Hi there! This is me: Jean, 20 years old and…
Nearly 2 years ago, at the end of my first year, I was going through this strange and stressful period which every Bachelor student has been through: which field of study should I choose for my second year? In replying “Budapest, Hungary” that day, when Gery Flament called out my name, I didn’t think for a second about what I was about to experience.
I must admit that, like everybody, I had quite a lot of stereotypes in mind before leaving equating Hungary with Eastern country, poverty, insecurity…. but as soon as I’d arrived, I understood that Budapest would be the perfect city for me to enjoy my Erasmus experience.
Perfect, first, for its beauty: from the first days, I was surprised to discover a majestic European capital, with numerous museums, palaces, squares and historical monuments to visit. I loved to spend the coldest winter nights in the hot water springs on the outskirts of Budapest, or walking along the beautiful Danube while enjoying a chimney cake (a delicious local pastry!).
Also, it’s an ideal city for its dynamism: you don’t get bored in Budapest! The streets are filled with small restaurants and bars to try out, festivals and sport events are organized every week-end, public transport works throughout the day and night… and all of this in a welcoming environment full of warmth, because the Hungarians are extremely kind and are always there to offer their help or party. Besides, I was lucky to learn a few words in Hungarian, and they loved it!
Budapest is also perfect for its cost of living which is much lower than in France and which enabled me to fully enjoy every moment without compromise. Eating in restaurants is cheaper than doing your own shopping, and a beer is cheaper than water (oops!), just to give you a hint! But above all, it is perfect for its location, as I discovered a part of the world I didn’t know. Indeed, I was lucky to go on an Eastern and Central European travel tour; Croatia, Austria, Czech Republic, Serbia, Turkey, Slovenia, Slovakia, Poland and many more… And always very cheap!
But still… Though Budapest was fantastic, I must admit that my experience would never have been so good without the people I shared it with. I was lucky to study a whole year at the Budapest Business School, the best businees school in the whole of Hungary, with students all around the world with me. Roommates, work partners, travel companions or night-out friends, we all came from various cultures and horizons and we all created powerful friendship bonds.
At barely 19 years old, this adventure, these people I met and the travelling opened my mind and turned me into a more mature and curious person. If you are about to fly off somewhere too, don’t be scared: choose foreign roommates, speak English, open your mind, travel and, mostly, enjoy every moment… because once your adventure is over, your only wish will be to go back!
Now, pack your bags, and prepare yourself for the most beautiful experience of your life.