Khaoula El Maaloumi from Morocco, Erasmus+ studies in Lithuania (for 5 months)
My Erasmus experience started quite unexpectedly. I heard about Vilnius University at my institution, and suddenly started looking for the courses taught and once I found it, I made my decision to come here. I honestly knew almost nothing about Lithuania before, but even after unforgettably cold weather and strange environment which kind of shocked me on the first day, the impressions about this country change to the better every single day, especially after meeting other international and local students and going to the trips together.
I came to Lithuania in February. When I stepped off the plane, I felt kind of paralysed because of cold, and I couldn’t make myself move for while. It was -11 degrees and it was snowing. It is really nice to watch the snow falling from the house window, but when you are outside… However, I will probably never forget the first winter trip to Trakai and the walking on the frozen lake, when I thought: “how it possible is that it does not break, what is under it? – Water. – I am not a good swimmer!” Some guys were even jumping on the ice just to make it even scarier for me. Now, after some time I could say that the forests and the green nature in general is probably what impress me the most about Lithuania. Lithuanians should be proud of their nature! Even the cities are really green here. My favourite place in Kaunas so far is probably – Pažaislis Monastery. The nature around is spectacular. I am looking forward to come there again someday.
One of the weirdest things for me in Lithuania is the traditional pink soup. When I first saw it, I could not understand what this pink colour is coming from. I even had an impression that it must be the pink painting. For me it is also very unusual that Lithuanians eat so much potatoes. There is a potato in every meal here. However, I am a kind of person who is able to adapt to the new environment. I actually think that I am going to cry, when I will have to leave. I wish that Erasmus exchange would take longer, I mean a year or maybe even a few years. I think that while being Erasmus student I changed as a person in a good way. I became more independent and made many social connections. I discovered unknown cultures and made good friends. People from different cultures whom I met here have become like a family to me.
I think that Erasmus is a must. If you’re still wondering, you should definitely go on Erasmus exchange. It is an experience of a lifetime. It is all worth it. You meet lots of new people and the best part is that you have so much fun. And Lithuania is a really good destination!
Written by Irmina Budriūtė