Erasmus? What a strange word. When I first heard it, I thought it sounded like some kind of distinct dinosaur.
Turns out Erasmus is actually a program that allows European college students to study at Universities in other countries throughout Europe. Basically it’s study abroad, but minus the whole “abroad” part because Europe is so compact. At my university in Mallorca, the University of the Balearic Islands, lots of erasmus students come to study, probably because of great weather and party scene. This past semester over 200 students from all over the world were here, and this upcoming semester some of them will leave but 110 more will come.
The Erasmus culture is a ton of fun. It involves lot of drinking, socializing, and partying rather than the actual studying they were sent here to do. They all rent apartments in the city, so every weekend someone throws a huge house party then after heads to the club. I’ve been lucky enough to attend a few and they are crazy. An insane mixture of language and culture, these parties have allowed me to get to know so many different and interesting people. I’ve met people from Germany, Italy, Taiwan, England, Ireland, France, Poland, The Netherlands, and other provinces of Spain. We talk mostly in Spanish or English, but you’re bound to find any European language there. What I think is the coolest part, is that many of these people speak 3, 4, 5 languages. Here I am thinking I’m so great trying to become fluent in just two, while many others are working on their 4th or 5th.
Although the Erasmus culture is more about the party scene than hitting the books, I think they are learning just as much through being around each other. It’s a global culture, introductory language, and psychology course all rolled into one. In general, interactions through Erasmus teach you just how big the world is and how it is filled with such a diverse cultures and people. Sometimes I think we all get caught up in our own lives, forgetting that each of us is just one person in six billion on this Earth. Erasmus has freed me from my personal bubble and reminded of how great it is to meet new people, learn from them, and enjoy each other’s company.
Erin Quinlevan '15