Roxana, a Romanian student on an Erasmus exchange programme, “learned to look beyond stereotypes”

This content comes from our newly released interactive youth version of the 2019 GEM Report.

The EU’s higher education strategy includes a target for at least 20% of graduates to experience part of their study or training abroad. Erasmus is the largest and most prominent student mobility programme in the world. Participants study up to 12 months in another European country, which home institutions recognize towards students’ degrees. Evaluations of the programme suggest a positive effect on employment, career opportunities and personality traits, as well as a substantial influence on participants’ social lives.

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Roxana, a student from Romania, studied for a year in Portugal through the Erasmus programme. “One of the biggest challenges was to get out of my comfort zone. One of the things that I learnt is tolerance and how to better understand the past, the future and the behaviour of a nation,” said Roxana. “I learned to look beyond stereotypes. I understood that it is not always about the nationality, but also about the personality. Living in an international community improved my analytical skills, by always trying to understand the reason, before judging. Also, this helped me develop my willing to take risks in my professional and personal life”.

3romanian erasmus student 2Erasmus’ success has inspired recent attempts to adapt European experiences and practices in South‑eastern Asia. In 2015, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the European Union launched the EU Support to Higher Education in the ASEAN Region (SHARE) project to harmonize regional tertiary education systems and build an intra-ASEAN student mobility programme funding 400 scholarships across 32 public and private universities. Despite progress in establishing qualification, mutual recognition, quality assurance and credit transfer frameworks, a regional higher education area is still at a very early stage of implementation. Only 7% of total ASEAN outbound student mobility is within the region.

romanian erasmus student 2Recommendation: Many important structures are in place in the European Higher Education Area to facilitate mobility, including diploma supplements, the European Qualification Framework, quality-assurance registries and networks, the European Credit Transfer System and similar academic calendars. Replicating them in other parts of the world requires strong political will and commitment to overcome obstacles.

Please download and share the youth report

interactive youth report coverYouth can use it to inform their campaigns and advocacy, while the stories can teach about the education status and challenges of your peers around the globe.

Teachers can use it as a classroom aid/pedagogical tool to discuss key issues on migration and displacement around the world, taking each story in turn, discussing the context, the implications, and the solutions.

Actions you can take to support the Youth report recommendations include:

  1. Tweet the stories and recommendations in the Report using the hashtag #EducationOnTheMove
  2. Find more stories and associated calls for change on the campaign homepage
  3. Share your own story of what it’s like accessing education when on the move via the campaign homepage and help us raise awareness of the issues needing attention
  4. Work up an advocacy campaign around one of the recommendations, sharing the key facts, stats and calls for change with youth networks, the media and at events.

1 comment

  1. Great read. I studied abroad in Spain and it definitely taught me life lessons that I will forever be thankful for. One of them being ‘looking beyond the stereotypes’ that we often put on people. It made me look outside my small box. It comes with many internal benefits but also some others that were mentioned; positive effect on employment, career opportunities, and influence on participants’ social lives. Thanks for the post!

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