Although…we almost didn’t go anywhere at all.
We won’t be lying – our return from Hungary back to the Czech Republic wasn’t easy. Even though it was only five months, it was our first experience with a long-term living abroad. In Debrecen we left behind not only tons of memories, friends, places and moments, but also our joys, worries and tears.
After the return back to Brno, we realized the fact that our lives are too predictable – to write a final master Thesis, to finish the university and start a job. And then? A marriage, a dog, a baby and a house with slatted fence? Thoughts about mortgage went aside and we started to regretfully think about all the possibilities of our study, that we have never used. We also found out very soon what “post-Erasmus syndrome” means and doubts about successful finishing our university started to appear. Because a lot of things seemed to make more sense…abroad.
“There should be still something like Erasmus graduate internships.”
“What is it? I have never heard about that.”
“Neither did I.“
The new energy boost came when we started to search all the necessary information. However, the application process for graduate internships turned out to be way more complicated than the procedures connected to studying abroad. A lot of things were unclear for us, we had nobody to ask for an advice and the time was running. We applied to a non-profit organization in Sicily, but our applications were rejected.
Later, the second round of accepting applications was announced and it meant for us a very challenging time during which we were trying not to give up while sending daily dozens of emails, CVs and motivation letters. Our visits of the university included not only consultations regarding our thesis, but mainly dealing with all the bureaucratic procedures that are often a reason why students are discouraged of participation in Erasmus programs. “I want to warn you in advance, that it is very unlikely to approve applications for more students to the same internship placement, moreover if the period is longer than two months”, told us the lady who was in charge of a selection process. In the second round, we applied to Portugal. Together. For a period of seven months. And then each of us applied to other countries as well.
What can we say, we simply wanted to leave somewhere in any case.
“If they won’t accept us, I am not gonna finish the studies! I don’t see any purpose in doing that!”
It was one week before our big final exam, we still had absolutely no information about the state of our applications and at the same time absolutely no motivation to keep studying. The thoughts in our minds reminding us that we must make it, otherwise all our effort and hard work will go in vain, weren’t helping at all. Because the passing of the final exam was a main prerequisite for going to the internship.
Stress, nervousness, psychical exhaustion, apathy and uncertainty were the main topics of our conversations. And then everything happened so fast. “Holy sh*t, they accepted us! To Portugal! Both of us! For whole seven months!”
We absolved the final exam with a mindset that there was no way of us being unsuccessful because in few days we were supposed to leave to do the internship in a country which we know nothing about (except the fact that it’s nearby the water and it should be warm climate there).
And so we left.