stefania - How erasmus changed my life
Hi dear Erasmus Generation,
my name is Stefania and I'm Community Coordinator of Check-in Europe, the first professional network for us, the generation of mobile talents. I think the best way to introduce myself is to tell you my story of change, as I told it to the team of the MOB G.A.E. Project , which aim is to evaluate and disseminate the impact of international mobility experiences on personal and professional development, employability, autonomy and awareness of European citizenship.
Enjoy the reading and looking forward to your stories of change!
I graduated from the University of Genoa with a Bachelor´s degree in Foreign Languages and Literature in 2011. Now, after nearly four years in Germany, I´ve come back to Italy and I´m currently engaged with different international projects. In the last year of my bachelor´s degree at the age of 21 I decided to go on a Erasmus study programme in order to do the last 8 exams and research for my thesis. I also wanted to improve my English and German language skills, so this was my best chance to do it! I spent 10 months in Hamburg, in the north of Germany. At the University of Hamburg I took a great course about the European Law and I was so inspired by it that I decided to write my thesis on a very specific topic in the field of European law, even though I studied language and literature. My topic was the application of the European principle of subsidiary in Germany and in Italy, therefore I wrote my thesis both in German and in English, although it was not required to do so. Now I can say that not only did I manage to reach my personal academic goals, but I also learned in another country with different habits and mentality and as a result I´ve become more open-minded.
Moreover, I made new friends from all over the world and some of those friendships have lasted until today! My experience in Germany was so good that I decided to do my Master´s degree in European Studies at the Free University of Berlin. During my stay in Berlin I did also volunteering as a mentor in a project which aims at giving positive social role models and bigger life perspectives to young pupils. In addition, I got involved as a coordinator of a European Grundtvig project which gives the opportunity to some coordinators of mentoring and befriending projects in Europe to exchange best practice and ideas. During this time I changed from a student who benefits from a scholarship to a young entrepreneur who carries on projects actively. Inevitably I had to face some difficulties along my way too, in particular the masses of red tape for the recognition of my exams abroad. I went to Germany slightly against some professors who were not even interested in understanding the importance of such a valuable experience but cared more about me sticking to their course programmes. My wish for the future is that the assignment of Erasmus scholarships is more readily taken into consideration for university credits and that the amount of monetary support available was higher, so that families didn´t need to rely so heavily on their own income. I also wish that the universities in Europe helped to make professors understand better the value of an experience abroad, for example through a better evaluation of positive results. This experience changed my life, I had the time of my life and it was a real educational experience, as Germans say “Bildung”, something which molds you. It was simply great, a beautiful challenge!