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Jad Abdulrahim

jad

Application:

When I first heard of Erasmus programs, the first thought that crossed my mind was: You must have a minimum GPA of 4, it's impossible for an average student just like me.

However, my friend Hadi Ghazale, one of the students who also shared his experience here, insisted I apply for Erasmus. He completed his program in Braga, Portugal and had the best of time.

Nothing to lose right? I applied for Erasmus plus and fortunately got accepted in the same university Hadi attended the year before.

Expectations:

I arrived to Portugal in September with huge expectations for this semester socially, academically, and personally. My expectations were wild, full of adventures and experiences and events.

jad

Socially:

It was a slow start for me. I arrived two weeks late, so infiltrating international students groups wasn't as easy as expected. However, one of the biggest improvements I achieved during Erasmus personally was self confidence, so I went in full-mode confidence and became an active member of the Erasmus society. A group of former Portuguese Erasmus students did there best so that we have a great time. We went on trips, dinners, hikes, parties, and everything you'd expect from European students 😏.

Now, if you consider yourself an introvert, don't rule out Erasmus. When I first arrived, I considered myself an extrovert who likes to hangout. However, although I did enjoy all these activities mentioned above, the second half of my mobility program can be described perfect for an introvert. I preferred staying home watching Netflix and eating chips. It was a huge 180 degrees turn for me, yet not a negative one. I enjoyed every single second of living alone, taking responsibility for my own decisions, and controlling my life. You'll love the experience no matter how your character may be described.

jad

Academically:

Studying abroad was one of my dreams growing up. I gained much experience either by studying with native students or by studying alone. It was a huge challenge for me, a person who considers studying a burden. However, with the help of the academic staff in Portugal and also in Lebanon, I passed all my courses with good marks.

jad

Personally:

The personal and social aspects of my experience are very correlated. My character matured a lot. When I first arrived, I was a people pleaser kind of person who would give you the last cookie left. Through meeting new native students, academic staff, and international students, I realized my potential. I learned that happiness is the answer to every single question, and one of the most important things I learned is how to say "No".

I became more self independent. I already am independent financially, yet living alone helps you understand the importance of living with family. Financially, you learn that everything costs money, things you depend on and never think about buying them (Soap, tissues, rolling paper...). You also realize the importance of family on the psychological level, and you start appreciating what you have in your home country.

I don't want to spoil the fun or excitement. Most importantly, I don't want to give you expectations. If you're considering Erasmus, I highly recommend that you apply right now, and if you get accepted, go there with no expectations what so ever. The reason why I'm saying this is that, the beauty of Erasmus is discovering the days and nights in a new country, where all you know is that you can, and you will.



Jad Abdulrahim