Impressions of a student at the Faculty of Biology and Natural Sciences from studying under the Erasmus+ program

“It is not so important in which country your Erasmus+ will be held, it is not so important the city or university, because any experience of living and studying abroad will have a huge impact on you, your thoughts, behavior and actions.

“Erasmus+” is a life-changing program. It is this program that allows a young person to travel while a student and at the same time try studying at a foreign higher education institution. I first heard about the Erasmus+ program from the Dean of the Faculty of Biology and Natural Sciences, Associate Professor Svitlana Voloshanska. I was very intrigued by such a prospect, but I thought that it was just a dream, something unreal.

At the time, I didn’t have anyone I knew to dispel those thoughts and just say how cool it was. Because of this, I think my decision was spontaneous. I submitted all the necessary documents – and the unreal became real! After several months of waiting, we received a positive answer that we would have the opportunity to study in one of the most beautiful countries in Europe – Belgium, at the VIVES University of Applied Sciences located in the extremely colourful, picturesque and yet so dear city of Bruges.

Before the actual lectures, all the students had one more week to get to know the university and the city of Bruges. During this time, we had the opportunity to get used to the atmosphere and make new acquaintances.

Bruges is a city of amazing architecture and charm, one of the most beautiful in Europe. The city is located 20 km from the coast of the North Sea, not far from the border with the Netherlands, so the Dutch influence is particularly strong here in the language, cuisine, and architecture. Bruges is also one of the chocolate capitals of Europe.

If we talk about the studies, it is significantly different from what we are used to in Ukraine. The training program involves active work in groups to prepare reports, presentations and other projects in many subjects. As a result, there is an opportunity to perform complex and voluminous tasks receiving very valuable experience of working in a team.

Training under the V.I.C.K.I.E. program – VIVES INTERNATIONAL CLASSROOM KEYS IN EDUCATION, this is a program for teachers, where we had subjects such as: A broad view on education in Europe and Flanders; Global issues and focus on Flanders and Europe; Diversity in/and education; Dutch language; Practice at schools.

I have very pleasant and warm impressions of the university staff. All teachers and students are happy to welcome international guests and are always open to communication and cooperation. Klaartje Van De Moortel, a teacher of the subject “A broad view on education in Europe and Flanders”, organized a tour to a school in Kortrijk which is supported by “Erasmus+”, where we had the opportunity to see how children’s education is organized in Belgium. Vives University organized a trip to Ghent for us, and also organized a bowling trip for all Ukrainian students. Together with the Ukrainian students, they repeatedly gathered for rallies in the city of Bruges to defend peace and unity against war. I had the opportunity to do an internship at a school with Ukrainian children. This can be called volunteering. Our main goal was to help parents in adapting their children to a foreign environment, finding the right solutions and ways of developing children.

I sincerely thank Svitlana Musina for her help, for the opportunity to spend a wonderful day at the Benedictine Abbey of St. Andrew in Zevenkerke; – for the opportunity to attend a charity concert in support of Ukraine in the concert hall of Piano Maene (Belgium) within the framework of the Art4Ukraine project with the support of Lions Club Lievegem, Pianos Maena and Vinam. Performer and composer of fantasy music Piet J. Swerts.

Svitlana Musina always had time for us, offered her help and support! And today she continues to help Ukraine and Ukrainians in such a difficult time!

Thanks to this program, I have the experience of studying abroad, have wonderful friends from other countries, and most importantly, I found friends here who have become my family.

I express my sincere gratitude for the opportunity given to me to study under the Erasmus+ program to Drohobych University, Dean of the Faculty of Biology and Natural Sciences, Associate Professor Svitlana Voloshanska, Department of International Relations. Big thanks to VIVES University of Applied Sciences for the support and for giving us the opportunity to study in Belgium.”

Tetiana Zozulia, student at the Faculty of Biology and Natural Sciences (BZL(2)-11M

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