I started studying in September 2020 when another wave of the pandemic started. Basically, my entire Erasmus Mundus programme was online. It was both a negative and positive experience. In all cases, I believe that the last two years have shaped me a lot as a person. I hope some of these will be helpful to you. What have I learned during Erasmus Mundus or generally during my master’s programme?
A Degree is not Everything
Erasmus Mundus is a very prestigious programme including world-known universities. I personally study at the University of Glasgow, the University of Malta and Lund University. Some are better ranked than others, but still being awarded a scholarship for a programme which is open to the entire world is excellent. Nonetheless, that doesn’t mean everything. You need to still work on your skills and extra-curriculum activities. I believe you are an excellent student if you got into the EM programme anyway, but don’t relax too much. Just a degree is not enough.
Budgeting and saving
When you start receiving a monthly scholarship, it teaches you to budget. I have worked before, but none of the work lasted so long and honestly, none of them earned me that money. Some months you save more, some less. That’s fine as long as you keep track of your expenses. This will be highly valuable when you start working. I highly recommend starting saving some portion of the money as soon as possible.
Contacts are Important
Start going to meetups, events and networking events as soon as possible. Bond with your colleagues, ask your professors questions and offer your knowledge and help. After the pandemic, some people are more eager than ever to meet in a real life. Some relationships can not be established online. Looks for Meetups and university events.
Learn Foreign Language
During Erasmus Mundus, you are going to countries with different native languages. This is the best opportunity to learn a new language. Honestly, I regret a bit that I didn’t learn Swedish more. Swedes speak perfect English, therefore there was no such need, but I realized you never know when you might need it.
Erasmus Mundus and many other master’s programmes are very international. But Erasmus Mundus is special. It is indeed a mix of all continents, all levels and all different education systems. Therefore, it is very important to not compare yourself with others and have a deep understanding of others. I recommend helping your colleagues if they need it. I have realized that many tiny things I take for granted – the way we do master thesis, the way how the university is organized or even how clean are the streets and how fresh is the air.
This is very individual, but I have realised I want to pursue entrepreneurship. In case I find a job I am absolutely passionate about, I want to build my own company and be my own boss. This sounds dreamy, but it is definitely the more difficult way.
Hard Moments are the Best Teachers
I had an extremely bad time in Sweden. I have moved within three weeks three times. I could find good accommodation and I was struggling with good landlords. Honestly, a nightmare for me! I felt so lonely, so alone and so desperate. I knew it won’t last forever, but still, it was a really hard time for me, full of anxiety. On the other hand, I grew so much. I was doing a lot of workouts and I finally started the Youtube channel. I think I probably would never start. I have learned to respect my boundaries and care about my energy.
What I love
I have learned who am I. I used to be a real party animal, now I consider myself a rather calm person. I also thought I must show results all the time, be productive and do many things at the same time. I learned to respect myself. Learned to love me. Learned to understand my needs. Learned to trust the process. Erasmus Mundus is a programme which gives you many obstacles consisting of moving to other countries, searching for accommodation and understanding the bureaucracy.
Take Risks More Often
Your master’s programme is a perfect time to take risks. If you wish to start some project, do it. You have a lot of time to experiment, try out and also fail. This is my personal recommendation learned by myself. I wanted to start an e-commerce business, but I didn’t because I found so many reasons why not. Then I realize, why! I had nothing to lose apart from time and a little bit of money.