I visited another Finnish school this week to lead 4 lessons there. I was also explaining Erasmus to students and I showed them the stereotypical image of Erasmus (party!!!), but also what is Erasmus really about. I emphasized mainly living on your own and getting independent (no mum washing your clothes anymore 🙂 ), getting to know different cultures, etc.
But I did not mention one important thing, which I knew, but it popped up on my mind again after what happened in Paris and when we gathered in Jyväskylä with a lot of Erasmus friends, many of them from France, to light some candles and pray for the peace and humanity.
On Erasmus you make friends all over the world. You find out many funny differences and facts. You have fun together, you laugh together, maybe you even fall in love.
But then, when something happens anywhere on the world, it is not the same anymore. After this Erasmus experience, you are no longer just sitting in front of the TV and watching the news for facts about some catastrophe very far away. Now you start immediately think of what you know about that country, people living there and mainly what friends do you have there.
This is not just about what happened in Paris now, but generaly everywhere. It was similar with the fire in club in Bucharest, Romania just 2 weeks ago, where 55 mostly young people died.
By having friends there, everything seems to be much closer to you. It is no longer just something going on on the opposite side of Europe. The world has became smaller and everything is closer to your heart. And you really feel it like that…