As an adventurous and ambitious person, she wanted to connect with people from other countries, have the experience of studying International Business with an Emphasis on Sustainability from another perspective, and create unforgettable memories on the other side of the world.
Laíssa, half Brazilian and half Italian, was focused on studying and discovering more about herself during her experience, and then, something unexpected happened: Nic, at the time Vice President of ESN Maastricht, went to her university introduction days to introduce new students to the Erasmus Student Network. Born in Luxembourg, Nic was studying for his Master's Degree in Sustainability Science, Policy, and Society at Maastricht University.
Nic had already been living in Maastricht for a few years, so he showed her the city from another perspective, which delighted and inspired Laíssa to enjoy every second of her Erasmus. ESN was one of Nic's great passions, so he invited her to join many of their events, and that's how they ended up spending a lot of time together and sharing the same memories during the semester.
One night, Laíssa invited Nic to go to Dublin with her. On this trip, they got to know each other more deeply and realised that even though they were born on opposite sides of the world, they had a lot in common. The will to discover the world, the effort to achieve their dreams, how they knew to enjoy every second of life, and their passion for relating with people from other countries... all that was much bigger than any cultural barrier. They realised that their story was more special than they had imagined at the start.
When it was time for Laíssa and Nic to say goodbye, they decided that the best thing for both was ending the relationship. The future was uncertain, and they were afraid to maintain a long-distance relationship. But once she arrived in Brazil, things didn't go as planned.
They decided to start a long-distance relationship three months after Laissa's arrival in Brazil. She described this period as "challenging," but it also helped her to evolve emotionally. The couple believes that what made it all work was flexibility, respecting each other's space while still being connected. Laíssa used this time to focus on her life in Brazil, and Nic did the same in the Netherlands. At the same time, they made frequent video calls to share these new memories, and on Sundays they had online film dates.
In August 2022, Nic went to Brazil to visit Laíssa. He got to know her family, friends, and her life there. The bond between the two became even stronger, and they realised their time apart had only strengthened their connection.
The exchange shaped Laíssa's life, and she realised her destiny was to return to Europe. Laíssa and Nic, after a year of a long-distance relationship, now share a flat in Brussels. She is doing a traineeship and finally living her dream of building her career in a multicultural environment where she feels at home. In August of this year, she will start her Master's degree (maybe, why not do another Erasmus?). Nic has already completed his Master's degree and is now pursuing his dream career in sustainability and politics, working as a trainee with a Green Member of the European Parliament. And he's doing it with his girlfriend by his side.