Erasmus student Sofia Ricci gives an insight into the real perks of being on Erasmus.
“You will get to know a new culture”.
“You will improve you English”.
“It will boost you career opportunities”.
If you are an Erasmus student, or plan on being one, you must have heard these phrases an awful lot of times. And of course, they are all great benefits of studying abroad. But these are just “ordinary” benefits… Here are some of the real perks of being an Erasmus student.
You make friends from literally all around the world
I like to think of campus as a small sample of the world: and we actually have people from all corners of the globe here (maybe some small tribes of Papua New Guinea have no representation yet, but I bet the International Office is working on it). My advice is as simple as this: talk to people! They will be eager to make friends as much as you are, and you will discover how much you can both get from and give to your “international” friend. And if you are lucky enough (or your friends are generous enough) you may get invited to visit them in their countries during holidays (or come back to Ireland, of course)!
I would be lying if I didn’t mention this. Socializing (and by “socializing” I mean go to every party that’s out there) is important: after all, you need to make new friends! Don’t stay in your room trying to catch up with your favourite TV series, there is always time for that. Instead, jump into every event or social gathering that you find around, even if you don’t know a lot of people in the group.
You can pick your favourite local habits and export them to your country
There is no need to enjoy your host country favourite habits only when you’re in Erasmus: stick with them and teach them to your friends back home! I myself will commit to teach Italians how to: drink tea (that is, with milk, and at every moment during the day), talk endlessly about the weather (which is more enjoyable than I thought), smile a little bit more when asked for help (you go, Irish people!), buy a round for your friends at the pub, and, more generally, to “have the craic” – in the Irish way!
You get to travel
Since you know that your time in Erasmus is limited, you will find yourself in trying to visit as many places as possible while you’re abroad. Whether you participate in super-organised trips that show you every city attraction and every museum, or you just get lost wandering around on a Sunday morning, you will love discovering new places.
You will sound interesting (or at least fun) when you go back home
People love stories: if you don’t know how to continue a conversation, you could always tell them of that time you got lost and could hardly understand directions to go back home, or that time you spent hours in the supermarket looking for the right ingredients to cook your country traditional dish.
(Only applicable to UCC Erasmus students) You go to Hogwarts!
For real. If you don’t believe me, just check out the Sorting Ceremony we had last week.