1. Can you introduce yourself? (Name, age, faculty/university)
My name is Jana Kojović. I am 22 years old and I study English Language and Literature at the Faculty of Humanities, University of Džemal Bijedić, Mostar.
2. If you’d have to use one word to describe your Erasmus experience, which word would it be (and why)?
Life-changing! It was a vital experience and a major turning point in my life as I have realized how important it is to become an independent, self-aware individual and how to cope with this great responsibility for the sake of more liberal life.
3. What was your first impression of your host country/city? Would you choose it again?
I studied at the University of Saarland, Germany. My first impression was WOW! People were so helpful and polite. I could feel the empathy, solidarity, and open-mindedness among all the people I have met. It was visually very appealing as well. Germany is a beautiful country with beautiful people!
4. What did you learn?
I have learned how to be fully responsible for my own actions because at first, I was afraid of such responsibility and hesitant towards getting out of my comfort zone. Only later have I realized how vital that experience of facing my fears was for my personal growth. Consequently, this opened many doors towards life-long friendships, learning new things and getting to discover who I really am.
5. What do you tell people when they ask you how was your Erasmus experience? Would you do it again?
Go for it! Immerse yourself completely into this experience and take the best out of it! It is worth it! And yes, of course, I would do it again!
6. What was the most memorable experience that you had during your stay?
Among many hours of hanging-out with beautiful people, learning new things at the University guided by great professors, I would say that working in an ice-cream shop was the most memorable experience. I got the opportunity to experience the country first-hand by interacting with German people while improving my own (poor) language skills. It was highly stressful, yet the most valuable experience.
7. What would you have wanted to know before going on Erasmus?
When I look at my Erasmus experience retrospectively, there is not one thing I would change. I know that everything I went through during my Erasmus was valid, even if this includes many unpleasant memories. I remember feeling blocked and scared when I have just arrived in Germany because it felt like I could not cope with this big change. I was suddenly’ ’ripped-out’’ of my comfort zone and felt so numb. But hadn’t I felt this, I wouldn’t have liberated myself afterwards. Maybe I just should have had more faith in myself that things will work out ’’just fine’’ during this process. They turned out to be PERFECT! :D
8. Do you have any advice for other students?
I know that each experience is unique, and one must find their own meaning to it, but I would advise everyone to just face their fears and be open to new things. New people, new places, new things to explore! It is a limited stay (in terms of duration of the program) and that is why you should embrace it intensely and make the best out of it!