The first time you get bitten by the travel bug might be during your college years, especially if you live in Europe, and you get the chance to go on Erasmus. The famous Europe-wide student exchange program turns 30 this year: it became more and more popular over time, giving a chance to more and more students to study and spend time in countries other than their own, gaining life experience and academic competence on the way. Starting last year, Erasmus was also extended to some non-European destinations, which is great news for freshmen! In the meantime, we made a list of 5 destinations that we recommend for you to live this experience at its fullest: Spain, France, Italy and Portugal. Get ready, Erasmus is said to be life-changing!
If you hate cars and have a green soul, Erasmus in Denmark will be great for you. Not only is Copenhagen one of the richest, most productive cities in the continent, in the last few years it is also setting an example for environmental protection. Pollution is the number one enemy for Danish citizens, which is why the central government invested so much in bike lanes, leading to a drop in car traffic, and large improvements in public health.
Why choose it: in addition to what you learn at university, you will also learn a lot about how to improve the urban lifestyle of a city.
(Flickr vic xia)
Portugal generally seems to be a favorite student destination, perhaps for its mild climate, but also because it is one of the youngest nations in Europe. And that is not all, its capital, Lisbon, is growing very quickly, and it is becoming more and more accessible for all. Imagine, it was even voted as the most vegan-friendly city in the Old Continent! So, if you like cruelty-free food, this is the place for you.
Why choose it: to experience how European lifestyle is becoming more and more international.
Forget Paris, Bordeaux is the place to be for your Erasmus! Sure, it is not a large city, but every year it still gets invaded by foreign students who choose it for their Erasmus. Really, if you ask anyone who tried it, it’s a wonderful mix of emotion and possibility, especially in summer, when the weather makes it possible to spend more time studying outside, and when Thursday comes around. Yes, because Thursday is the day for cultural events and for partying into the night, you really can’t miss it!
Why choose it: finding a smaller location that still manages to have great cultural offerings and nightlife is truly priceless.
Speaking English is essential nowadays, in whichever industry you end up working in. This is why a lot of people choose Edinburgh over cities that speak Romance languages: you will learn English with a very peculiar accent, true, but you will definitely also learn much more than the language. Edinburgh is the second most active cultural center in the country, after London of course, whose cultural offerings are matched by its infamously high cost of living.
Why choose it: hands up if you never dreamt of studying in one of those amazing-looking colleges that look like they are straight out of a TV show. Edinburgh hosts some of the best ones in Europe!
(Flickr Patrick Franzis)
Warsaw was chosen by Erasmus students as the top destination for the program, and that should be enough to make it your destination. Warsaw is an avant-garde European city, and its universities are some of the best in the continent. Its selling points? It is a lot more affordable and accessible in comparison with other European capitals, and it still offers plenty of culture and nightlife. Poland believes in young generations, and young generations believe in Poland. Isn’t that just perfect?
Why choose it: It is very important for a student to live somewhere where public transport, restaurants, museums and bars are super affordable… Don’t you think?
(Flickr Adam Smok)