Bevashni Naicker, a Bachelor student in Arts and Media at the University of the Witswaterand in Johannesburg, South Africa, came to study to Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB) from February to June 2017.
Bevashni explains: “Partaking in the Erasmus program has granted me opportunities to further study and seek employment. I have a part time job at the moment whilst studying my postgraduate degree in Media Studies and I am able to credit the Erasmus program for helping me to build up my CV, it is something a lot of employers ask me about during interviews.
However, personally the program has made me more independent and I have gained so much more knowledge about the world and people. I have matured immensely since my semester abroad and this has benefitted me personally and professionally because I am more focused on my goals. Now more than ever I am very determined about my studies and career as I know that one day I would like to travel the world and live in as many countries as I can.“
When talking about her stay at UAB, Bevashni says: “My experience abroad was very fulfilling; I was treated with so much respect and received so much kindness throughout my stay in Barcelona not only by my host university but also by the locals.
Firstly, my host university was extremely helpful from the outset being it even before I found out that was accepted for the program and I was trying to get information about the courses abroad. The faculty members were so helpful and even though there was a language barrier they were helping me to the best of their abilities to navigate my way through my studies. My biggest concern studying abroad was the University experience as I was unsure about the courses and how I was going to pass but the Lecturers and staff members that assisted me were so kind and dedicated to helping international students that I had not once had a bad experience with my studies. To my surprise I had actually done fairly well abroad and my grades were really good.
Secondly, the locals were very accommodating, knowing that I was an international student they always seemed to help with the language barrier and to direct me on the “do”s and “don’t”s.
Which brings me to my last point, the friends that I made on my study abroad experience are now my life long sisters! A year later and I am still in contact with my local Spanish roommate and my fellow study abroad friend from the USA. Together we had shared so many amazing experiences and memories travelling throughout Europe as well as exploring Barcelona and the rest of Spain. I was fortunate enough to travel and see a few places in Europe and these are memories that I will cherish forever.“
Overall, Erasmus+ experience turned out to be very useful on the personal level: “Before embarking on my study abroad journey I was so anxious because I had never travelled before in my life but I can now say that I am so eager to travel again and live in a different country. I am excited about my future and the possibilities that are out there in the world. I would never be able to say this without having this study abroad experience through this program.
Every step of my journey was smooth and I felt very secure in knowing that the program was always there answering me with regards to any concerns that arose. I would not hesitate to travel or live in another country because my experience through this program has taught me some valuable lessons about myself and about staying in a foreign country.
I now find myself always wishing that I was back in Barcelona or travelling across the world and for me this is something fairly new because it is so far from my comfort zone. However, taking the leap of faith and courage to study abroad was one of the best decisions that I have made in my life because my life has changed a lot from my experience.”