Software development and entrepreneurship student Ricario exchange semester at Thomas More University in Belgium

Hello, my name is Ricario. I am currently pursuing a Degree in Software Development and Entrepreneurship at EUAS.I am in my 2ndyear of study, currently forwarding to my 3rdyear. Throughout my academic journey, I have strived to explore diverse opportunities for personal and academic growth, and the Erasmus+ exchange program provided me with an incredible chance to do just that.
I had the privilege of spending my semester abroad at Thomas More this decision was not made lightly. I conducted thorough research on various institutions and their academic offerings, and Thomas More emerged as a top choice. The institution has an outstanding reputation for its academic excellence, particularly in my field of study. The curriculum aligned perfectly with my academic goals, providing me with a range of courses taught by distinguished professors who are experts in their respective fields. Additionally, Thomas More has a vibrant and diverse student community, which I believed would enhance my intercultural experience and provide numerous opportunities to build connections with students from all around the world.
There were several compelling reasons that motivated me to participate in the Erasmus+ exchange program. First and foremost, I wanted to broaden my horizons and immerse myself in a different cultural setting. I believed that living and studying in a foreign country would enable me to develop a global mindset, step out of my comfort zone, and embrace new perspectives. By experiencing a different education system, I would be exposed to diverse teaching methods and gain a deeper understanding of the subject matter from an international viewpoint. Additionally, I saw the Erasmus+ program as a unique opportunity to engage with students from different backgrounds, exchange ideas, and develop a greater appreciation for cultural diversity. I knew that this experience would enhance my personal growth and intercultural competence.
During my mobility period, the biggest challenge I faced was adapting to a new language and cultural norms. As a non-native speaker, I initially struggled with the language barrier, especially in day-to-day interactions. However, I was determined to overcome this challenge. I enrolled in language classes offered by the institution, practiced speaking with local students, and immersed myself in the language as much as possible. Additionally, I actively sought out opportunities to engage with the local community, join cultural clubs, and attend events. Gradually, my language skills improved, and I became more comfortable in my new environment. This experience taught me the value of perseverance, adaptability, and the importance of embracing challenges as opportunities for growth.

One of the most unforgettable memories of my mobility period was participating in a local cultural festival. The festival celebrated the diversity and traditions of the region, and it was a true spectacle of color, music, and dance. I had the opportunity to witness traditional performances, taste local cuisine, and interact with people from different walks of life. It was a transformative experience that allowed me to fully immerse myself in the local culture and forge meaningful connections with both fellow international students and locals. This memory serves as a reminder of the incredible richness and beauty of cultural exchange.

Indeed, there were noticeable differences between Estonia and Belgium. One significant difference was the educational system and teaching methods. Thomas More adopted a more hands-on and interactive approach to learning, encouraging student participation and critical thinking. This contrasted with the more lecture-based style of education at EUAS. The emphasis on practical application and group projects at Thomas More allowed me to develop valuable teamwork and problem-solving skills.
Culturally, there were also differences that made my experience unique. The customs, traditions, and social norms varied from what I was accustomed to in Estonia. For example, meal times, greetings, and social interactions differed, and it was fascinating to adapt and embrace these cultural nuances. The multicultural environment at Thomas More also exposed me to a wider range of perspectives and beliefs, fostering a greater appreciation for diversity.
Without a doubt, I wholeheartedly recommend the Erasmus+ Program to other students. The program offers an unparalleled opportunity to step out of one’s comfort zone, explore different cultures, and gain a global perspective. It provides a platform for personal growth, fostering independence, adaptability, and intercultural competence. Through the Erasmus+ Program, students can broaden their horizons, challenge themselves academically, and build lifelong friendships with fellow international students. The experience of living and studying in a different country opens doors to new ideas, perspectives, and ways of thinking, which are invaluable assets in today’s interconnected world.
Participating in the Erasmus+ Program has enriched my life in numerous ways. Firstly, it has provided me with a wealth of new skills. Living in a foreign country, navigating a different education system, and adapting to a new culture have honed my adaptability, resilience, and problem-solving abilities. Engaging with a diverse student body has enhanced my communication and interpersonal skills, fostering a greater appreciation for cultural sensitivity and teamwork. Additionally, the exposure to different academic approaches and ideas has broadened my knowledge and expanded my intellectual horizons.
Furthermore, the Erasmus+ experience has allowed me to forge friendships with people from all corners of the globe. These connections have not only enriched my personal life but have also created a valuable international network of individuals with whom I can collaborate, exchange ideas, and seek future opportunities.
On a broader scale, this experience has provided me with a new perspective on the world. It has deepened my understanding of cultural diversity, challenged my preconceived notions, and fostered empathy and open-mindedness. I have gained a heightened awareness of global issues and developed a more inclusive and global mindset, which I believe will greatly benefit me both personally and professionally.
I firmly believe that participating in the Erasmus+ Programm will benefit my career in the future. Employers increasingly value individuals with international experience, as it demonstrates adaptability, cultural awareness, and the ability to work effectively in diverse environments. Through the Erasmus+ Program, I have developed a global perspective, expanded my network, and gained exposure to different approaches and ideas in my field of study. These experiences have equipped me with a unique skill set that sets me apart from other candidates. Additionally, the program has helped me develop important soft skills such as communication, teamwork, and intercultural competence, which are highly sought after in the professional world. Overall, the Erasmus+ experience has provided me with a competitive edge and a solid foundation for future career success.