One blog I read was of Lucy Turner, a fellow classmate and friend of mine back in Coventry. She managed to get a place at the University of Lapland in Finland and although Finland and Italy are massively different countries, it’s been interesting to see how some of our experiences have been quite similar.
Lucy’s time in Lapland have taught her a lot of rewarding lessons. Not only educationally but also personally. Different countries have different cultures and if you are going to live there for a year, then you need to adapt. Just like Lucy did with the Finnish way of life, and I had to with the Italian way, even though these are, of course, completely different in their own ways.
However Lucy’s experience has differed to mine. The conditions she has had to live in are definitely more extreme than mine. Everyday being in the minus degrees must be a real struggle while I was still in flip-flops and shorts at the end of October. She also managed to incorporate our main degree (photography) into her subjects, even if it is just a little, which I have unfortunately been unable to do here in Italy.
I would have liked for Lucy to have gone more in depth with her university work as it would have been interesting to read exactly what she was studying and how it may relate to myself. However this isn’t to say that she didn’t talk about her university experience well, which I was able to easily compare.
The second blog I looked at was of Joe Taylor who is currently studying in Nicosia, Cyprus. Although his blog talked solely about his time at University, he mentioned that he was pushing himself to immerse into the Cypriot culture and even tried to talk in the language. As I said in the previous review, this was relatable as he is trying to push himself out of his comfort zone, just like Lucy and myself. It’s good that he is trying to do this, which I think is an important part of the Erasmus experience.
Joe explained through his blog that his university work is mostly practical and is the same course that he is studying back in Coventry. This is good as he has extensive knowledge on his subject and is able to take that to Cyprus and still learn and benefit from studying in Cyprus.
He also discusses that his weekly schedule is very busy due to University but also a band he has formed while spending time in Cyprus. This is completely different from the schedule I have in Italy, which is a lot freer. Although I enjoy having a more laidback, weekly schedule, it is good that Joe has a more hectic one meaning he is constantly busy and expanding his knowledge of his course which will benefit him in the future and also means he is making the most of his time on Erasmus educationally wise.
Joe’s blog is prominently discussing his time at university and not about how he finds the experience of living abroad and the more social aspects. It would have been interesting to read more about this, which would have given a more general insight into his time abroad.
The final blog I decided to review is of Shannon Dillon. Shannon is doing a year in industry instead of abroad, which I thought would be an interesting way to compare enhancement year experiences.
Throughout Shannon’s blog, she talks about how intense and busy her day-to-day life is. But she also explains how rewarding this has actually been which is something I greatly appreciate. She gives insight on both the companies she worked for and also her roles within the companies. Her work looks to have improved her photography experience greatly, which is ideal for when she graduates from university.
Even though my time abroad has been great and given me a lot of experience, after reading Shannon’s blog, I think it would have been very rewarding if I had done a year in industry and focused more on photography. But I still don’t regret taking my time abroad, definitely.
I would have liked for Shannon to have talked more about the difficult experiences she had working in industry to give more of an insight although I think she critically evaluated her experience very well in her last blog post.