I Remember

I remember, it was Valentine’s Day when I got the first notification from the HEEM Programme.

I remember receiving the final notification from the University of Oslo two days before my last day at work and flying to Norway two weeks after getting married.

I remember buying grocery items good for one week upon arrival in Oslo and converted the total amount in Philippine Peso. Surprisingly, it was equivalent to my whole month grocery in Manila!

I remember the difficulty of explaining to my friends and relatives about my course and why I’ll be studying in three different universities.

I remember the initial reactions of people about European Master in Higher Education. Most of them thought that I’m intending to become a professor.

I remember the need to go home immediately after class because I have a “Skype date” with my family or husband.

HEEM study trip to Brussels

HEEM study trip to Brussels

I remember how my batch was able to organize a trip to Brussels and visit the European Commission and agencies such as EUA, ESMU and EMA. We appreciated that the University of Oslo shouldered our travel expenses šŸ™‚

I remember reading more than 100 articles about higher education in just one semester. After discussing too much about Humboldt, I remember not wanting to deal with history anymore.

1st International Student Party at Saha in Tampere, Finland

1st International Student Party at Saha in Tampere, Finland

I remember playing UNO, having house parties and going to SAHA (a popular club in Tampere) until 4am.

I remember when my husband forgot his wedding ring at a wash area in Tampere. Two hours later, the ring was still there as if nobody had made an attempt to steal it.

I remember attending the auction at Tampere Police Station where I got a nice bike for 20 euros. My husband and I shouted our bid in Finnish.

I remember the sauna party that we had during spring. Recently, my classmates had started making plans of flying to Finland in May 2009 to attend this party and meet the new batch of HEEM students.

I remember how the Erasmus buddies in Aveiro failed to help us. Luckily, my two Portuguese classmates assisted the group in finding apartments.

I remember living without internet in Portugal and staying until midnight at the computer lab to download movies and search articles for my assignments.

I remember complaining about the University of Aveiro library, telling my friends that it’s the noisiest library on this planet! The situation made me feel that I want to go back to Finland for my last semester.

I remember when somebody told me that our HEEM coordinator was shocked to find out that I’m living with five other colleagues in a notorious neighborhood called Rua de Espinho. I’m happy to say that we survived Aveiro for 2 months and nothing happened!

I remember the excitement of catching Ryanair flights, backpacking and sending postcards. I remember travelling for 23 days last September before coming to Portugal.

At the Arc de Triomphe in Paris

At the Arc de Triomphe in Paris

I remember getting worried about writing my thesis starting January.

I remember contemplating the other day that I’ll be back to Nordic life soon and fulfill the last installment of this programme.

Charisse N. Reyes
HEEM-European Master in Higher Education ā€˜09
University of Oslo, Norway
University of Tampere, Finland
University of Aveiro, Portugal

Categories: Life in Europe | 9 Comments

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9 thoughts on “I Remember

  1. Tdai

    I remember having the similar experiences; and more importantly, my lovely cross-border friends.

  2. Hi Charisse! Are you still in Finland? Im now in Turku, Finland doing the 2nd term of my EM program!!!!

  3. Charisse Reyes

    Moi Sheila!Nice to know that you’re now in Turku.I’m spending my last semester in Tampere.Feel free to contact me if you want to meet up:)

  4. Izni

    What was it like to go there with your newlywed husband? I just got married myself and going to France on an Erasmus Mundus scholarship and I’m not sure if it’s better to leave hubby šŸ˜¦

  5. Charisse Reyes

    Hi Izni, my husband is also an Erasmus Mundus student so it was not difficult for us to process everything. Hope you’ll be able to decide on this soon.Wish you luck!

  6. I hope you are fine. I have been reading your post, and I’d like to ask you something. Do you think that the fact of being married affects the final decision of being awarded with an Erasmus Scholarship?

    I ask you this, because I have plans to get married this year and I have been selected and proposed to follow studies in France. But the final decision hasn’t been taken yet in Brussels.

    @Izni, I am not sure if you have read this:


    They got married and they went together. I think it is possible. Now, I don’ t have any idea on how they did it.

  7. no, i don’t think it affects your chances, but it will affect your finances. if you can manage your money well and secure a visa for you spouse, i don’t see why you cannot do the same.

  8. Izni

    Hello Muammar!

    First of all, CONGRATULATIONS!!!

    I’m in my second semester now and hubby is still with me šŸ™‚ Last semester in France, he studied French and helped a new friend setting up a bookshop. Now in England he goes to free English courses and has been meeting many wonderful friends himself. I met a married couple who were both in the same program but I honestly think the chances are pretty small.

    Being married MAY not affect the admission decision (though, my coordinator explicitly didn’t like my husband coming with me) but Musanggala is correct, you have to manage money well but so far, we’re doing alright and another couple in the same situation in my program is doing good too. My major expenses as a couple actually go to the visa applications but it’s totally worth it šŸ˜‰

  9. @musanggala thanks so much for the information. I was thinking it again in cold, and I believe it shouldn’t affect my changes of getting the scholarship. I know that it will affect my finances since I already have gone to Europe and I am aware that stuff are expensive there. But if I can manage my money well and my wife works there (getting a job), I am sure that everything will be OK.

    @Izni I am glad to know you still are with your hubby. It makes me feel quiet knowing it. Thanks for congratulating me even though I haven’t got yet the final answer it still is a good achievement.

    I have to add that I feel very nervous, I cannot sleep well… It represents a big change in my life. I am from Venezuela. So, getting this scholarship will be like a fairy tale for me… and it is something that I have dreamed of since long time ago. I am very thankful for your responses šŸ™‚ I really appreciate them.

    PS. I hope I can make this…

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