Erasmus – a life experience

Let’s begin with the beginning and present a little the Erasmus program : what is it, how to apply, why to apply.

  • What is Erasmus ? 

Erasmus is an exchange program for the European students. It allows anyone who is studying at the university to apply in a foreign university for one or two semesters. Until last year, it was only possible to be Erasmus one time during your studies : now, it is possible to study abroad two times, once during the Bachelor degree, and once during the Master degree.

Depending on your field of studies and on your university, you can’t apply in the same places. Most of the time your university needs to have parternships with the universities abroad – a list you can normally check on your university website. For example, as a information/communication student in the Bordeaux Montaigne university, I had the choice between 36 places in Europe,  among them Vilnius (Lithuania), Lisboa (Portugal), Roskilde (Danemark), Bergen (Norway), almost all the cities of Spain, and, of course, Sibiu, here in Romania.

  • How to apply ?

Applying for an Erasmus might seem discouraging for the medium student who does not really like to do administrative papers (like me, for example). But finally it was not that complicated and you can actually finish your application in a few days if you motivate yourself a little bit. In most of the case you have to fill in a form with basics information about yourself – very easy so far -, write a CV and a motivation letter in english, make a spreadsheet about your espected financials, prove your English proficiency, scan your last grades and that’s pretty much it really. Not so difficult right ? And it definitely worth it.

I think the most difficult when you are filling in those different forms is the part when you have to choose your destination. Indeed, you can only apply for three different destinations which makes the dilemma really really hard because not only you are limited by the number, but also if you are accepted in the first of the list then you are out of the last ones automatically. It is as a consequence very important to make a strategy, and for example apply for the very selective places first.

To finish, I will give you the most important advice I can -don’t repeat it, secret, shhh. It is actually very simple : if you have a question, ask it. Send an email to your teacher, call the international departement of your university, take a contact with someone from your possible future university, etc. Don’t be shy and don’t think you might bother them with so many questions. Maybe you will, but it is why they are here anyway.

  • Why to apply ?

This one is obvious : studying abroad is a unique experience. Not only you discover a new country, an other way of life, a new culture in your welcoming country, but also you have the chance to do it with so many other students from so many other places. Before coming to Romania, I didn’t thought about this fact, that you actually live in an international environment all the time which makes you so much more open-minded and tolerant about everything. Erasmus is about meeting each other, debating about what time we should have diner, the Germans preferring around 7pm, the Spanish around 10pm, the French in the middle, going to class knowing you will not understand anything but it’s not a problem for anyone (maybe this one is only in Romania…). Moreover, the European Union give you some money to do so !

So, briefly, just apply for Erasmus because it is awesome. I think it is a good enough reason, don’t you ?

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