I have decided to talk about Erasmus Programme because it is especially important for us, university students in our second course. Erasmus provides a work placement abroad as part of our degree which is undoubtedly a great opportunity. The fact that these placements are taken as part of our academic background makes the programme a “must” for every one of us.
To participate in this program there are some requirements that we, students, have to fulfill in order to enjoy the benefits that it offers. To begin with, students must have completed the first year of their degree and passed all the subjects, or at least not having more than 2 subjects failed from the first course. They will also have to pass a previous language exam (English, French or Italian) in order to certificate minimum C1 level.
Erasmus has also developed different institutions to help carry out this systems, the most remarkable development is Erasmus Student Network (ESN) which has been available since 1990 supporting and developing student exchange. It works among more than 36 European countries which create a flexible educational environment and establish intercultural contacts. ESN encourages students to study abroad and live new experiences in new environments and get to know different cultures. It is a very valuable institution because it cares about every student, today there are more than 150.000 members. This institution supports any aid that international students may need in their new surroundings, not only in the educational issues, but also in cultural and social matters which play an important role in the integration of the student.
Everyone on the educational field will recommend any student to live this experience not only from the academic point of view, but also from a personal perspective. Applicants should not reject unique opportunities Erasmus offers because its advantages make the whole experience of a lifetime, unforgettable in every sense.
The truth is that people usually see the positive aspects more easily, like meeting new people, new places, learning a foreign language, new ways of living… but at the same time, it can be also quite scary. It is mainly the first time living on our own, family and friends are far away and at first everything is new and a bit strange around us. Those things can seem frightening at first, but certainly every university student should consider joining the programme.
Unfortunately, the financial crisis we are suffering in Europe has also affected the Erasmus programme. Many countries including Spain have experienced a cut down on the budget for Erasmus students and this has seriously affected many families who would love their sons and daughter to take part in the programme though are currently unable to afford it themselves. Nevertheless there are still some grants to provide this fantastic educational experience.
To conclude, young people have to overcome new difficulties in order to integrate in the labor market as a consequence of this terrible global crisis that I have previously mentioned which we all suffer so deeply. Erasmus students may take some advantage than other because having taken part in the programme will influence positively both their CVs and their personal lives. From a personal perspective, Erasmus means being away from home and family and friends. It also implies meeting new people, making new friends and having a sense of independence which will help us mature as adult people. Little more can be said of this wonderful experience that it is waiting for us next year.
-Cristina Nuta (2007) The advantages of being an Erasmus student. Retrieved from http://articles.famouswhy.com/the_advantages_of_being_an_erasmus_student/
-Erasmus Student Network (ESN) http://www.esn.org/
-European Comission Education and training (2011) http://ec.europa.eu/education/erasmus/doc1051_en.htm