I arrived in Tartu just over two weeks ago as part of my Erasmus, and, after a few days, I was surprised and frankly overwhelmed with one particular aspect of living here.
Personally, I have already experienced going to a new city for studies, so I sorted out most of the basic necessities quite quickly. But there was one thing I was not really prepared for.
So. Much. Time.
See, at my home university, I am usually the kind of guy who combines studies and work in heavy doses, so I wake up, get out of the flat, and do not return till 7 PM at best. But I actually like this lifestyle and having lots of things to do proved both effective and useful to me. In fact, the less I have on my schedule, the bigger the chance I won’t finish it by the end of the day.
There is so much to do; even lectures count on the fact that most people do not read all the literature. It is for this reason that I usually don’t spend much time at parties or similar student events.
But in Tartu (and probably any other city in the case of Erasmus) it is an entirely different story: only one or two classes a day, dorms a 10–15-minute walk from the university, less study work to do, and, most importantly, a bunch of new people that strive precisely for parties and student gatherings of any kind.
When you think of it, this aspect of Erasmus studies kind of makes sense. The majority of people who come here have no idea what to do in the city, so they are happy to accept a helping hand. And, guess what, one of the first helping hands that foreign students encounter is the Erasmus Student Network (ESN) – an organization whose student events are among other things quite a lot about partying.
This can work just because of the fact that Erasmus students have way too much time on their hands and, of course, partying is the easiest way to fill it up. Or waste it. As an Erasmus student, just ask yourself if you encountered this many parties at home.
Thus, if you are just a big party person or you want to experience a different and maybe more exotic Erasmus than the one based on partying (like me), you will have to make an extra effort to escape this stereotype. Personally, I believe one should not just try to fill up their time somehow. That will inevitably lead to a waste of time.
So, I would like to present a few methods that proved useful to me in that short time. They are primarily meant for people who already feel they need a change to their lifestyle.Continue reading