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Short, but beautiful – the ERASMUS experience of a UTM student during the pandemic

“A shorter, but very intense experience, a fruitful challenge both in terms of the results obtained and the feelings I lived” – this is how the student of the Faculty of Architecture and Urban Planning of the Technical University of Moldova, David CHIRACOSEAN, describes his internship at the Faculty of Architecture “G. M. Cantacuzino” of the “Gh. Asachi” Technical University from Iași, within the Erasmus+ academic exchange program.

– The contest was announced a few weeks before the start of the university semester, says David. It was a challenge for me to get out of the comfort zone I’ve been in within the UTM family, which I was part of for 4.5 years. A challenge that I do not regret, because the Faculty of Architecture “G. M. Cantacuzino” of the Technical University “Gh. Asachi” from Iași, which hosted this internship, offered me a fruitful experience, although short, but very intense, both in terms of the results obtained and the feelings I lived. I have successfully achieved the goals I set for myself, and some of the results have exceeded even my most daring expectations.

The students within the ESN Iași network (Erasmus Student Network – an international organization with branches in various European cities, hosting foreign students who are undergoing internships) wouldn’t let us get bored. The locations of our meetings were always different, so they wanted to give us the opportunity to always discover new places. The life in the dormitory was just as interesting. There, I met representatives from different countries, declaring myself captivated by the number of cultures open to knowledge and socialization. Although the first discussions began with trivial questions like “What’s your name?”, “Where are you from?”, they quickly turned into friendly dialogues and jokes, often in broken English. But we still got along well.

I would like to thank my colleagues from Iași for their patience and understanding. I always received support and help when I needed it. Obviously, I would like to mention the professionalism of the international relations coordinators from the Faculty of Architecture „G. M. Cantacuzino”, TUIași, but also from the Faculty of Architecture and Urban Planning, UTM. The cooperation between the two faculties has already become a beautiful tradition, appreciated and encouraged.

Unfortunately, the pandemic completely changed the course of mobility and it ended abruptly, just one month after the start of the semester. The online studies, although full of useful materials, were no longer spiced with those “coffee talks” during breaks, which contributed to discovering the spirit of architects across the Prut. Let’s hope that future Erasmus+ students will be luckier and live the experience of mobility to the fullest!

According to a report released by ESN [1], a quarter of recent academic exchange experiences have been canceled due to the pandemic, and for half of those remaining in school, lessons have continued online.

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