How does studying, living and exploring a whole different country (that counts towards to your degree) sound to you?
If this is appealing, then you may want to consider applying for the Erasmus+ programme! UCB have lots of partnerships with universities around Europe in destinations such as Sweden, Finland, Spain, Turkey, France and Slovenia. As far as I’m aware, within the first few weeks of being settled into the academic year, first year students will have a presentation about Erasmus during a tutorial session (my class had one – try and attend if you can. It’s interesting if you want to study/travel abroad). Now, if you haven’t had this already, or have missed the tutorial session, you can always visit this page here, which will take you to the UCB Erasmus contact and information page, or simply head on up to the International Students department on the 7th floor in Summer Row.
As well as Erasmus counting towards your degree, the benefits of being part of the programme are endless. For one, you have the opportunity to live in a different country, absorb the local culture, learn a new language (or improve a language), make many new friends and have a fun and incredible experience! It will build confidence, as living and studying in a different country will only add to your growing independence, and just think of the ample of travel experiences on offer!
OK, this amazing opportunity is at hand and you’re wondering “What’s the catch? Is it going to be costly?” Well, not as much as you may think. Financially speaking, students being part of Erasmus may be awarded a grant during the exchange or upon completion of Erasmus. It’s worthwhile knowing that, if awarded the grant, it shouldn’t affect any of the student finance you already receive (kind of like being “paid” just for doing Erasmus!). Regardless of who may or may not receive an Erasmus grant, everyone who is involved in the programme will not have to pay tuition fees to their host university!
So, now that I’ve told you a little about Erasmus, I’ve called upon a couple of friends who are both on Erasmus at the moment to answer some questions about their experience so far…
Erasmus Generation 2015
Hometown: Abrantes, Portugal.
Studying: International Tourism Business Management at UCB.
Erasmus university: University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria.
5 things you like best about Las Palmas: The weather (sunny more than 300 days a year), the people (Spanish people can be very nice), the food (Mediterranean food is the best), the beaches and the sea!
Anything you miss about UCB or Birmingham in general?: First thing I can think about is the tuna melt panini in UCB (haha), but also the people at uni, of course. And I miss the city centre because it’s a lovely place to wander and, in my case, to take loads of photos of every building because the architecture is just lovely!
Why did you choose to do Erasmus in Las Palmas?: I think the main reason that made me choose Las Palmas was because I had to run away from the cold weather for a while, and it seemed like the perfect place as there’s not really the notion of cold here. Plus, beach, forests and mountains, all together in the same place looks like plenty of adventures to come!
Can you tell me a little about the student life in Las Palmas?: I’m not the typical student that likes to go out and drink alcohol, but I can tell you that if you are, than this is the perfect place for you as the city has a lot of bars and discos to offer. If you are more like me, there are always different options such as the sports night, where loads of students join on the beach just to socialise and play sports like volleyball and football. In terms of university and being an Erasmus student, Spanish people are very helpful and it’s not hard to make friends.
Finally any advice for anyone considering Erasmus?: Just go! It’s an opportunity that shouldn’t be missed so, if you can go, than go. It’s not only about studying in a different university, it’s about meeting new people and new cultures and growing up. And of course, having fun!
If you are interested in reading more about Barbara’s Eramus adventures, check out her awesome blog, Bbeingfree. I think it is ever so cool that she writes her posts in both English and Portuguese! You can also follow Barbara, Marcos, Mariana and Peter’s Erasmus journey on their Erasmus Facebook page!
Hometown: Las Palmas de Gran Canaria.
Studying: Tourism Degree at University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria.
Erasmus University: University College Birmingham.
5 things you like best about Birmingham: Friendly people, Bullring shopping centre, amazing natural parks, the local markets and English gastronomy, the work ethic (Birmingham shows a continuous and quick development).
Anything you miss about ULPGC or Las Palmas in general?: What I miss most is the sunny weather and the beach, where I surf with my friends. Of course I miss my family, friends and my life there too.
Why did you choose to do Erasmus in Birmingham?: To be honest, I wanted to improve my English (for me it’s fundamental), and my university was offering a pretty good programme (validation of subjects). A couple of years ago I was in London and since then I love everything about English culture.
What do you like most about UCB?: I like most how the teachers conduct classes. The teachers are quite friendly and comprehensive. I also like the course subjects and, of course, the cafeteria! You can have a good time talking with friends while you eat cheap and delicious food.
Can you tell me a little about the student life in Birmingham, compared to Las Palmas?: Well, the only difference compared to Las Palmas is the nightlife. During the school year people go out more frequently than Las Palmas, no matter what day it is!
How do you find the course aspect (i.e. modules/assignments) compared to to ULPGC?: Basically it’s pretty much the same. Normally, per subject, we have assignments and exams, and the work ethic is similar.
Finally, any advice for anyone considering Erasmus?: Well, for all of those considering the possibility of doing Erasmus, I have to say that it is a unique opportunity for you to have an extraordinary experience, meet new people, see other cultures, learn other subjects, visit incredible places… It is even possible, during this period, to be able to change your life completely.
Finally, you need to get all applications in by 30th January 2016. This opportunity is for ALL students, not just the tourism bunch. As a university, UCB provide us students with incredible opportunities to travel, gain confidence, immerse ourselves into new cultures and learn and develop skills that will ultimately help model us into professional people for the future. And this is only one example of the ways in which they do that!
Hope you are having a wonderful week!