Whether you’re considering the idea of experiencing an Erasmus+ or Turing Scheme mobility – or you’re about to embark on one shortly, we’re here to help you! Here are some brief, yet essential tips that will make your Erasmus+ or Turing Scheme experience really memorable. This is going to be an experience you’ll never forget, full of adventure and you’ll meet new friends that will soon feel like family.
Don't Be Afraid
Do throw yourself headlong into your exciting experience. Certainly, the idea of moving to another country and not knowing anyone may well be a bit scary but remember, almost everyone you meet will be feeling what you are feeling!
The first few days will be the most difficult, Erasmus+ and the Turing Scheme also means finding yourself alone and trying to make new friends. After a few days of thinking this is difficult, we promise, you will begin to feel at home. So don't hibernate in your room and don't be afraid not to speak English or the language of the host country perfectly. It will only take a few days for you to discover that you already have all the resources you need, and that you will soon be able to confidently hold a conversation.
Learn About the Local Culture
Each nation has something special to offer that you won't find at home! European nations have their own traditions and often hold formidable events. Do go for a stroll, visit different neighbourhoods, and take part in traditional festivals. Doing this will help you discover the value of cultures that are different to yours, so you return home with a wealth full of knowledge and memories. Why not learn more about Work Culture at Different Erasmus+ and Turing Scheme Destinations in this blog.
Connections between European countries are often cheap and fast. Why not take a train to Paris, Amsterdam or Brussels? As a student, you'll definitely get student discounts in many places, so take advantage of the affordable rates while you can. The same discounts often apply when visiting museums and local heritage sites. This is your chance to explore the continent! Don't forget to plan a few weekend trips to visit the most beautiful and important cities of the country where you are. If you live the Erasmus+ or Turing Scheme experience in Gant, for example, you shouldn’t miss visiting Antwerp and Brussels.
Study and Work Hard
Remember that Erasmus+ or the Turing Scheme is not a free holiday. You also have to study and work harder than you would at home. Erasmus+ and Turing Scheme students have a reputation for being reluctant to go to work. Don't fall into the trap, work hard, and study a lot! Remember that the grades you get from Erasmus+ or the Turing Scheme will also affect your average at university so make sure you don’t have any regrets not using the experience for your exams.
If you’re doing an internship experience, remember this is your opportunity for you to enrich your CV with innovative training experiences that will have an impact on your career...take it seriously and do your best.
Make New Friends
Don’t be shy! Remember that only by getting out of your comfort zone you truly find new experiences and make good friendships. Of course, it’s natural to go out with people you already know, but you haven't travelled miles away from home to replicate your home experience, right? It would be very comfortable to stick with people you already know (if you do know others) but doing so would only limit yourself. Don’t forget, the Erasmus+ or Turing Scheme experience means making new friends with people from different cultures.
Track Your Expenses
The Erasmus+ or Turing Scheme experience is useful to learn how to better manage your available budget, not just during your mobility but in life too. You will also learn not to waste food and not to buy what you don't need. A party here, a lunch there, a shopping trip and it becomes easy to run out of all your money, but you can keep a note of your expenses, especially if you don’t want to find yourself having to give up lunch or other fun activities. Even worse, you don’t want to call mum or dad begging them to fix your money problems before your mobility finishes.
Learn the Local Language
Even if you haven't signed up for a language course, there are lots of opportunities to learn the local language. Mingle with the locals and make the effort to learn their language. When will you ever have the opportunity to practice your French, German or Spanish with locals? Immersion is the best way to learn a new language quickly and flawlessly, so start speaking!
Record Your Experience
Whatever you are doing on Erasmus+ or the Turing Scheme, whether it is for a week or for a year, don’t forget to document the experience. It could be through a personal blog, a diary, or a collection of photos. Believe us, when Erasmus+/Turing Scheme is over you will be grateful for having something with which to relive your memories.
Live Your Own Experience
Erasmus+ or the Turing Scheme means trying a mobility and living a different experience. What matters is that your experience is formative for your study or internship, in order to improve yourself as a person, student and worker. You don't have to go out and party just to feel part of the group. If this doesn't suit you, forcing yourself to do those things will only be distressing and not fun at all. Try to socialise and attend what interests you, but never feel the need to give explanations or change to accommodate someone else's idea of how an Erasmus+/Turing Scheme student should live.
Make Your Mobility Sustainable for the Environment
Participation in mobility brings you even more significant responsibility in the field of education for sustainable development and environmental protection. So remember to be good to the environment during your stay: minimise the use of paper, use digital formats or eco-friendly paper; encourage the use of public transport, bicycles and bike sharing. Reduce food waste and adopt a low ecological-impact diet. Use tap water and bottles and reduce energy waste through a wise use of windows and shutters.
Enjoy this experience because it will probably be one of the best experiences you will ever embark on in your life!