By Andreas Gkoumplias,
Studying abroad has long been recognized as an experience that can significantly enrich one’s personal and academic life. In what seemingly appears to be the best years of someone’s life, anyone is looking to get at least some experiences outside their home country. Since its first establishment in 1987, Erasmus, a European Union program that facilitates student mobility across Europe, has been a prime example of this opportunity. In this article, we will explore the benefits of studying abroad through Erasmus, stressing how it can enhance an individual’s educational, cultural, and personal development.
One of the most notable benefits of the Erasmus program is the opportunity for students to gain a broader and more diverse academic experience. Studying abroad grants access to students to courses, research facilities, and academic resources that may not be available at their home institution. This exposure to different teaching methods and academic perspectives can stimulate intellectual growth and creativity, as well as allow space for academic growth. Moreover, the opportunity to study in another country provides students with a chance to dive into new areas of study, learn from experts in their field, and gain a more generic view of their field of expertise.
Adding on to that, Erasmus promotes cultural exchange and understanding. When students embark on this journey, they are ‘’forced’’ to adapt to new situations in the country where the exchange takes place and adapt to the cultural differences of said country. This unique experience fosters cross-cultural competence, encouraging individuals to appreciate diverse perspectives from different people. Exposure to different languages, traditions, and ways of life helps students develop a more open-minded view of the world for everyone regardless of age. These cultural experiences often lead to lasting friendships with people from all over the world, creating a global network of connections and a sense of belonging in the international community.
The personal growth that comes from studying abroad via Erasmus is what makes the experience truly leave its mark. Leaving one’s comfort zone and facing the challenges of living in a foreign country teaches resilience, adaptability, and problem-solving skills. Students learn to adapt, compromise, and overcome the difficulties of daily life away from home, from managing finances to understanding local customs and bureaucracy. They also develop independence, as they often have to make important decisions regarding their studies, housing, and social life without the immediate support of family and friends. Language proficiency is another significant benefit of studying abroad through Erasmus. Most programs require students to study in the language of the host country, which is an excellent opportunity to enhance language skills. Diving head first in a foreign-speaking environment accelerates language acquisition and fluency, as students must communicate in the local language daily. As we all know, bilingual or multilingual individuals are in high demand in today’s global job market, and language proficiency can open doors to exciting career opportunities.
In terms of career prospects, an Erasmus experience can give students a competitive edge. Employers often value the skills acquired during a study abroad program, such as adaptability, cross-cultural competence, and language proficiency. The international network built during an Erasmus exchange can also be a valuable asset when seeking job opportunities on a global scale.
Undoubtedly, the benefits of an Erasmus project of any duration are immense. No matter the time frame or the field of studies anyone chooses to do, it goes without saying that EVERYONE should look forward to exploring a different side of a college student’s life that will be an unforgettable experience.
Once upon a time: An Erasmus experience of a lifetime. (2022, February 2). Erasmus Generation Blog. Αvailable here
7 Reasons to Participate in an Erasmus Exchange Program. (2021, April 12). Top Universities. Available here
Erasmus to Erasmus+: history, funding and future. (n.d.). Erasmus+. Available here