would come back home at least every 3 months.”
- “At first it was really hard being away from my boyfriend, but after 3 or 4 weeks it got a lot easier.”
- “I don’t miss my family all that much as I don’t see them very often in my homecountry either.”
- “I’ve been away for 5 months before.”
- “Due to skype, I’m not really homesick. Additionally, the best way that homesickness doesn’t occur is to meet other people and experience great things together.”
- “Just cry haha and hope it gets better soon, call someone at home or just go out and do something fun with friends.”
- “I invite a lot of friends to visit :-).”
19. Would you recommend this Erasmus- Program?
- Yes: 95,5%
- No: /
- It depends: 4,5%
Writing this article made me realize again how beautiful, unique and special this experience is. It may not seem this way all the time. Especially when unpredicted things happen. But i think that we all can agree that Erasmus brightens our horizon. We meet people who benefit our lifes in various ways. People that make us question ourselves maybe. We stumble over obstacles…we overcome them and it makes us stronger. For those going home: I wish you all a safe journey back home and friendships that will last you a lifetime.
For those staying: cheers to a hopefully even better second semester! <3