Erasmus+ student success story
In the 2023 spring semester, two girls from Ukraine studied at Vidzeme University of Applied Sciences. While studying at Chernihiv Polytechnic National University, Ukraine, both girls Anastasiia Kaliuzhna and Anastasiia Blyzniuk were offered to study one semester abroad in Latvia. Girls dreamed about studying abroad and as soon as they found out about this opportunity they applied!
Anastasiia Kaliuzhna shares her experience with her studies: "I wanted a unique experience to study in another country and immerse myself in a new culture, and Erasmus+ provides a great opportunity to learn about different educational systems and approaches to teaching and research. Communication with both parties, the sending and receiving institution, was open, friendly, and supportive. I felt that my questions and needs were important and that I was willing to be helped every step of the way. This created a supportive and comfortable atmosphere that contributed to my successful mobility. I received all the information I needed from the sending institution about the application process and requirements for the Erasmus+ program. I was advised by the international office and helped to prepare all the necessary documents and formalities before I left. I also got information about the culture and life in the country where I planned to go and heard feedback from other students who have already participated in the Erasmus+ program. Also, received some information from the host institution before I arrived. Upon arrival, I was given information about life at the university, accommodation, and scholarships, and organized introductory meetings to meet other students. During my mobility, I had a mentor who helped me get acclimated to my new environment, talked about the education system, and helped with administrative issues. The host university organized different events and excursions to help us learn about the country's culture, history, and sights. This created a great atmosphere for sharing experiences with other students and delving into the cultural context. Through the Erasmus+ study mobility, I became more open-minded, improved my English and communication skills, and learned how to work in an intercultural environment as well. Meeting people from different countries allowed me to experience different traditions, customs, and languages. I had an unforgettable experience of friendship with foreigners and expanded my international network of contacts. Initially moving to another country was very exciting because I had never been abroad and didn't know what to expect. Of course, I was briefed on what and how, but words can't convey the visualization. In the end, thanks to the move I broadened my horizons, met new people, learned a new culture and way of life, improved my foreign language skills, and of course, it gave me a great academic opportunity. I can add for the next Erasmus+ students they try to make full use of their time abroad, not only academically, but also in the field of culture, travel, and communication with people. Erasmus+ study mobility is a unique period in your life that is worth using for personal and professional growth."
Anastasiia Blyzniuk tells about her journey during Erasmus+ studies: "The students of our university were offered to participate in the program and go to Vidzeme University of Applied Sciences in Latvia for five months to study tourism. I always dreamed of studying and traveling at the same time, and thanks to Erasmus+ it turned out to be possible. As soon as I found out about it, I realized that I would definitely like to take part in the program. At the time of participation in the program, I was 18 years old and it was my first experience of participation in youth exchange. For me, the goals of participating in the project were to improve my English, have new experiences, communicate with other young people, and discover the language and culture of a new country. I learned so much about different cultures and saw things from different points of view. I met students from different countries and created strong friendships. From an academic perspective, my professors supported me in developing my knowledge to the fullest. During my studies, many different events and trips took place at the university. I got a lot of unforgettable emotions when visiting different cities in Latvia, and I also happened to visit neighboring countries. The Erasmus+ experience has been an open window full of opportunities that have allowed me to gain perspective around Europe, its values as a community, and its initiatives. Taking part in this adventure has definitely meant a before and after. I would recommend other students to participate in the Erasmus+ program because it broadens your horizons and gives you new experiences. The program allows you to be more open-minded and challenges any prejudices and stereotypes you might have. Living in a new country allows you to see things from a completely different perspective. The program takes you out of your comfort zone and forces you to think outside the box. Participating in the program was an exciting and unforgettable new experience for me. I would very much like to have the opportunity to be part of the Erasmus+ exchange again in my life."