Arjim Tagnipis (Saint Louis University, Philippines)
Erasmus+ VUM Student Mobility During 2nd Semester AY 21-22
I was part of the 2nd batch of Filipinos to partake in the ERASMUS+ Mobility Program. It is an excellent opportunity to experience a life of a Foreign Student and learn great culture that is unknown to us. Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, it didn’t stop us from understanding each other’s culture and way of life. My journey at Varna University of Management, specifically the entire country of Bulgaria, has been beautiful and meaningful.
Bulgaria is where I learned how to be very open and adaptive to changes, especially in the way of living there. It was my first time living somewhere new and away from my family, so there was a big adjustment. Staying in Bulgaria for three (3) months is a very worthwhile adventure and a never-ending learning experience for me. From its broad culture of celebrating the spring of leaves to giving importance to International Women’s Day.
Varna University of Management made us connect with other people, such as people from Croatia, Finland, Spain, Italy, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, and France. This communication and interaction allowed us to get to know and enjoy each other’s company. This made us strengthen our bonds and helped us bridge the gaps of cultural differences. Food was our everyday language. Through food bonding, we expressed cultural identity; it became a medium for us to gather and share great memories.
Going to Bulgaria isn’t complete if there are no planned trips. This journey also helped me understand how other people think, act in their life, and play a significant role in this world. Through traveling with other international students, we got to learn a way of life, we shared some laughs, and thoughts on some political issues, and we got to be their friends, someone they could talk to and rely on.
As an Entrepreneurship student at Saint Louis University, this experience or journey was a blast. The courses offered by Varna University of Management are a great tool and show me new knowledge that I can use in the future. The learning experience as it was made me hone my mind to a new culture of identifying my footing in this world. This once-in-a-lifetime opportunity exposed me to new cultures, but it also helped me create a new network of friends from around the world.
This encounter made me have new friends, new knowledge, a new understanding of life, new culture to digest and respect. This has been a fantastic lesson I have achieved in life.