Ance arrived to Plymouth, UK from Latvia in February 2015 for a 2-month-long Erasmus Plus work experience placement with Almond Vocational Link. She previously took part in an Erasmus Plus mobility in Greece and seeing the world has always been her great passion.
As a well traveled young lady and one who is studying to become an Erasmus Plus Coordinator, Ance has a substantial knowledge on the benefits that Erasmus offers to the participating students. We asked her to write why she thinks it is worth to join the big Erasmus Plus family:
10 Reasons Why You Should Become an Erasmus Plus Student
We do live in such a globalised world so we tend to think that we know everything about everyone, but have you ever wondered how it would be to study or work abroad, let’s say in Greece, UK or Belgium? See, there is this program that you probably have heard about that gives you not only the chance to do that but also the money to experience it – ERASMUS+.
For the odd chance you don’t know what it is- Erasmus (EuRopean Community Action Scheme for the Mobility of University Students) is the European Commission’s programme for students, teachers and institutions aiming at increasing student mobility within the European Community. Since its launch in 1987 around three million students have participated in the project. It involves over 4,000 higher education institutions in 33 countries, and the annual budget exceeds 450 million euro.
What it means for you is that you can spend a period of three to 12 months in an EU, EEA or candidate country, studying, undertaking a work placement or working as a language assistant. Sounds good, doesn’t it? But if you’re still on the fence about it all, let me give you 10 reasons way not to miss out on this life changing experience.
1. It’s a challenge!
ERASMUS+ is for the brave-hearted. For the period that you are abroad, every single thing will be completely new. New city, new language, new friends, new apartment… I’m not trying to scare you, this is the good part of going abroad, you get to do it all over again, you get the chance to change and grow as a human being.
Most students already have gained lots of freedom while living away and studying at Uni, but if you’re still at your parents’ place, this is a great chance to try out living on your own. Whether you choose to live with a host family or in a student house, it will be a great “practice run”.
3. Friend network
Think you have loads of friends, just wait and see, ERASMUS + can triple it especially if you go to a small town, every single person there will know who you are, and don’t worry not in a creepy way, they all just want to know about your culture and country and what makes you different and what makes you – you.
4. “Live” in the language
Whether your language skills need major improvement or just a little brushing up, there is no better way to do it than by living in the country that language is native to and experiencing the culture. My experience showed me that whilst being in a different country you can increase your chances of improving your language skills just by soaking up the culture surrounding you. There is a Czech proverb: “You live a new life for every new language you speak. If you know only one language, you live only once.” So let’s live multiple life’s!
5. Make your CV stand out
Not only will your experience abroad change you as a person, but it can better your future as well. The job market is intense and more competitive than ever all over Europe, and making your CV unique by being a part of ERASMUS+ can make all the difference.
6. Life skills
Being a part of Erasmus Plus will teach you some great new life skills. You might find yourself facing new and sometimes tricky situations. Understandably, you might get a little lost in the new city or struggle with your shopping and language barrier at first. Overcoming these obstacles and learning to manage your life within another culture brings maturity, confidence and self-reliance.
7. Try new things
It’s all going to be new anyway, but trust me you will be offered to do new and crazy things and try not saying no, because you never know. So for example, when you go to Greece and someone offers you to go cliff jumping on a private beach that can be only accessed by a boat you always say “YES”. OK, you don’t need to be a dare devil, but go at least as far as trying new foods and listening to new music.
8. Immersing in a different culture
You’ll be a head deep in a different culture, enjoy it. The Erasmus Plus experience will open new doors for you and broaden your horizons. It will also make you appreciate your own culture while learning how to improve it.
Thanks to Schengen, we now are able to travel easily all over Europe. So whilst you are in a new country with some time to spare, why not travel around it or even visit the surrounding countries. Explore and visit all the major cities, take a road trip, catch a ferry, enjoy it! You don’t know when you‘ll ever get a chance to do it again.
10. Re-define yourself
I’ve already mentioned it multiple times that this experience will change you, but you may wonder how and why? It will be a positive change, a subtle inner-growth which in fact you won’t even notice at first. It will creep up on you and when you are back from your travels and make you realise that you really have changed just by being a part of the enormous Erasmus+ student family. Taking part in this eye-opening and perspective-broadening adventure will certainly not go unnoticed.
All considered ERASMUS+ is an immense opportunity that you should try to be part of. It’s a family you gain and a new conversation topic you’ll have for the rest of your life, something to look back to and remember with a smile.
Hope this helped.
If you would like to find out more about becoming an Erasmus Plus student and coming to Plymouth, UK for a work experience placement, please do not hesitate to contact us.