Life Sign from Cyprus – ERASMUS Semester at University of Nicosia

Dear family and friends,

I hope you are doing well. I am herewith sending you my warmest greetings.

It has been a couple of months since I last wrote to you, and now that I am slowly approaching the end of my time in Cyprus my thoughts are with you.

I believe this is the right time to send you a little update and reminder as I am sure some of you are wondering where I am and what I am doing these days.

For those of you who don’t know yet or whose memory has let them down – I have been living in Nicosia on the island of Cyprus since February studying for one semester at the University of Nicosia.

The last month on this beautiful island is starting for me as I am heading towards my final projects and examinations. I am slowly getting ready for my time in South Africa.

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Just to let you know what has been happening:

It has been three months now since I first arrived on the Eastern Mediterranean island of Cyprus (in case you wonder where it is located – South of Turkey, North of Egypt, East of Greece and West of Syria and Lebanon – I hope this helps!)

Cyprus is an independent Republic, but the island is split into two parts since the Turkish invasion in 1974. The Southern part of the island (Republic of Cyprus) is controlled by the Greek Cypriots and is an official member of the European Union. The Northern part of the country is occupied by Turkish troops and is unofficially called the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, which is only recognized by Turkey. The South and North are separated by the “Green Line”, a UN protected border that runs through the country.

I live and study in the capital Nicosia, which is a city that is split into two parts with the “Green line” running right through it – similar to Berlin during the time Germany was split into East and West.

The official languages in Cyprus are Greek and Turkish, but as Cyprus used to be a British colony, everyone also speaks or at least understands English.
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I am studying at the University of Nicosia (http://www.unic.ac.cy), the largest private university in Cyprus, with campuses in Nicosia, Limassol and Larnaca. I am taking part in the European ERASMUS programme (http://www.britishcouncil.org/erasmus.htm), which enables higher education students in 31 European countries to study for part of their degree in another country.

So far it has been an amazing experience to live and study in yet another country. Even though it is at times very demanding to continuously change ones place of living, having to readjust to new surroundings and establish new social friendships over and over again, it is an incredible learning experience.

Cyprus is such a beautiful spot, I can only recommend to anyone who has the opportunity to live here for a while or visit the island for a holiday, you should definitely go for it. You will find the most beautiful beaches, beautiful people from all over the world, perfect weather conditions and a great clubbing culture.

For me it has been a welcomed change to the fast-paced life in London. Life in Cyprus is much slower, calm and very quiet. Waking up to sun and blue skies every day, also again proved to have a very positive affect. Three months in Cyprus feel like as if I have been here for a very very long time. I wish the weather would be more like this in London (…that’s never going to happen!)

Even though university life is quite demanding here, with three times more assessments compared to my university in London, I have been able to settle in well. I live in one of the universities student halls, sharing a room with another student from my university in London. Even though it was quite a challenge to begin with, living with students from various countries and cultural backgrounds (incl. Finland, Poland, Lithuania, Bulgaria, Slovakia, Spain, India, Zimbabwe, Nigeria, etc) was yet again a very stimulating and inspiring experience.

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Looking ahead:

The coming month of May, I will be busy with my final projects and examinations for the academic semester. Once I am finished, I will then pack up my things and prepare for my three months stay in South Africa.

I have been longing to return to Mzansi since I had to leave again back to London last September. South Africa has become my home, and I have been missing it every day since I returned to Europe in December 2008.

I have been planning and saving up for this moment, and on the 1st of June the time has come for me to return once again to spend three months in the most beautiful city of Cape Town at the most Southern tip of Africa.

I will be doing another internship. I am currently in the process of applying to companies – with my first choice being COZA PRODUCTIONS (www.cozaproductions.co.za).

In September, I will then travel back to London to continue my degree studies at the London Metropolitan University. I might fit in a short visit to Germany in September, but I cannot promise anything at this point in time.

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Please feel free to contact me at any time. I would love to hear from you again.

If you would like to you can follow me on Twitter (http://www.twitter.com/agladiac) or Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/marianzinn).

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Remember, irrespective of where we are right now, at one point in our lives, our paths have crossed, and I believe the day will come when they will lead us together again. It is up to us to maintain the relationships that are important to us in our lives. I am just trying to do my little bit by trying to keep in touch.

Today’s technology provides us with the amazing ability to foster friendships all around the world, to make the world one place, where people connect and share independent of space, time, borders, nationalities, without limitations.

You are in my thoughts.

I hope to see you again soon.

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