Gain courage and self-confidence in an exchange study in Iceland - EEZ un Norvēģijas finanšu instrumenti
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Gain courage and self-confidence in an exchange study in Iceland

Humanities student of the Latvian Academy of Culture Liva Marta Roze came to Iceland, an island more than 2,000 kilometers away, in January 2022 to spend the spring semester at Agireiri University. Find out how L.M. Roze gained courage and self-confidence in the story of her experience!

Going to Agireiri University was my first solo trip abroad and my first exchange study experience, but from the beginning I had a strong conviction that I was doing exactly what I needed to do, so I didn’t hesitate for a moment. Even when the going got tough. At that time, I was not such a social person, and in my personal life I experienced several more difficult experiences. The dark period in Iceland coincided with a dark period in my own life, but I believe this was the best thing that happened to me. Not only did I kicked back, but I learned to swim.

It was in Iceland that I momentarily caught the amazing feeling that I was living the life I had always secretly wanted to live. In time, the right people found me and I made several true friends. We traveled, hiked, celebrated birthdays, watched movies and did many other things together. I found out that my English is at a better level than I thought. I learned to communicate with people, to be open to unexpected situations and new experiences. I really enjoyed what I was studying and my grades were good. I realized I could do much bigger things. Go way further. I realized what it was that I really wanted to do in this life, and for the first time in my life I didn’t feel doubt or fear about it. I have never felt so truly who I am, what I need and what I can do. This feeling made me brave and free. I started to respect and love myself, and through that I also gained the respect of other people.

Although I returned to Latvia several months ago, I believe that the good that is happening to me now still stems from my experience in Iceland, for which I am immeasurably grateful. Within these months, I have already gone on individual trips twice, nothing seems too far or impossible to me anymore. Saying yes to the unknown now gives me a nice adrenaline rush instead of fear. I have realized that the most important thing in life is not professional achievements or anything like that, but the bonds we make with people. I really appreciate my friends and loved ones who, being extremely far away, were with me both in my joys and in my sorrows. And I’m no longer afraid to make new connections with people, and to be honest within those connections. People’s judgment has become secondary to me. Life has acquired completely different colours and flavours.

The activity “Scholarships” is financed by grants from the European Economic Area with the support of Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein. Scholarship activity contributes to higher education and research, reducing economic and social differences in the European Economic Area, strengthening bilateral relations and promoting exchanges between donor countries and Latvia.

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