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Sara Reyad Mahmoud Abu Alhaija is a student of Design and Visual Communication at the Jordan University of Science and Technology in Jordan. She has been attending the Academia VSŠ since the beginning of December 2023 as an exchange student, where she is doing her practical training.
Sara’s journey to a new chapter in her life as an Erasmus+ exchange student started in December 2023, when she boarded a plane and travelled to Slovenia. Since then, she says, she has been full of enthusiasm and, after speaking to us for this article, positively surprised by the many events that have happened in Maribor so far.
“It has been a pleasure to unravel the rich cultural heritage of Maribor. From attending local festivals to exploring museums and art galleries, every day offered a new opportunity to delve into Slovenian culture, and exploring the city’s sights was like walking through a living history book.”
Sara’s study path at Academia has been very inspiring for her. Working with fellow trainees has given her a unique insight into their different cultures, as they come from diverse backgrounds. The opportunity to meet and interact with students from different parts of the world was one of the most fascinating aspects of her student exchange adventure. Also, the favourable geographical location of Maribor allowed Sara to go on adventures and day trips to neighbouring places at the weekends. The natural beauty of the region, whether climbing in the Pohorje Mountains or relaxing by the Drava River, always offered her inspiration and relaxation.
“Although my Slovenian was a challenge at the beginning, the locals were incredibly patient and supportive. Learning basic phrases not only made it easier for me to communicate, but also made me more enthusiastic about the locals. In addition, I was pleasantly surprised by the culinary delights of Maribor.”
Reflecting on her first month on this exchange student adventure, Sara is grateful for the opportunities, challenges and growth she has developed. She is also grateful for the enriching experiences that this place has given her. The friends she has made, the sights she has seen and the lessons she has learned have made this exchange even richer. Maribor, with its warm embrace and cultural treasures, has become more than a temporary home; it is, as she says, a place where every street corner promises a discovery.
“Every day brings new insights and adventures, and I want to embrace the time I have left with an open heart and an inquisitive mind. Here’s to the remaining months of this exchange, full of anticipation of new adventures and deepening my connection to this fascinating city!”