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Erasmus: don’t miss the chance

Have you ever heard the saying “Once Erasmus, forever Erasmus”? Probably yes, but you can truly understand what it means only if you have experienced it.

Erasmus is a real life-changing opportunity that should not be missed by any student, regardless of the course of study. No matter what your goals and aspirations are, this experience will always represent a source of inspiration for your professional future plans. But let’s find out more about the programme and how it works.

Erasmus is a student exchange programme established in 1987, which became part of the European Union’s Lifelong Learning Programme in 2007. It offers university students the possibility to study or work abroad for a period of at least 2 months and it has recently been expanded to include a broader spectrum of courses and study programmes.

It now covers new areas, such as student placements in enterprises (Erasmus+ for Traineeship), university staff training and teaching for enterprises staff.The big advantage of this programme is that students receive a grant which partly covers the costs of living abroad, with the amount depending on the destination. Nowadays, 90% of European Universities take part in Erasmus, and 1.9 million students have participated since it started.

What I do believe is that life will never be the same after Erasmus. It totally changes you, from many different points of view. First of all, it makes you more responsible and independent, due to the fact that you have to face many issues related to life abroad: living alone, cleaning, cooking and studying or working at the same time, while dealing with payments, university issues and many other everyday life problems.

From a professional point of view, Erasmus represents a crucial first step towards a promising career, which gives you the opportunity to gain a cultural and educational experience you wouldn’t otherwise be able to get: making your CV stand out.

Moreover, by talking with people from all over the world everyday, you will be able to improve your communicative skills in one or more foreign languages, while enriching your knowledge about the cultures you will be in contact with. This is because, whatever the country, you will be settled in an extremely multicultural environment, finding yourself code-switching without even noticing it.

But the most exciting thing is that you will make many new friends and share unique and unforgettable moments with them. These friends will always occupy a special place in your heart, and it is almost certain that sooner or later you will take the opportunity to visit them in their home country or somewhere else in the world, even after a long time from the end of the Erasmus period. Still, there is a downside to all this: having to say goodbye to all lovely and amazing people you will meet, which is always the worst part.

These are the main reasons why now I find myself in New Romney, experiencing my second Erasmus in less than two years. After my first Erasmus experience in Stockholm, I realized the importance of getting in contact with new cultures and people, and learn how to think outside the box. I can say that I am totally another person now.

I am sure that this experience too will turn out to be one of the best of my life, and maybe it is not a coincidence that on the first work day I found on my workstation a note saying “Yolo”.Yes, “You Only Live Once”. Being an Erasmus student is the best way of living.

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