People You Meet During Erasmus

By Emma Nord

During my time on Erasmus I have met some amazing people along my journey—none of whom I will ever forget. The experience of traveling abroad and living amongst both local and international students is one that I can honestly say everyone should try if they get the opportunity.

  1. The Travel Buddy[ies] – You will share the experience of traveling the world through food, drinks, beautiful sights, and too many hours spent just trying to get there. You will learn how to be truly lost and have the most fun finding your way again. You will get to know these people almost as well as your roommate (it might even be your roommate). They will help you expand your worldview and take your new Facebook photo.
  1. The Player – Because of their natural sociability, they could be one of the first people you meet when you arrive. They are utterly friendly and usually make the first move. Beware of their motives, though—they may not be complimenting your pants only because of the colour.
  1. The Vegan – They may be the person sitting next you as you read this and you don’t even know it. They may tell you their food preferences before their name. They (usually) mean well, but after you begin a conversation about food or Instagram, you might not be able to leave.
  1. The Gym Rat – Has a rockin’ body, but plays it cool despite how much time and protein they consume achieving the looks of a professional athlete.
  1. The Amateur Chef – This is your best friend.
  1. The Hippie – You can smell ’em coming! Believes mindfulness and essential oils can cure any ailment (or hangover). When they go out they don’t wear makeup (or shoes) and use red cabbage and coconut oil as lip gloss.
  1. The Musician – Your good friend who taught themselves how to play guitar; a bearded Czech man playing the accordion at a Music Lab jam session; a talented musician playing Frédéric Chopin flawlessly as you’re studying; someone beginning to learn how to play the piano at 7:00am, or perhaps the tenor sax player playing “Careless Whisper” during sunset. These individuals have a completely different style and this is what makes them all so awesome.
  1. The Mountain [wo]man – Loves nature and sometimes speaks in parables. You can usually count on these people for a deep conversation and a good hiking recommendation.
  1. Your Roommate – This is the one person you will get to know better than any other, whether you like it or not. They might be someone who does their own dishes and cleans their hair out of the shower drain. They could be someone who rarely showers and lives nocturnally. They may have any possible combination of personality traits. They may be the best person you will ever meet. The language barrier will be difficult on some days, but it will test your patience in infinite ways and challenge many ethnocentric views you may hold. It’s possible you won’t know just how much this person means to you until you’re packing your bags. So take off your headphones and watch a movie together; make a little extra food and offer them some; even visit their homeland if you can. Living in the same room as another person is not an easy task, but with a welcoming and communicative relationship, your stress may diminish and your room feel more and more like a home.