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University Bologna, Italy

Blog entry 7 – Heat Stroke, Exam Stress and Tears of Farewell

Wed, 19 Jul 2017 | Universität Bologna

Nobody wants to admit it or even pronounce it, but the semester abroad also has an end. Five months go by faster than you think. Peng Poof...a semester is passed.

While some Erasmus students returned home at the end of May/beginning of June, the others were confronted with a pretty stressing exam phase. I count myself rather among the Erasmus students who attend every farewell party but have less exam stress. To put it more precisely: I studied for one week for my language course exam. In Würzburg, by comparison, I usually study for six weeks in a row without a break and at the end of the examination phase I'm exhausted and really need holidays. Due to the fact that I only need 2.5 more credits for the FHWS, I had to attend a few courses here in Bologna, but only take one exam. Not only does this sound relaxed, it was also quite relaxed. Since I had so much stress the two semesters before and had to study without a break or was sitting at my bachelor thesis, I really enjoyed this semester without exam pressure and permanent stress. However, I felt really sorry for my friends here sometimes, because some of them really had to study a lot.

But what feels a lot worse than exam stress are goodbyes. Here a farewell party, there another. I hate farewells! You hardly have the time to say goodbye to everyone. The strangest thing is that you will probably never see most of the people you met here again. On the one hand this fact makes me a bit sad, on the other hand it comforts me that there will definitely be a reunion with my closest friends here. I can't believe how quickly you can find real friends and how quickly strangers grow on you. We have experienced and seen so much here together, which made our friendship something very special after only a few weeks. It is a great feeling to know that I have found friends for life here in these five months.

Three really close friends have already left and with every further departure I’m becoming more and more aware of end of my Erasmus stay. The more of my friends leave the city, the more I look forward to returning home. 

Not only the foreign students return home, but also the Italians flee the city. Everyone travels to the sea, which I can understand very well. In Bologna, it is so unbearably hot in summer that you can hardly stand it (especially if you are used to the German weather). Actually, there was no transition phase between winter, spring and summer. I kinda slipped from my winter jacket right into my summer dress. Between 12 and 3 o'clock one can hardly stay outside, because the midday sun is really burning hot. I don't cool my water in the fridge, but put it in the freezer and shower every two hours. I know exactly, I’m complaining about first world problems, because when I am back in Germany, I will complain about the bad German weather and wish myself back to the hot Bologna summer. The city is gradually becoming emptier and emptier and it is noticeable that only tourists from the western countries of Europe dare to go out into the midday sun, who don't really know how to hide from the heat. Fortunately, my friends from southern Spain and Argentina are still here in Bologna for a while and they can show me a few hints and tricks on how to make 38 degrees somehow more bearable. 

And while the sweat is dropping off my forehead while just sitting at my desk and writing this text, I'm becoming more and more aware of the end of my stay abroad. It took so long to prepare everything and then the time flew by so quickly. My friends, who are already at home again, are experiencing their After-Erasmus-Depression, which will probably rain down on me as well. I won't miss the heat, but Bologna - you beautiful city with all your Italian trimmings - I will definitely miss you!

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