If you think about Europe and student exchanges, you’ll bump into a thing called Erasmus Program. Established in 1987, creating mobility opportunities for student from all over Europe and around the world (Erasmus Mundus), it is the most notorious and successful way of experiencing international education. Nowadays, you have Erasmus students communities in most cities around Europe, from under 10 students in small towns till thousands in the big cities. Giving that, there are some patterns in any Erasmus generation, creating types of students depending on their way of perceiving the European mobility.
1.The Depressed One
Having a gloom perspective on the day to day life in their hometown and expecting that moving out and trying a new environment will come in pack with with that happiness they are craving for. This students arrive and realize that their way of thinking didn’t change a bit, as they are still spending most of the time at home, isolated and even more anti-social. Changing country for a while and getting to know a different culture is beneficial, but only if you are able to open to it and stop expecting too much from life and people around you. Being a stuck up b**ch wont help you or anyone else.
2.The Party Monster
Treating the mobility as a trip to Vegas, using lines like “What happens in Erasmus stays in Erasmus”, this type of student is ready for parties and will have plenty of them. Spending most of their nights meeting single-serving friends and most of the days trying to beat hangovers, they only make short visits to the university, just to let others know they’re still alive. They tend to skip the education part from the agreement and focus on getting it on the field, by meeting different people and having deep conversations to be remembered, or not. The important part is that they stay true to themselves and don’t have much expectations. They just go with the flow.
3. The Nationalist
There is this phenomena of groups formed by peeps from the same country. Even if one of the aims of an Erasmus mobility is to get to know people from other countries, they choose to stick to their compatriots all the time. They feel uncomfortable among other foreigners and only socialize with the ones speaking their mother tongue. The main reason for closing themselves that way is because they are insecure on their ability of speaking another language even if they have a good level of understanding. When you get to know them and their stories, you’ll see they don’t do it on purpose, they are really talkative once comfortable with you.
In this case, Erasmus is a bridge to a broader the international experience. When they arrive in the destination country they don’t really want to experience the usual Erasmus activities. They are more interested in getting to know the locals, the hidden places and other alternative activities happening in the city and around. Making native friends is giving them a cultural pleasure, but they are also eager to meet a lot of international people living in the area. Basically, they try to use the experience for themselves and getting the most of it while focusing on education, interesting social activities and travelling around. They will end up having lots of connections and create long-lasting friendships with people from all over the world.
5. The Studious One
Taking the programme very seriously and getting ready to work hard for those good grades they want and deserve, they are really ambitious, taking extra classes of everything and getting their schedule full of academic activities to train their intelligence or developing new skills as much as possible. They don’t bother too much with social activities, but they do attend the ones that raise their interest and don’t intervene with their classes. They usually get the results they’re looking for on the educational level and get to expand their knowledge on different fields, while keeping everything else on the floating line.
This 5 types shows us how exciting and multicultural the Erasmus program is, having a crazy amount of students, having different perspectives and approaching their international mobility in their own way.
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