EP #1 – Erasmus Generation

EP #1 – Erasmus Generation

Raise your hand if you have at least one friend that is doing anything else but wandering from an European city to another because “I’m visiting someone“. Or who is not telling you, but s/he’s crying everynight beacuse s/he would die for a botellon, a portion of pierogi or to see the midnight sun once again. Or a friend who have first-hand witnessed supernatural phenomena like pasta with ketchup and pineapple pizza. Entire lives twisted by an hurricane called Erasmus.

If you are not raising your hand, you could probably be that friend.

After 31 years of honourable service, this university program has supported cultural exchange, created new jobs, enhanced people’s carreer…and gave birth to one million babies! A revolutionary idea of a closer Europe, that was born when there’s still was the Berlin Wall (good job Sara Corradi – yes, we have to thank an italian woman 🙂 ) and that reached present day branching out the academic sphere.

But we’ll talk about it another time.

The same Erasmus experience is lived differently by each person who take part in it. And the same person could live differently several Erasmus experiences. People say once you unpack your stuff in your brand new room abroad, you’re ready to pack again to leave and discover new places. People say that Erasmus leads to a new primary need, that is travelling.

What I personally think is that this thing could be valid for some people. Some others instead come back home, of course fortified, but more attached to their land, willing to go back to their everyday life. And what about who had travelling in their veins even before signing the Learning Agreement? It’s not just that Erasmus make you suddenly willing to travel. Though it shows how easy it is. Even if you are alone, with a tight budget. Even if you would have never considered some destinations.

The first time I left for Erasmus I was 20. Several travelling experience both in Italy and abroad little helped to get ready to face the first big adventure of my life. The kind of thing that make you see with different eyes not only the world, but also yourself.


The day before the departure it’s always something extraordinarily abstracted. You are in a dimension that is not yours, half-way to what you’ll find and what are you leaving behind. The new adventure that, who knows why, is always expected to be great. People always expect a lot from the future. Why? Maybe what we have isn’t enough?

First time on a plane, first time on my own in a city I don’t know, in a Country I don’t know, facing a language I don’t know. Completely alone. The seats of the plane are more narrow that I thought. Costraint. Maybe they’re trying to get you ready to adapt yourself.

Landing. It’s around 04:00 p.m and it’s terribly dark outside.

I was afraid, like it was something costumary. Like I should have felt guilty if I wasn’t.

Warsaw has been completely destroyed during Second World War and then entirely rebuilt. It is hard to summarize my 5 months there, but maybe saying that also a part of me was destroyed and remade from scratch would be enough. Warsaw would have been different without its history and I would have been different without living there.

More than 6 years passed by since someone was waiting for me at the airport terminal with my name on a paper sheet.

Sometimes life is a movie, but we realize it only afterwards.


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2 thoughts on “EP #1 – Erasmus Generation”

  • So, my Erasmus started 12 and a half years ago. Ended 11 and a half years ago, too.
    I’m trying to be rational by talking dates, here.
    But it’s hard, being rational when I’m talking about one of the most relevant, most wonderful experiences of my life.

    It’s been a while, and the years when I would spend most of my time visiting friends all over Europe, or showing Italy to them, are over, unfortunately.
    But maybe distance is what allows me to understand what Erasmus was for me, really.

    It’s true that it triggered the primary need to travel, for me.
    It’s also true that it made me understand that my home really is Bologna.
    It’s also true that I was a “traveller at heart” before that.

    I agree with you, basically.
    Erasmus Project made me stronger, made me understand that travelling is easy, and it’s perfectly fine to travel alone. It changed my by strenghtening what was there before.

    Oh my, how nostalgic I’m getting, though!

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