Andrei Sebastian Csiplo

Mobility type From To Period
Outgoing, Traineeship
Faculty of Veterinary Medicine
Federation of Veterinarians of Europe Bruxelles
September 11, 2023 – March 11, 2024

The opportunity

I want to share my unique and unforgettable experience participating in this international program
within the Federation of Veterinarians of Europe – FVE.

Since my 5th year of college, I have been looking for an internship opportunity to prepare for my pre-
residency in animal welfare science, ethics, and legislation. I didn’t know where or what to look for,
and after a while, I started to lose confidence, but… Once you have participated in Erasmus+, you are
part of the Erasmus+ family, so I received a tip from a former colleague from Albania to apply for an
internship program at FVE, an organization well-known by European institutions to which I have
already applied for an MSD & FVE scholarship. Well, I didn’t get the scholarship, but I didn’t lose
confidence and decided to contact them. I knew I was competing with other applicants from all over
Europe, so I didn’t have high expectations. It was an enormous joy to know that I will be able to learn
from the best, following my dream to become the first European Diplomat in Animal Welfare Science,
Ethics, and Law in Romania. After a few months, with many emotions gathered in the meantime, and
a lot of hard work together with the Erasmus+ Office, the interview took place. After another few
months, I signed the much-desired contract.

The Erasmus+ Office has been, and always is, a place
where you will find openness from the wonderful people there and who will always support you to
reach the highest peaks.

Learning experience

The experience at FVE so far is unique. The Federation works in close cooperation with other European
organizations and institutions, and the coolest thing is that we, the interns, are frequently sent to
meetings in the European Parliament or at the European Commission to be always up to date with the latest news, scientifically and legislatively. Each intern works in different fields, and everyday you learn
something new. The colleagues are very nice, all are good in a particular sector of veterinary medicine,
and they are always open to new proposals or ideas. Efficient cooperation and mutual trust are working
wonderfully. If you don’t know something, you ask!

Brussels

Arriving in Brussels after graduating from the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, in the heart of the
European Union, an exceptional multicultural capital, I started visiting the surroundings. From one of
the most beautiful squares in the world, the Grand Place, the Atomium, and numerous parks, art
galleries, museums, and entertainment places, you can find them all in one place. There is always
something new happening in Brussels, so you will never get bored, and Belgian hospitality is in its
place. A “must” is to try Belgian chocolate, wafers, frites, and beer, which all are extremely good. If you
are invited to lunch by a Belgian or want to propose an outing, remember that Belgians are very
punctual, and their agenda is made weeks in advance.

Accommodation and other facilities

Brussels is a unique city, yet remember that everything comes at a cost. The average rent in the capital is around 600 EUR / month with or without utilities, and public transport is quite steep (a trip costs 2.10 EUR). I recommend using the Housinganywhere.com website to search for rent, but it should be taken into account that many landlords require an advance and deposit before arriving in the country.

For students, foreign included, there is a public transport pass of about 20 EUR / year. Train transport on domestic routes on weekends is half price for all age groups, and it is very efficient. In 1-2 hours, you can reach Ghent, Liege, Antwerp, Bruges, and other destinations of interest in the country, but also Paris, Amsterdam, or Luxembourg in 2-3 hours. If you don’t feel like traveling by train, Belgians love cycling, yet always have an umbrella or a rain jacket with you. It rains quite often, especially in autumn and winter.

It will be helpful to learn a few words in French, even if almost everyone speaks English, but if you go to other regions of the country, expect Flemish, French, or German. Belgians are very selective when it comes to household garbage, which they split into five parts and different bags, and it was a little complicated for me at first.

When it comes to fashion, they have a developed culture of second-hand stores, which offer very low prices. It is a pride for them that they can reuse something already used.

The food prices are sometimes even cheaper than in Romania, and most supermarkets in Romania can also be found in Belgium, with few exceptions. It’s all up to you how much you consume weekly!

Erasmus+ Experience

I recommend the Erasmus+ program to all those who want to have a unique and unforgettable experience. After numerous Erasmus+ study and placement mobilities, I can say that this program changes you as a person in the best possible way and teaches you to be independent.

If you are still not sure you want to participate in this program, my advice is to do it without hesitation, you will not regret it!

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