EuroFriends are very excited to post our very first interview. Our first guest is a young lady, who already gained a lot of experience through travelling all over Europe.
Having already visited several cities and towns in Bulgaria, she shares her impressions about our beautiful country. We are glad to present you Isabelle von Zitzewitz (IZ).
E: For what reason are you here in Bulgaria? Does it have something to deal with an exchange program?
IZ: Yes, I’m participating in a program of DAAD, a German academic exchange service. This is the biggest program that sends German speaking lecturers to different universities worldwide.
Е: Did you have choice where to teach or it was a „surprise”?
IZ: Yes, the program works almost everywhere around the world. So we have to set priorities between three different countries. And to be entirely honest Bulgaria was only my third choice after Serbia and Bosnia, because I didn’t know anything about your country.
Е: Since when are you here in Shumen?
IZ: Since September, 2014. Oh, it has been already two years. Time flies really fast.
Е: What are your first impressions from Bulgaria-the culture, the people?
IZ: One thing that I like here is the openness of people, which I think is the same in all the Balkan countries. Being a foreigner in Bulgaria turned out to be relatively easy to me, because I could simply come along with everyone. This is what I love about Bulgaria, beside its beautiful landscapes – the mixture of forests, mountains and sea shore, which is my personal favorite. I have already traveled a lot trough Bulgaria and I’m impressed by lots of sunny days, which I miss in Germany.
Е: Which cities have you visited?
IZ: Ruse, Plovdiv, Sofia, Burgas, Varna, Pazardzhik, Vratsa and Stara Zagora. I have seen all these places because of workshops, lecture programs and projects- many presentations from DAAD scholarship programs. I am happy to have had the chance to travel in Bulgaria. It’s always nice to see some new places.
Е: What kind of difficulties have you faced at first? For example the adaptation must have been hard here.
IZ: Of course the language barrier was the main problem and the streets’ names spelling. They sound strange to me and I got lost for about three times despite having a town map. Whit time it got better.
Е: How can you describe the life in Bulgaria?
IZ: Generally positive. People are very kind and relatively open. It was a pleasure for me to meet new people and to experience a different life style.
Е: Did you suffer from homesickness or were you in shock at the begging?
IZ: No, I don’t think so. At first, the only thing that I missed was the communication between the neighbors, but as already said I have made new friends.
Е: We see that you had a lot of experience with the exchange programs. Can you give the “open minded” people any advice?
IZ: If you decided to make something big out of your life and to travel on your own, it’s definitely a fact that you have grown up. If you don’t risk to do the first step, you won’t see what could happen. Just do it, its nice challenge!