My name is Pavel Cerlinca, from Romania and I am a student of Sacred Arts at the Orthodox Theology Faculty of Iași.
Since my early years in gymnasium I was involved in educational experiences that were funded by the European Union. In my 8th grade, I went into an exchange programme in Lisbon, Portugal. Even though I was very young at the time, it was extremely helpful for me. Meeting new people, experiencing new ways of thinking and new cultures, made me realize very early that different countries have different values, experience that helped me get a more profound and exact understanding of the world. I think everybody should experience it. When you realize that people from different countries think different than people from your country, they have different habits you realize that life and society is much more complex and diverse, even though we all are the same (as people).
My second experience funded with EU was with Erasmus+ in my second year of my bachelor’s, experience which really helped me professionally. My area of study (Orthodox Iconography), has most of its important and representative art pieces in Greece, so because of it, I choose to go and study there for one semester. This was by far one of the most useful Erasmus projects, because it really offers you the possibility to study what YOU are interested in, in a country in which you could have the most experienced areas of Europe or the World, this is really exceptional. In other words, you have the possibility to study something you are interested in the country in which that thing actually started.
The fact that you need to take care of yourself, like finding accommodation, manage the money you get from the funding and others is a big plus for you because it helps you develop personally and be more prepared for life. Regarding the funding, (because this may be an essential part for some young people who go to a different country, I can say that for me, it was more than enough). The funding I got in Greece at that time was 700€, money that covered all my expenses.
In the society we are living in, where information can spread very easily, where the technology is pretty advanced, I think that if you want to study something at a superior level, it is mandatory to get in contact with different countries (even more now when it is so easy to travel between the EU member states). I think every student should have at least one international study experience.
Concluding, my Erasmus experience was a big impulse from an educational and professional standpoint, and it really spurred me the will to use these opportunities as much as possible, Personally, the contact with the University in Greece, changed my perspective and it helped me reorientate professionally.
Article written by Pavel Cerlincă, a student from Romania