The COVID-19 pandemic may be the highlight of the semester. Still, it never stopped us from truly learning and experiencing the life of a student in Bulgaria. I am Davie James Madlaing, an International Business Management student during the spring semester of 2020.

The semester started very well, with new faces and an environment that welcomed us wholeheartedly. Days passed by, new names kept popping, and stories about their culture keep overlapping. It was quite overwhelming and confusing at first! We were sharing stories and meals with different people from different countries and cultures, which made us pretty close, especially the food we cooked and shared. We were always excited to attend the Erasmus+ office events since it made us understand the culture of Bulgaria and bond with our new friends. We were also able to formally participate in the classes for a short time until the virus reached the country.

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Despite being in lockdown for a few months, we were able to tour around Dobrich and other nearby provinces. We were able to see how stunning the country of Bulgaria and learn a bit of their mind-boggling history. We talked and laughed with locals, eat and drink different food and beverages, photographed exemplary views, and a lot more despite our short time in Bulgaria. Another extraordinary experience is visiting a city in Romania for a tour that lasted for a day.

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Personally, the experience made me a much better person. It made me work on some of my weaknesses and learn some of my interests in life. I had a different view of people because of cultural differences. I was also able to work on my study habit as the school has trained us to be better learners.

Overall, my experience was a blast. I got to visit a whole new country, meet unforgettable friends from different places, and learn about different cultures. Also, I was able to grow as a person because of this great journey. I hope other students will also have a blast with their Erasmus+ experience in VUM.

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