Written by Sebastian Schreijer
Despite the recent economic crisis, European labour mobility has not yet soared like one might expect. Still, over the years, the EU has taken all kinds of measures to stimulate the manoeuvrability of work within its borders. The Erasmus programme, for example, allows European students to get a taste of work and life in another culture. In addition, they often get to learn and study in a new language. These are the first steps onto a trail that might lead to a life as an expat.
From my own experience, I know that one year of foreign exchange will leave you yearning for more. After my year in Mexico, I went to an international exchange fair before the start of the academic year, to see if I could participate in an exchange programme at my university. In the end, I decided to move to metropolitan Amsterdam instead, in order to get to know my own capital better. But where I decided to briefly hop off the international train, a lot of other students go abroad as soon as they get the chance.
Erasmus Rising – An Opportunity For Spain
Euractive reports than, in the academic year 2012/2013, approximately 270,000 students received an Erasmus scholarship, which is a record. The website cites data published by the European Commission, which also reveal that there has been an increase in the amount of money that Erasmus students received on average. Within a year, the average monthly allowance increased from €250 to €272.
Spain is one of the most active participants of the Erasmus project. They are in the top 3 of countries that receive the most international students. In addition, they also rank among the top ‘suppliers’ of students to other countries.
A Positive Perspective
The philosophy of the Erasmus project is to prepare young Europeans for an international career. In my daily contact with Spanish professionals, I notice the benefits of this approach. For them, an international experience often motivates them to think more positively about working in the Netherlands. Both big and small obstacles tend to have a smaller influence on their decision.
As far as the near future is concerned, I am more than content with my international-oriented job in the Netherlands. Yet, if at one point there is no more challenging work for me in the Netherlands, I would not hesitate to opt for a job beyond my country’s borders. And that mentality can be traced right back to my international experience as a teenager.
Featured image lifted from Wikipedia on October 14, 2015 and used under the Creative Commons license.