Spanish, German or Greek students, they talk about how they experience the Erasmus program in Lille

Spanish, German or Greek students, they talk about how they experience the Erasmus program in Lille
Spanish, German or Greek students, they talk about how they experience the Erasmus program in Lille

Erasmus is a student exchange program between different countries of the European Union. In Lille, out of some 120,000 students, around 20,000 are foreigners. What does this academic or study year in the capital of Flanders allow them? Some answers on May 9, Europe Day. And one month before the European election.

Europe Day is celebrated on May 9 in all Member States in order to pay tribute to the founding date of May 9, 1950. Erasmus is the best-known Union program, intended to support education, training, youth and sport in Europe. Its budget is estimated at 26.2 billion euros. Its funding has almost doubled compared to the previous program (2014-2020).

In Lille, it welcomes thousands of European students each school year. Ana is one of them. As an international relations student in Spain, for her, Erasmus was a long-held dream. She chose Lille, the furthest city from Spain, to, in a way, cut ties with her country and completely immerse herself in a new life and a new culture.

“I wanted to practice my French and I also chose the furthest city in Spain”laughs Ana who explains that she wanted to get out of her “comfort zone”. “Far from home, we talk with people we would never have been able to meet. It opens our mentality a little.”

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Ana, a Spaniard from Valencia, is finishing her studies in Lille.

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Sharing with other European students, she also met her boyfriend, a German student, here. “We have cultural differences; but when we are all together, we realize that we have the same problems”estimates Ana.




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2022 report dedicated to Mark Ross, British Erasmus student, one or the last from the United Kingdom in the region, Brexit obliges.



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Alexandros is Greek. He came to study modern literature in Lille and for him too, this exchange program is an apprenticeship in tolerance. “We cultivate our minds, we learn new things, we meet new people and that’s very important to me, like this, we make racism disappear.”

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Alexandros, Greek student in Lille.

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Discover Lille, its heritage, its Flemish architecture. Ana wanted to share this experience with her parents, who came to visit her. “It’s important for your career, for your work. It’s a good opportunity to meet people… and to become an adult, to mature.”explains his mother.

In Lille, 722 European students have been welcomed at the University of Lille since the start of the school year. And every year, more than 1,000 young people from the region go with this program to the four corners of Europe.

This allowed me to acquire a bilingual level […] and this allows me to constantly question the question of language but also of who we are and our place in Europe

Simon, from Lille returning from Erasmus in Italy

Simon thus benefited from aid of nearly 700 euros per month to study in Italy. Back in Lille, he kept intense memories of his Italian experience, which he extended by continuing to meet the Erasmus students in Lille. “I spoke Italian but not any English when I arrived there. This allowed me to acquire a bilingual level in English and it allows me to constantly question the question of language but also of who we are and our place in Europe. It’s interesting.”

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Simon after his Erasmus stay in Italy, back in Lille, shares his experience with other Erasmus.

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For Ana, the year is ending, she is going back to Valencia, her suitcases full of memories, and already travel plans with her new European friends!

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