Jerusalem24 – Rula Zughayar– “I couldn’t be happier; life was just perfect ” said I, Rula Zughayar. A fresh graduate from Birzeit University, who had an experience of a lifetime. Birzeit university molded me in a way none could ever done. I was lucky enough to be among the 7 chosen ones to experience learning abroad. Hence, because of Birzeit, I was able to attain some big achievements in my life. And that’s when Erasmus+ happened to me. I got selected for Erasmus+ mobility exchange program at Philipps university of Marburg, Germany. There, I studied English language and literature for one academic semester.
My experience, to be honest, all started as a joke. When I had a bet with a friend who once told me: “you think they would take you, you better be good enough”. Later on, my hunt game for scholarships started. Since August 2018, I applied for a number of scholarship opportunities and got rejected to 2 and shortlisted to one. However, after all my attempts, I eventually made it to Philipps university in Germany in fall 2019. And yes, I was good enough.
Through Erasmus+, students get the chance to meet and engage with new people from different backgrounds, explore various cultures and traditions from all around the world as well as experience new learning methods. Furthermore, and fairly said, Marburg is such a beautiful ancient city in Germany and has one of the oldest universities in Europe. It offers the students a wide range of practical aspects development and real-lifetime challenges. In addition to its wonderfulness, my stay at Philipps university was beyond amazing. I enjoyed every single bit of it. The more I got exposed to the German culture, the more I fell in love with it. Besides, people were surprisingly friendly; they truly crushed all my stereotypes. Food and drinks were really tasty as well.
Academically, I took five courses there and finished them successfully. Also, all courses were taught in English, which in a way helps in enhancing your language ability and interacting with lots of international friends, whom I love and have offered me shelter in many European cities. Erasmus+ played a great part in building a more professional, responsible, open-minded and flexible character of me.
Yet, in order to be qualified, you have to fall under a Criteria. Including a required cumulative average and a certain language requirement. Later, and after filling some papers out, I was shortlisted and then selected. So, believe me when I say, filling out these papers was the best thing that ever happened to me.
During my mobility, luckily, I got the chance to not only live the German experience but also to visit many European cities during my holidays. As I and my friends went to plenty of spectacular places and discovered more of Europe. Our destinations in Germany, Italy, Spain, Denmark, Norway were beyond astonishing. They made me realize how passionate I am to pursue my future abroad in an environment that offers me another kind of opportunities with the exciting rush of being around people from different backgrounds and lifestyles alongside with people whose mother tongue is not the same as mine.
Therefore, thanks to Erasmus+, I got to learn more about the world and many of its aspects and mindsets, which are different from what I am used to here, in Palestine. And for that reason, ever Since then, Marburg became the dearest city to my heart.
As I write this, it’s already been 2 years since my Erasmus experience. And I can’t wait to be back to Erasmus. Now that I genuinely long for it every day.
And finally, you, whoever is reading this. I highly encourage you to take a moment right now, and think of your future pursuits, and if they don’t include the word “Erasmus” in them. you’re missing out, do it right away, Include it. Because eventually, Your Erasmus self will thank you later.