Erasmus+ Exchange Program Part 2; Maya Nikolic


Hi everyone! Before we begin, check out the first part of this blog, titled “Erasmus+ Exchange; Maya Nikolic” to view the inside scoop of my time in Waterford City from March to April. As a quick recap, my name is Maya Nikolic and I’m in my final year studying public health at the University of Washington Bothell. Just as the title says, I’m doing an Erasmus+ Exchange program here in Waterford City, Ireland from March to April. In this blog, I’ll discuss my experiences on the tail end of this program, from April to May. I hope you enjoy!

Hopes and Goals:

Currently, I’m in my last few days here in Ireland. In the past month I’ve truly done a deep dive into research, especially pertaining to women’s health and well being. As mentioned in the last blog post, it was always very hard for me to find my own niche in public health. What I’ve come to learn is that I don’t necessarily have to! Keeping an open mind, especially when working in this field is necessary to grow. I really do enjoy community integration work, but I also really enjoy women’s health research, and hopefully one day I can find work in both of these fields. As for personal goals, I think I’ve truly surpassed what I had initially planned for. Now that I have a taste of what it looks like to be away from home, I’m currently in the process of applying for masters programs abroad. This experience reminded me that I can do whatever I set my mind to, even if it is hard at the moment. I look forward to seeing where life takes me on a professional and personal level. 

My Experiences So Far:

Over the past month or so, I’ve met so many amazing people that have connected me with more amazing people, which I am so grateful for. I’ve learned a great deal about women’s health and well being in Ireland, and how this may translate into women’s health in the United States. Additionally, I’ve met with a number of people from the Irish Men’s Sheds Association from all over the country that have broadened my view of mental health immensely. Hearing personal accounts is always so powerful, and connects you to an individual, not just their story. Beyond this, I’ve had the opportunity to travel all around Ireland and even surrounding countries in my spare time. Through this I’ve met people all over the world and built so many wonderful friendships that I will always hold dear to my heart. 


As for advice I would give to those going on this program, there’s a number of things I want to touch on. First and foremost, do your research! I know this can be difficult sometimes, especially when information is scarce, but that comes with having the ability to go with the flow. The way I approached life was always very structured and organized, which sometimes got in the way of me being able to enjoy things. Irish culture in general is very lax, so coming from the States, this is one of the things that takes most getting used to. Additionally, prepare to budget the funds you get, and anticipate to bring extra just in case. As I mentioned in the last blog, homesickness is another large aspect of this program to prepare for. It is definitely hard to be away from family and friends, with a huge time difference nonetheless, but if you’re open and willing, you’ll make loads of great new friends abroad as well! All in all, prepare the best you can while still enjoying things in the moment and have the absolute best time ever!

Erasmus+ Exchange Program Part 2; Maya Nikolic

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