The ultimate Erasmus experience by Marie-Claire Katzensteiner
It is hard to think back to one specific extraordinary moment of my Erasmus semester in Barcelona. That is because there was an uncountable amount of them. Riding a camel in the desert for example, visiting the market of Marrakesh, a short trip to Ibiza, meeting Neymar and watching a game at Camp Nou, celebrating carnival in Sitges, watching the sunrise at Barceloneta beach after a long party night, exploring Mallorca, having a bike tour in Lisbon, teaching the loveliest Spanish kids in the world… But when I think about the reason that made these moments so precious to me it always comes down to the people I´ve spend them with.
There is Karina, my Mexican friend, with whom I hit it off from the beginning and who had to leave Barcelona way too early. My dutch girls Lotte, Nicole and Robyn, with whom I explored not only Spain but also 2 other countries – Portugal and Morocco. There are Nils from Germany, Adam from Scotland and Kaja from Slovenia. 3 amazing persons who were part of many of my adventures. There is Lisa from Australia with whom I did all the touristy stuff at the end of my stay without feeling like a tourist at all. My party crew from Sweden with whom I painted Ibiza red and who I will visit in Stockholm soon. I will never forget the party nights with Trey (Norway), Vlad (Kanada) and Stephania (Columbia) – even though I definitely can´t remember everything. There is Tessa, my tall American girl, who is going to visit me in Austria this summer. There are my girls from Turkey with whom I studied hard and partied harder. The crazy Peruvians with their infectious laughter. My Italian friends with their heads full of silly ideas. There are Júlia, Andrea and the other locals from my university classes, who accepted me in their group without thinking and tried really hard to teach me some Spanish. There are Mira (Finland) and Nici (Germany) who love ice cream and food in general – especially the Spanish one – as much as I do. There is Jenni, another finish girl, with whom I ran into at least 20 times in the Las Ramblas. My study buddy and namesake Marie, who I promptly engaged as my translator, because her level of Spanish was far better than mine. I will never forget Trang and Kaat from Belgium, the best roomies in the world. The outstanding Jaime, my private local tour guide in Madrid. Pierce, the American traveller, who inspired me the most. Meredith from Canada, with whom I learned to get out of our comfort zones…
I met soo many amazing people here, who made my semester abroad to the best time of my life. I am going to try to visit many of them in the next few years and there will always be a place to sleep for them in Austria, if they decide to explore my beautiful home country. Even though going abroad and doing an Erasmus semester is a once in a life time experience, these people are responsible that mine will never really end. Because my time in gorgeous Barcelona may be over, but the friendships will last and I will always be somehow connected with these extraordinary persons all around the world.
Because: Once Erasmus, always Erasmus.