It’s been almost a year since I got back from my exchange, so I thought it would be a nice idea to convince you to do the same. Learning a new language, making new friends and discovering a new culture during a semester abroad; for many students is an exchange an experience they will never forget. In case you still need some motivation, I’ve made a list of 10 reasons on why you shouldn’t miss the chance to go abroad!
1. You become more mature and independent
Going to another country on your own, finding a room, making new friends and, despite the language barrier, taking care of all the administration around your exchange will undoubtedly make you a lot more independent and mature. The perfect argument for your parents!
2. A stronger CV
Studying abroad is certainly an extra on your CV. It is seen by many employers as proof that you are self-employed. It often means that you are multilingual and have knowledge of cultural differences. One study even showed that 31% of companies consider international experience to be a requirement. So what are you waiting for?
3. The post-Erasmus syndrome
When you return you will not escape it: the post-Erasmus syndrome, a permanent nostalgia for your Erasmus period, which eventually leads to a strong need to discover new cultures. You will undoubtedly miss your new friends and your home of the past months. You will notice that this feeling disappears, but the hunger to discover new places will probably never go away. Luckily you have Erasmus friends all over Europe, so you can ‘crash’ cheaply anywhere. Yay!
4. You get to know yourself
When you leave all alone to an unknown country, you will certainly get to know yourself better. There will be difficult moments when, for example, you will miss your family or friends. All those small thresholds are things from which you will eventually learn a lot. By going on an adventure for a few months, you are guaranteed to come back as a stronger person.
5. You learn new languages
Whether you’re going to Spain, England or Austria, your language skills will certainly improve. Many lessons in an Erasmus programme are taught in English. Often you can also take an elective course that teaches you the local language. Not only useful when you want to have a pleasant conversation, but also a thick plus on your CV.
6. A special scholarship for Erasmus students
Students who want to study abroad receive financial assistance from the state. Through the school you can apply for an Erasmus scholarship. This is a monthly amount to cover parts of your costs. The amount depends on your destination. For the relatively expensive EU countries you will get €335/month and for the cheapest destinations €235/month (parents’ income may also influence in some cases).
7. A fresh start
Sometimes it’s good to move to a totally new environment. Walking the same streets every day, doing the same things and having the same people around you can be monotonous. By broadening your horizon you can gain new inspiration and energy, so you can make the right choices in the future. The first days/weeks you go looking for nice places in the city, new friends, shops,… Actually, you’re even happy that you can go to the classes.
8. Academic recognition
Time spent abroad is anything but a waste of time. If you pass all your courses, you will receive the credits you would otherwise have had to earn at your own university. What’s more, you’ll learn to speak a new language and gain international experience, which will be nice for your future plans or education.
9. Make friends from all over the world
Every year, more than 3 million European students go to another university or college to study abroad. So chances are you will meet other students from your home country during your exchange. If not, don’t worry, because all international students want to get the most out of their Erasmus, just like you do. You will certainly make countless new friends.
10. Have the time of your life!
The most important reason to go on Erasmus exchange is because you will undoubtedly have an unforgettable time. Many ex-Erasmus students, me included, still see their time abroad as the best time of their lives. Chances are that this will also be the case for you. So don’t hesitate and just go for it!
If you ever have the chance to go on exchange, which country or continent would you choose? Or is there, for example, a country you secretly dream of ever moving to? Then let me know in the comments!
Lots of love,