All Erasmus students must know the phrase “Once in a lifetime”. It is the sentence that drives you to start every activity, plan or proposal during these months away from home. Actually the slogan OIL (I’m going to use the acronym troughout the text) has been with you from the day you decided to go on Erasmus, but begins to emerge when you get to your destination.
OIL becomes your life policy in everything you experience away from home. It guides your steps and you will spend unforgettable moments, of course. The problem comes when you start to realize that you are also running out of money. This is because with the OIL thought you only know one thing: you’re just going to be in Budapest doing Erasmus one time, you’re not going back to the same place with the same nice people. In other words: OIL makes you spend and spend. And this is the main point of the matter: the costs.
When I got Budapest as a destination one of the first things I thought was “great, it’s cheap”. And of course it is cheap: if you are shut in your house and not go out or do anything. But for Erasmus students Budapest is not as cheap as I thought: you want to travel, do excursions, visit museums, exhibitions and parks, try new restaurants, cafes and pubs (there you lost money but also you gain weight). And what happens in the end is what all of us know: Budapest was not as cheap as I thought, and I’m probably spending more than I should.
When this thought comes to my mind I only have one option: OIL. Sometimes it becomes my best friend, because the other option would be to stay at home (which Erasmus is able to stay at home with all the things you can do in a place like Budapest ??!!). Thus, OIL comes to mind and I start the vicious circle of spending again: “are we going to the restaurant that I saw on the internet today?” “Hey, are we going to the baths party this weekend?” “On thursday we are ice-skating, would you like to come?” Even at exams period, when you think that everyone is going to stay at home for studying (and therefore nobody is going to spend money) the typical funny friend offers you a plan: “could we make a break and have a drink?”
And that’s how, ultimately, I spend so much more money in Budapest than in Madrid, though Madrid is a more expensive city. But with the OIL mentality it is not a problem for me, it is the opposite. It becomes an incentive: Laura takes advantage of the situation, and if the clubs and discos here are cheaper why not going out four nights per week instead of one? Why not? The answer at this point is already obvious: OIL.