Growth comes with a change.

First of all, let me introduce myself. My name is Chichak Jafarzada and I am a student at ADA University, where I am majoring in Public Affairs. In the first semester of my second year, I decided to apply for the exchange program in Budapest, Hungary. At first, applying for studying in a different country seemed overwhelming to me. However, I really wanted to be a part of this experience, so I decided to follow wherever life would take me. I applied as a result and cannot express how happy I was when I saw my name among the exchange students, selected for studying in the National University of Public Service.

Despite this, one week before my flight, I hesitated to go for Erasmus because I was afraid of being alone, living without my family, staying apart from friends, or to get accustomed to the new environment.  I tried to overcome all fears and said to myself “Just follow your dreams and do it!” I wanted it, I got it, and I am happy that I did it.

Today I can definitely say being a part of this experience made me a better version of myself, each and every day. In spite of all fears, I quickly got accustomed to the new environment, learned to live with myself and discovered new “me” during the exchange life. When it comes to discussing Erasmus experience, lots of things come to mind, but I want to discuss the top 5 things I learned during my exchange experience.  

  1. Enjoy the different cultures

My exchange was a life-changing experience that taught me to have a glimpse into the new culture. The thing that made it amazing is to feel the value of the new culture. I tried new food; visited the most prominent monuments; felt the beauty of various architecture, and even took the language class. It was definitely an invaluable experience that made my Erasmus even more precious.​

  1. Face your fears

Fear is something that limits our behavior and thoughts, which as a result impedes us from achieving our full potential. I realized that facing our fears, even the smallest ones, is such an accomplishment. Traveling by myself for the first time was one of them. At the end of the day, you realize that it did not worth to be afraid of.

  1. Cheap traveling is real

The best part of my exchange was my traveling memories with my friends. The thing which made it even more special is finding different ways to make it as cheap as possible.

  1. Meet new people from all over the world

My exchange experience contributed to my life in many special ways. One of them definitely was meeting people from all over the globe. The amazing relationships I have formed with people around the globe, experiencing different ideas, thoughts, etc. made my experience even more worthful.

  1. Make as many memories as possible

They say, if you want to know someone, travel with him/her. I have known a lot of different characters while traveling. We made a lot of memories with my friends that I will never but never forget!

Definitely, what I can say in the end is that it was unforgettable and precious 5 months of my life. The greatest thing happened to me in Erasmus is that it shaped me and made me a better version of myself. I have learned a number of things about diverse cultures while traveling to many countries; I got out of my comfort zone and faced my fears; I tried different things in every chance as possible. All in all, my most sincere advice for everyone would be the following: Never be afraid or hesitant about anything you dream about. Always try the things that will lead you to become your best version of yourself. It will definitely change your life for the better.

I’m saying this in the end as I said in the beginning

“Proud to be one of them!”.


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Written by Turkan Valizada.