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7 reasons to participate in an Erasmus+ exchange program

Image author: No LLU arhīva

Erasmus+ program isn’t just about studies and internships abroad. This program can be considered as personality development and life learning course, a stable base for the international career and for somebody maybe also a great opportunity how to find a wife or husband! Erasmus+ is not a year in one life, but a life in one year. Discover 7 reasons why you should participate in an Erasmus+ exchange program!

1. Language course for free

By studying abroad, it is the easiest way to learn and improve language skills. Firstly, people improve English because study programmes across Europe are taught in this language. Secondly, most of the students and trainees who participate in an Erasmus+ program learns the language which is used in the country of mobility. “I have heard a lot from Latvian students that one of the reasons they are afraid to go abroad is the fear that their knowledge of English language is not so good. To encourage them I tell them story about my Italian friend who at the beginning of studies spoke in so bad English that nobody could understand him, but after three months his language got better. At this moment, I can freely communicate with him in English language,” says Lakmal Kularante from Sri Lanka about his friend experience in Slovakia. Lakmal Kularante is a student at Faculty of Economics and Social Development pursuing a degree in Business Management (MBA), but previous semester he spent in Nitra, Slovakia.

2. Friends and free help all over the world

Ņikita Beluško studies at Forest Faculty. He is a fourth-year student studying “Wood Processing”. In his third year, he participated in Erasmus+ exchange program and went to Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece. His aim was not only to study but also to find his place in life. He admits that he is really happy about his choice and is confident that the biggest benefit from this is his new friends and acquaintances. “Not a long time ago I with my younger brother found ourselves in one of the hospitals in Slovakia. At that moment, we got help from a girl I previously got to know through an Erasmus+ exchange program. She was the one who talked with doctors and quickly handled the situation,” says Ņikita. Many students who have studied abroad acknowledge that they have obtained another family – an international one, which will help and support them in hard and happy times.

3. Different kind of study experience – ‘learning by doing’

Lakmal believes that the obtained study experience in Slovakia was not only interesting, but also very useful. “For example, in study course Business strategy the lecturer gave real life examples. He brought with him Financial Times magazine and discussed different questions with students, gave practical examples to which later we needed to adapt the theory. We got something like “inverted approach” – through practice we got to theory. In turn, in Agrarian marketing there were organized a lot of excursions,” says Lakmal. Also, Linda Gribuste who has graduated “External relations of organizations” admits that obtained experience in exchange program was useful and practical. “We were cooperating with consulting companies on projects, went on study traineeships and visited different innovative companies. The examination was also different from my previous experience – instead of classical exams there were given examples and situations of real companies to which we needed to find a solution. For example, we needed to think of plan what to do if there is a shipment of palm oil to the port of Rotterdam, but the Green movement has blocked the way and do not allow to work,” says Linda about her experience in Dronten, the Netherlands.

4. Start-up capital for a successful career

Lakmal is living at the dormitory with Latvian students and he has concluded that youngsters sometimes are quite inert and do not see the motivation to use opportunities of Erasmus+ program. “One of the most common reason for that is the fear of losing their job. But they do not imagine that they could find a better job after the mobility!” In this year Lakmal will realize one his professional dreams – he will start to work at Latvia University of Agriculture as a lecturer. He will teach to foreign students Knowledge Management Innovations and will take some practical sessions of Business Planning for MBA students. Linda Gribuste also points out that Erasmus experience gave her a great start-up capital for career. When she returned to Latvia after studies in the Netherlands, she found a good job in international recruitment company.

5. Enrichment of personality in half a year

“The biggest gain from studying abroad was the opportunity to develop myself as personality, which was accompanied by the smaller gains such as – language skills, new friends, travelling around the world, getting to know different cultures and traditions,” says Kalvis Kažoks. He is second year master student at Faculty of Information Technologies and previous semester he spent at University of Ljubjana, Slovenia. A lot of students admit that a lot of useful life skills they acquired because of the exchange program, that includes things like cooking, cleaning, ironing, learning new hobbies and broadening horizons. Laura Jansone is the fourth-year student at Faculty of Food Technology. She decided to apply for Erasmus+ because she wanted to better known herself. “By changing the environment, I understood how many opportunities are around me and there is no sense to feel afraid to discover it. Fair is our bigger enemy. Erasmus experience helped me to better understand what I want in my personal and professional life,” says Laura. During her exchange studies, she spent a semester in Greece, Athens.

6. Free accommodation when travelling around the world

Lakmal is confident that Erasmus+ is a great opportunity not only for studies but also for traveling. “While I was in Erasmus, every weekend I planned a trip. I went to Hungary, Czech Republic, Poland, Austria, Germany, Slovenia, France and Switzerland. And all that only in three months!” Now he can choose a country where he wants to go and he is certain that there will be a welcoming person who will greet him with love at his home.

7. Erasmus+ “dating site”

Erasmus is a start not only for a successful career but also for happy family. Although, there is no official statistics about Erasmus families, but there are numbers of young people who met each other and made a family thanks to participating in Erasmus+. “During my studies in the Netherlands I met my friend who later on organized my wedding party. My fellow student met her husband there and now they live in France and are parents for two wonderful girls,” says Linda.

If one of the reasons spoke to you, then you should apply for the Erasmus+ studies or traineeship until 1st October and shape your career and future based on international foundation!

More information about Erasmus+ you can find at Jelgava Palace, Room 195 or by writing to foreign@llu.lv

Submitted on: 14/09/2017