What non-Europeans think about Europe

I am European and I have my own opinion about this place. I am proud that I come from Europe but my opinion might not be objective. That is why I asked my non-European friends about Europe. Questions were: What do you like about Europe? What do you appreciate here in Europe? What is better in Europe and what is worse? And in overall, how is Europe comparing to places where you come from? 

In total, I interviewed 29 people from different continents, different countries. I got respondents from 15 countries such as AAE, Argentina, Australia, Brasil, Canada, Colombia, Costa Rica, India, Mexico, Peru, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Turkey, Venezuela

This is going to be a summarize of what non-Europeans think about Europe. Their opinions are based on their experience here in Europe. 

AAE

So basically I think that in Europe the lifestyle is pretty calm. There are good proportions of working class people and the non-working class (children, students, elderly). 

The food is really different from each place, compared to Asia or the Middle East where the food style is mostly similar (doesn’t change that drastically). There is a lot more drinking and partying in Europe among the youth. Maybe I think that because the drinking age is much lower than other countries. I feel that in some parts of Europe people are not that open-minded and not welcoming towards foreigners like some regions in the South of Europe. 

Argentina 

I think is quite difficult to summarize Europe as one place, provided that the reality varies from country to country. But one of the best things I enjoyed there was the safety. I felt it when I walked the streets. I really appreciate that! For example, a lady can walk alone late at night and you can be sure that nothing will happen to her. We might be a little neurotic down here, but we feel unsafe as you might get mugged during the day or the night. 

Another good stuff is how easy it is to travel from place to place. You get to see people from several countries in the same place. The diversity of languages and cultures you have is really interesting as well. Sometimes crossing the border makes you feel you are in another world. And distances are short! Travelling for 5 hours there makes you change the country at least once. Here you might still be in the same province. 

And please, the historical castles and old city centres, they are most delightful! We surely don’t have buildings older than the time of the Spanish colonies (apart from replicas, which are not the same as watching a castle where battles were held, coronations and assassinations were carried, etc). 

A thing that I wasn’t used to is the actual coldness in relations with the Eastern Europeans. I am used to more energic relations, which are common in South America or kind of in Spain or Italy where people get our mood and don’t act anything. 

But well, that is more or less my point of view of Europe in general. I think you have great and awesome things. 

Australia 

I think Europe is truly amazing. After visiting Europe twice now, I rate it highly and continually want to travel there. Despite an accumulation of 14 months altogether in Europe across my two trips, there is still a wealth of experience I wish to discover. I’m particularly a fan of the architecture, infrastructure, heritage, history, the range of culture and ease of access in terms of travel considering I’m located on a faraway continent. 

The positives of Europe are definitely the abundance of different cultures and history scattered throughout Europe. In comparison to Australia whose history primarily began some 250 years ago, Europe dates back centuries with kingdoms, hierarchies and aristocracy. 

I can’t really say there are bad things in comparison except that I’m monolingual so I can talk English throughout all of Australia yet can perhaps struggle in some instances communicating with local Europeans due to not knowing the local language. 

I love Europe, I think it’s a beautiful destination, and I think having so many nations close together – despite past fighting between most – is a good thing for human nature. Coming from an isolated country in Australia, it’s amazing to be able to take a 6h bus and pass through more than one country

What I like is the history and being able to experience different cultures. We are a relatively young nation, and all throughout Europe there are places with hundreds, sometimes over a thousand years of history and to be able to see and learn about that is great for broadening my experiences. I also have a large amount of family in Croatia, because I have Croatian heritage, and I’ve been lucky to visit 4 times. There is always a reason for me to return to Europe. 

If you don’t have an EU passport passing through can sometimes be difficult. Another thing that isn’t as good as the home is the administration and organisation when it comes to things like political matters. Things in Europe seem to be more traditional and not as connected, whereas at home everything is online or easy to reach, and connected so it is much quicker for us. 

When I’m in Europe, I just appreciate being there; existing. It’s somewhere else, I’m usually seeing something new, and I have the chance to meet some amazing people. No matter what I do, I’m far from home and in unfamiliar territory, and that is a great experience and challenge. 

Brasil 

Well, I think that the most different things are the safety anytime and anywhere, public transport that really works and helps a lot. 

The only thing I consider to be worse than here in Brasil is mood or behaviour of most of the European people. They are not so helpful sometimes haha. 

I think Europe is diverse in culture, despite what we (common sense from someone who’s never been to Europe that is from South America) have been thinking and despite going through such a strong process of unification of the culture (the global phenomena is very clear in Europe, since every country has the same shops, same food franchises, etc. I can still see clear cultural differences but, in comparison to other parts of the world, Europe is the continent with the most different countries that look the most similar more and more every day. Not sure if I’m being clear. I love the way European countries deal with urban infrastructure, in particular, and with the union. Like the European Union. It makes me jealous because I wish Latin America would accomplish the same. I don’t really appreciate Europeans historical process of exploitation though haha but I really appreciate the cold ways of solving problems and how much education has been a priority for you. I wish we would invest in education and support teachers as much as Europe does.

I also appreciate the more individualistic ways of dealing with people because I can see more respect coming from that but I also appreciate the warmness that Latinos have, so hahaha, I’m not very sure about it but I appreciate it anyway. 

Canada 

I really enjoyed Europe and honestly didn’t know what to expect before arriving. I appreciate the dedication to history and the stories that places and civilizations have to tell. I liked how it was easy to chill, be laid back, just enjoy surroundings and simple things. In that sense, I think the old historic landscapes are better in Europe, and the techno… 😜 compared to Canada or America the weaknesses are lack of diversity, less competition and motivation. But the thing I appreciate the most is how easy it is to fall in love without stress haha. 

How does Europe look in a Canadian perspective? Europe feels very different from Canada in general. The way people live their daily routine, the way they cook, what they eat, how different they dress, what they celebrate through a year are just a few things I can notice as a Canadian tourist when we decide to experience the European culture. The first time I got in Europe was when I was 19 years old. It was in May. The first thing I noticed was that the summer was well begun compare to where I live in Quebec in which by this time of the year there is still a snow pile of 1 meter in front of my house. I went in a cafe in Paris as my first experience in restoration. Here I felt tricked. I asked for a coffee. The thing is that Canadians drink a lot of coffee but mild and large in quantity. I was surprised to have a small cup not bigger than 100 ml. The taste was strong and it cost way more than I thought it would cost for. But anyway, I just realize, “Ohh ok… I’ll drink less in volume and equal to caffeine!”. After that came the time to eat something at the restaurant. I went in a place that I don’t remember what I ate but I did remember that the waitress was grateful to receive a tip. That’s what I realized that in Europe tip doesn’t really exist and it is included in the price. In Canada and United States it’s strongly suggested to add a tip of 15% to the bill. If one gives less it could be seen as a skinflint. Then comes the time for the breakfast. I would say that breakfast in Europe is a bit sweeter than in America where we enjoy bacon and other salty food as a first meal. In France and Italy for example, it always surprised me that people eat chocolate buns and sweet croissants. I even saw sweet milk in Italy. It doesn’t taste good with my cereals. Canadians make big business with milk. It is in our culture to drink and use milk everywhere. No way to have a desert without a glass of milk! I have to give the point to Europeans though when it comes the dinner time. Over centuries countries and people from Europe have developed a fine cuisine base on a diversified ingredient that we don’t use in Canada. It’s a shame because we just had a bit of salt and pepper in every meal. Well… most of the time!

Architecture is probably the first thing that a Canadian will appreciate in Europe. The way that the houses of the construct are really different than we do. We use a wood frame and commonly plastic board as sidings. The roof is dampproofed with asphalt shingles. We see a lot of mortar in Europe. We can also say that our history is young compared to Europe’s. We don’t have buildings older than ones from the 17th century. So no baroque, medieval, renaissance, gothic influences. 

When getting the time to go out we realize once again our divergences. It is prohibited since 1998 to smoke in public areas in Quebec and Canada. No bad smell in bars and restaurant which is good for us. It is really annoying to feel all this dusty air in such a small place where people sweat and the temperature is high. Prague in the Czech Republic is a good example for this! What about the rules for alcohol? In America, one cannot even walk with a beer in his hand! In Canada neither. I personally was asked by a policeman to throw my consumption in the garbage. But people get arrested for this! Imagine the feel we get when we arrive in Europe and we see a young group of people scattering in parks, walking in streets and drink beer, wine and liquors. Well… let’s say we feel comfortable with this for most of us I think.

Finally, the major thing I dislike from Europe is the tranquillity of nature. A place where you can really say that there is no one to disturb you. I love nature and as Canadian we have a lot of space for the forest. Real dense forest. Not the one you will walk for an hour and get to another village. The one you can go from Quebec City to Kuujjuaq in a straight line! I do a lot of hiking in my trips. Unfortunately, even when I did the Tour du Mont Blanc I didn’t feel completely in the wilderness.

For this last reason, I wouldn’t be able to live all year long in Europe. But Europe is good for many reasons though. It’s a place to discover many things, make a lot of new friends, a place that people from North America will live the best moments of their life and will keep the best memories. But I prefer the sweet and long silence that keep the mountains and valleys over the time. 

Colombia 

Well, everything over there sounds very attractive, that is because of a simple reason, the exotic attracts us, and I think that the same happens to you when you think about other continents. 

My stay in Prague was my first time in Europe and I fell in love immediately! There are differences in many aspects which make it an excellent experience which I will never forget! The way to see the world because of the culture, the language, the gastronomy and others. The infrastructure is very different. Europe overcomes us. Also the music, dances and clothes. They are so different comparing to I had seen before. 

Consequently, what I really love of Europe is that you can get all that mentioned before by travelling around to a lot of countries which make it up, and, at the same time you can find a bunch of history in every place (that shocked me), it’s very deep and interesting.

What I dislike was that some people used to disparage you or be impolite with you, what is very different when a foreign people visit our country. Another negative point is the number of people smoking. Here, despite being stereotyped, smoking is not usual. 

Costa Rica 

Mmm, that’s a difficult question. I like a lot of things about Europe, from its architecture to its history. Something I loved was the safety of not being robbed and the calm when you walk at night. That is something that can´t be felt or done in my country. Also, I think that people in Europe are a bit worse than in my country. Latin people are usually more welcoming and light-hearted, for me, Europeans are usually a little bit colder. 

India

Europe has very beautiful cities! That is the first thing that comes to my mind. Everything is so picturesque, every street a glimpse into a different story. I’ve never been bored by what I’ve seen in Europe, no matter where I go. Also, the people of this continent are so warm and friendly. It’s unreal. But I think at first, they have some inhibitions, some reservations, so to speak before they really open up to you. Once they do open up, you realize what a bunch of crazy bastards these people are haha! 

What I like about Europe? Like I said before- the cities, the people. There are so many great monuments to see. For example, the Eiffel Tower (obviously), The Colosseum, Venice is in itself, a monument. In Spain you have the La Sagrada Familia, I could go on and on, and this list would never end. There is just so much culture to soak in, I could stay for 300 years and there’d still be some stuff left to explore. Also, the chicks in Europe are not bad too.😉

The beer, fuck me, the beer there is so good. Better than the shit they serve me back in India anyway. And in some places like the Czech Republic, it is cheap AF! Also, the public transportation, the infrastructure, is miles ahead of what I have back at home. Also, Europeans are better at football than us Indians at least. 

Now, what I did not like about Europe, was how overpriced water is! Like 2-3 euros for water?!! It’s asinine. Also travelling in the morning is a real bitch. During the cold months, If I wasn’t inside a Flixbus or something, and if I had a layover, I’d basically be screwed over by the cold. It’s brutal, especially for me as I come from a hot weather country. The people, and how they pride themselves on their language. It is really admirable. Back in India, if you speak English, it elevates your social status by two or three levels. But I’ve seen that is not the case here. The locals take great pride in their language. If they don’t know English, they don’t give a fuck. They don’t bother to learn it, even though the world is going in the other direction. I wish we Indians too, could take pride in our local languages, and get out of this “English is superior” mindset. 

How is Europe compared to India where I come from? Oh, the differences are vast and they are many. I cannot enumerate all of them, but here are some which I think are stark. The attitude towards women is much better in Europe. Girls feel so much safer late at night, whether they are nightclubs or coming back from work. It is great to see. I cannot say the same about my country, You know, India and the whole rape joke thing. Well, it is true. The stereotype really writes itself. 

Like I said, the public transportation is punctual and densely connected. I could set my watch by looking at when the tram arrives! That punctual they are! Back home, well it’s hopeless. A bus that is supposed to be leaving by say, 6:45 will show up at 6:45. That’s pretty bad sometimes. 

There are some things I missed about home when I was here in Europe. Like the food. Don’t fall for these Indian food restaurants in Europe. It’s nowhere close to authentic Indian food. But it’s the best you can do with unless you have an Indian friend who’s a great cook (like me 😉). 

Overall, I would like to say, and I say this from the bottom of my heart, I fucking love Europe. Especially all my friends I made there. Wish I could see them all again one day. I am really grateful for my stay there, and I’m hoping that I will come there back again for more! 

Mexico 

One of the first things I can say that Europe is certainly the dream destination for the majority of people in Latin America, who can afford it. 

The differences between Europe and Mexico are big. There are many differences in the way of living, for example, streets are narrower, cities are smaller, everything is cleaner and more organized. There’s a train system, people are blunter and more introvert. In Europe, it is easier and cheaper to travel to different cities and countries. People tend to speak at least 2 languages, they are also more chill about things like alcohol and marihuana. The weather creates a different way of living where you can have cold streets and warm interiors. What is considered old in America, in Europe is not (I find that kind of cool). People think ahead whereas in Mexico some people tend not to do it. 

For example buildings, cities, etc. The concept of “antiques” is totally different. In Europe, you find them for cheap in flea markets and in America, there are special antique shops that in Europe people wouldn’t give a euro for those. 

Before I arrived in Europe I had many expectations. You know, it was my first time in Europe. But once I arrived, in the first country in Europe which was the Netherlands, I began to ask myself if it would be like I imagined. I had a lot of problems to enter Europe in resume a bad-tempered police, a flight almost made me feel a little bit scared. 

Once I arrived in Europe, in Latvia, I noticed that Europe is a completely new experience from road safety education, which for me coming from Mexico it is very impressive, to the wonderful buildings that cover Europe. Although at first, it seemed like all the people were looking at me in a strange way and they look very serious, I began to feel Latvia like a nice place to live. I arrived in Riga with lots of energy, expectations and goals to fulfil. It is a place where you can easily make friends from different countries, with nationalities. Great opportunity to get to know a new culture. 

What I principally missed from my country were mainly two things: the food (I really missed the food especially the chilli and tacos) and the weather, maybe it is because I was there in winter and the wild cold is crazy for me while it was warm in Mexico. 

The best of Europe are the buildings and the cities. The education of the people and the new experiences that I had. 

It’s a place with lots of elderly and adults. Elderly mostly speak their own languages or Russian. Young people speak very good English. I noticed that the population of children is very small

I had my experience in Latvia. It is a country with only 1,800,000 inhabitants and in Riga, they inhabit a third of the total population. I really liked that it is a very quiet city, with no traffic, stress and without such high levels of pollution as it is in the CDMX. 

The currency is Euro since it belongs to the European Union. It covers almost all the Europe. 

Regarding transportation, there are 4 types: bus, trolley, tram and train

The climate is so extreme! When I arrived, the thermometer marked -3 °C with a thermal sensation of -10 °C and a week before landing, it was -22 °C. It was crazy for me to experience such weather. Unfortunately, I got sick three times, personally, it took me a lot of work to adapt but the medical insurance acted immediately and did not affect my academic performance. When I was heading home leaving the faculty, I could see the frozen river and the snow with no intention of thawing. For me, the winter ended at the end of April. The sun came out in mid-May, the weather began to improve, and people began to hang out more frequently

Summer there was is in June and lasted 3 weeks at a temperature of 28 °C. There was a famous beach called Jurmala which I liked very much. In July its temperature was about 17 °C but the wind does not stop being present, rain and occasional thunderstorms. 

I made a strong friendship with many people from different countries. The cultural diversity was very enriching. Later on, I met Sintija from Preli, Latvia with such a big heart to share her culture and she was so nice to me, I can say she is half Mexican and half Latvian and I’m so glad that I met her. 

A very important point, the food.The fruits are very expensive and in general, the food expires very quickly because it is very fresh. 

There might be pros and cons but I can say that I really want to go back to Europe, hopefully soon. 

Ok, so what I did love about Europe is that the cities are always clean, they take care of the streets and the infrastructure.  I loved (at least in Prague) that the public transportation is really efficient, it gives an excellent service and it’s always on time. That’s at least the main difference, in my opinion, between Mexico and Europe. 

What I like better in my country is that people usually are more kind and nice, they are like “warmer”, I don’t know if you get what I mean like they are really welcoming with foreigners. Of course, people in Europe are really nice and kind but they do it more like in a polite way, only if you ask for help but in Mexico people always try to make you feel like home. 

Well, Europe for me was a quite the experience, I did lots of new things for the first time there, such as experiencing snow for the first time, living alone for the first time as well, and although the overall cost of living there is quite expensive for a Mexican student. In countries like Latvia, the Czech Republic and Poland, it was affordable. 

So returning to what I think about Europe, it’s hard to say, because each European country has a different culture and that’s one of the things that I love the most about Europe, you literally travel few km’s and you are in a different country

What I don’t like about Europe, and it’s not something that can actually be solved because it’s an external factor of the continent, it’s the constant threats and sadly, very common terrorist attempts in some famous and touristic places. The food is also very good and different from here. But I still prefer Mexican food. 😛 

Well, first thing first. I think Europe is simply different, another culture, but at the same time so close to my continent. Europe has beauty and differences everywhere you go. 

I kind of liked the weather because of its changes during the year, not like here in Mexico hahaha. 

I like the culture there. In Europe economy is better. And safety as well. Punctuality as well. What is worse… sometimes it is boring and monochromatic, in my opinion. I really appreciate people I met there. 

Europe has many good things, but, in my opinion, it also has lots of problems. The things I like about Europe are the public transport, the low density of population, the fact you can travel from one country to another in a relatively cheap and easy way, and how open-minded are the young people. And about the bad things, I think the most important is the difference between the prices in basic stuff like the food compared with my country and problems with migration and refugees

I appreciate a lot the multicultural interaction. It’s incredible how different people you can meet. 

I think the best about Europe is its people, from my experience, I like how they are honest with you on any matter, and I found myself lots of friends that are for a lifetime, like yourself. 

The worst thing is maybe the weather, for foreign people that are not used to that, it is quite a Challenge, especially a winter

I do appreciate a lot the lifestyle that I developed there, people do not really mess with you, in the sense of how you live. I can tell you that I was really happy there, it was different, I guess it might be the same for anyone coming to a different place because it’s different from what we know and what we are used to. I fell so grateful I had the chance to be there, and I am looking forward to coming back for new adventures and to see my friends. 

“First of all, I think its an amazing continent. I like the order there. Also, I like that people respect the rules, also the government is way better than in America, the corruption is lower and the people respect the public spaces, as well the education quality and the amount of people with good education is big

I dislike a little bit that everything is small, like the houses and apartments. The thing I like is that comparing to Mexico you can go out wearing what you want and it is safer than in some parts of Mexico. And one of the bad things from my point of view is the terrorism in Europe. 

For example, in Mexico, if you would live together with your boyfriend, many people would disapprove that. But in Europe it is normal

But the thing I like the most is the way people think all the people are open-minded and respect all the ideas and religions

In general, Europe is an amazing place

Peru 

Well, I think Europe is a place that has already solved problems like poverty, education, pollution etc. Their cities are pretty organized, there is an efficient public transport, but I think that level of organization is too much because I think it makes people too quite. I really like that there you can meet people from all over the world even from other continents and also the facility to travel to all of the countries in this continent. About climate, I didn’t like it at all. I was there in winter and I was trying all the time to escape to some beaches where I could find some sun haha. 

Singapore

“Oh, I love Europe! I love the different cultural atmosphere there. And the cultural diversity there is interesting as well. So many different countries packed in such a small continentThe food there is definitely niceBeers and wines too! I like how it’s easy to travel around Europe with open borders of the countries there. 

What I like is that people are friendly and very sociable. They will talk to strangers and they are easy to be friends with. 

Definitely, they are more friendly than those who come from Asia. In Asia, they don’t talk to strangers. 

Another is the weather. 

And the design of the cities which is different from Asia. The setting and all the architecture😉. I really like it all! 

About disadvantages, I can’t really say. There are not that many, in my opinion.”

“I think Europe is really beautiful because of the diversity of cultures. It is so accessible for travellers. The scenery is very beautiful there, especially because it is a different climate to Southeast Asia where I’m from. What is better is probably the quality of life, in Singapore, you are busy with making money and stuff, in Europe not so much as the pace of life is slower and there is time to enjoy the outdoors. What is worse in Europe is probably the refugee crisis

In Singapore, there are not many homeless people. This is because there is affordable public housing. As such many of the cities in Europe are deteriorating in terms of the beauty of public spaces especially in cities like Paris and Brussels. 

I really appreciated Europe’s picturesque architecture and landscape, one with many historical values unlike a young country like mine. The diverse range of food and languages across the continent of Europe was really interesting. But what I thought the best takeaway was engaging with Europeans whom albeit from the same continent with such close proximity, has largely different cultures, each interesting in its own manner. 

Sri Lanka

Before I go ahead and express my thoughts about Europe, I will brief you on where do I come from. 

I was born in Sri Lanka (the island south of India) and raised in Dubai. But luckily I lived in Sri Lanka for around 9-10 years before my family moved to Dubai for good. Living in Dubai was definitely an integral part of my life as I believe it broadened my mind.

Coming to Europe for my higher studies was not exactly the plan I had in mind. Having looked at other popular study destinations such as Australia and Canada I didn’t expect to end up in Prague. Before coming to Prague I was not aware of everything that I had to know, in fact, I didn’t know anything about Prague or why I chose it for my studies but having lived here for a while now I don’t regret choosing Europe. I firmly believe that the more you explore other cultures and travel, the more self-aware you become. What I like the most about Europe is how open people are and the positive energy that comes with it. Unfortunately, there is still a population who are not very supportive for foreigners living in Prague but the city itself welcomes you with open arms that eventually I paid less attention to such thoughts. 

There is still so much left to do and so many places to explore. Hopefully, I will have a chance to see everything. 

But how well you live in a country and how much you appreciate it also depends on the friends you make and how well you get to know each other.  All these circumstances will affect your impression and opinion. 

I’m glad to have the privilege of meeting such wonderful people with whom you share countless memories. 

Taiwan

In general, I really enjoyed my time in Europe! The rich culture and the atmosphere in every city! There is a relaxing and kind of romantic feeling

Compared to Taiwan, which has relatively short history, Europe is well preserved, every piece, even if small, memory or building to remind people that we lived through that period. That is fascinating to me. 

On the other hand, I feel the pace of people is slower which might be good for some people, but for me, that would become a little uncompetitive and the career might be limited a bit. I am not sure about this point because I only went there for a relatively short time.

And one thing I really like about Europe is the respect toward differences. Some of the people in Taiwan are still very conservative and cannot accept new things, for example, tattoos. However, in Europe, people can be their true selves.  

Turkey 

Firstly, I live Turkey that is Asian country but I have not been to another Asian country. I want to say something about my views. Turkey has two part. One part is at the continent of Asia that is called Anatolia. Other is Europe’s part. Europe part has 5 cities. Anatolia has 76 cities. I live in Anatolia. My city is really small and calm and it is really similar to other Anatolian cities. But you know some cities are really crowded and huge. For example Ankara. Ankara is the capital of Turkey that is in Anatolia.

So I am starting to compare. Public transportation in Turkey is good. Not excellent but it is ok. Public transportation in Europe is really systematic. In Europe, it is easy to go abroad from one country to another. I really, really like it. For example Paris. It is very useful. But I have to say that I have been almost in all the capital cities in Europe. Public transportation was really good almost everywhere. I really appreciate that! So Europe is better than Turkey if we talk about public transportation. Another thing, Turkish people are usually very helpful to every situation. We are warm and very friendly. We share everything with people. In Europe, local people are not helpful, except Erasmus students. I base it on my experience. Some of them are very cold and reckless. I don’t like this. In addition, there are really bad people in Turkey. We cannot feel safe at night. İstanbul is a completely European city if we talk about transport, modern art, nightlife. But it is not safe at nights, that is the difference comparing to Europe. Usually, Anatolian people are traditional. 

To clear up, European people are colder than Asian people. Asian people are very friendly. Europe has a regular life, good education, human rights, transportation and they are very systematic. Europe is much more secure and free. And if we talk about the food that I can say that Asian food is better, at least I prefer it more than the food in Europe. 

“Before I start to express my opinion, I should probably start this with introducing myself so here we go: I’m a student, musician, travel enthusiast, geek, brother to my sister and friend of the mighty cats. I study computer science at Yıldız Technical University in Istanbul – Turkey. I play the guitar and bağlama (a guitar-like instrument from my home). Enough about me! Let’s jump into the adventures of the traveller 🙂 

I spent almost 5 months in the beautiful city of Europe – Prague. That time was absolutely awesome! I had never left my country before Erasmus so this was a huge leap for me. I live in a country where people are really warm-blooded. Which means that you almost instantly become friends with anyone you see on the street. This was the biggest challenge I went through in my Erasmus because I’m used to making silly faces to some stranger’s baby on the subway and them acting as I’m one of their closest friends and ask me about how my school/work is going and we will have a long chat for all the way. I think it was my 3rd day in Prague when I realized that if you peekaboo someone’s baby on the tram, they will look at you like you are a paedophile. 

The second challenge was the food. In my country, if you wanted to try every type of soup we have, I believe you will need at least 2 weeks to be able to eat one cup of each. We have a very large cuisine and to be honest the Czech Republic barely had any 😦 Also as I’m a Muslim and don’t eat pork, I had to be really careful with food and shopping. And back to the part, I said I’m a Muslim, elderly of Czech people do have a tendency to be kind of mean when they hear you are a Muslim. But hey, my peers or generation didn’t have any problem with this so it was okay. Also, let’s be honest none of these issues or challenges I got over in 2 weeks or so didn’t really bothered me 🙂 

There were some things that made my life a lot easier from my life in Istanbul. Istanbul has a population of 15 million and Prague has only 1 million. Oh, the relief of not hearing the cars and their honks… Great! Also, the people of Turkey are a bit conservative so I was really relieved that no one in the city cared about whatever I did anywhere. People are really chill in Prague. There is no better word for it but chill. It’s almost annoying that you can not annoy people because they don’t care! Go to a park (let’s say Letna, my favourite), bring in your equipment and start playing your music. People will enjoy it even if they hate the type of music you play. In my country, there would be a lot of voices telling you to shut up 🙂 

I can probably go on and on about why I loved Prague. But to sum up, the hardest challenge I had was, to put it simply, people being colder than I was used to and the thing I miss the most about Prague since I came back home is how people were really open-minded and chill about everything. I missed Istanbul when I was there and I miss the lovely Praha while I’m here. I feel cursed 🙂 But in general, Europe is great

Venezuela 

It’s a very open topic, each continent is very unique, and there are big differences between South America and Europe. When someone from Latin America comes, I think the first picture that comes to mind is one with old buildings and probably the cold weather. It is definitely full of history from ages ago that you can collect by walking down the streets. I can tell you, of course, the differences between my country and not generalize, but it is very similar to others. It’s well known for having well-organized countries, in comparison to Latin countries, in many aspects, which makes those countries more developed. The lifestyle is also very different from ours. In Europe, it includes activities, transportation, family, and mindsets. I like being able to access easily the public transport and to move around cities and countries. I like the feeling of being safe in almost every place I go. People are very open and also “mind their own business”. What I prefer from my place, is the warmth between people, how we support each other and we all are like brothers from the continent in a way. Also, I think we tend to appreciate things, in general, a bit more since we don’t actually have everything, and there are always reasons to smile, be happy and grateful even in bad situations. Even so, many are very welcoming with foreign people in Europe and it offers many ways to grow as a person. 

There are so many different opinions. Our experiences might be different but it is interesting to know what others think about Europe. And these things also make me appreciate the values we have in Europe and to improve some aspects my friends mentioned above. Knowing Europe’s pros and cons we can make it a better place for everyone! 

 

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One Comment Add yours

  1. It’s astounding to see the different perspectives. It really depends on what you see on TV or read on the internet, especially if you’ve never been to the place.

    Liked by 1 person

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