The Cardiff EDC always holds an Erasmus welcome reception in the first semester of the academic year, to welcome visiting students on the programme and to encourage UK students to think about going on an Erasmus exchange. However, we began to realise that we were missing those visiting Cardiff for the second semester only, hence this February reception. In addition, we wanted to celebrate the 30th anniversary of this most successful and popular of EU programmes.
David Hughes, the Head of the European Commission Representation in Wales, spoke of the benefits of an exchange for young people, as well as for the academics and administrators of higher education institutions who can also take part. Many young people receive Erasmus assistance for work placement experiences as well.
Jana Kiskalt, who comes from Germany and is currently a full time intern at the Cardiff EDC, spoke of her own Erasmus experience in France at Clermont-Ferrand. She also talked about a project she completed at university called ‘Chances and challenges to gain intercultural competence with an Erasmus experience’.
Jana ended her presentation by saying ‘I would like to conclude by saying that Erasmus is a once in a lifetime opportunity that I strongly encourage . It not only enhances your career prospects in globalisation and integration, but also helps in character building and in forging friendships with people from across the globe, which may last a lifetime’.
Cardiff EDC Director Ian Thomson also spoke, describing the information services we offer to students to help them with their study and research, our future events and internships, and the information that can be found in our electronic information service European Sources Online.
Sixty people attended the reception from 9 EU member states and 11 non-EU countries (most of whom are in Cardiff via Erasmus-Mundus).