Erasmus groups #sharing moments #staying connected Eftychia Past Karolina Manhosa Landowska Eirini Chatzimargariti
How do Erasmus students stay connected?How collaborative consumption is related to Erasmus program.
For the need of the class “New trends” for Panteion University, our team has decided to observe a group of really interesting people ,who are in Greece with the Erasmus Program.From the beginning the idea of meeting students with different nationalities and different personalities really attracted our attention.At the end of the survey we not only gained many benefits such as new friends and a new way of thinking but also we were definitely encouraged to also take part at the Erasmus program.
Firstly we should talk about Erasmus program and its benefits.The word Erasmus comes from the words European Region Action Scheme for the Mobility of University Students. This exchange program was established on 1987 in order not only to give students the opportunity to travel and live in different countries but also in order to create European Union citizens with a European way of living in all European Union countries.Nowadays, the program has been extended also to countries that are not part of E.U such as Brasil giving a global feature at the program.The first years of the program did not have the same number of participants as now and one of the most common reasons is that in that period of time communication was not so easy as today and internet had not changed yet the way that we communicate.
What about now? How do Erasmus students keep in touch with their families and also with people that they meet in the countries that they travel?
Our survey was based on how do Erasmus people communicate. So, they shared with us their daily routine in Greece, how they spend the days here and how they are connected not only to each other but also to their families in their home-countries. With their help, we created a “calendar” with plenty of notes that shows how Erasmus people alternative internet platforms in order to stay connected.For examples our survey showed that most of the Erasmus students create facebook groups on which they can find helpful information about the destination country before they arrive there and also when they arrive they use these facebook groups in order to keep in touch with other Erasmus students in the same country and also ask for help whenever it is needed.
In addition,we found that these internet platforms are based on Collaborative Consumption because it was very clear that they use also use these platforms in order to share things. Many posts where posted in the group saying for example “ Guys i’m having a problem with my clothes iron, can i borrow one from somebody” And of course there was a quick response mostly by texting on private message that “ yes i live next to University , come and pick mine”.
Furthermore,we found that most of Erasmus students use application based on collaborative economy such us Uber and Airbnb. They believe that these types of applications have make their Erasmus life easier in many aspects.As Kasha from Poland said “For an Erasmus student that does not know the roads and the addresses of a new country Uber is the cheapest,quicker and safest way to arrive at their destination”.
Erasmus students have different culture and habits but they become one family in the destination country and it is up to them individually if they will make communities with students from all Erasmus and local one or make communities only with Erasmus students but with the same nationality. Based on our survey we found that there are some groups of Erasmus students with the same nationality that are closed to connecting with other nationalities and local students.This happens mostly because they prefer to speak in their mother tongue language and because they are afraid of making mistakes when they try to communicate in other languages.
Erasmus students create a multidimensional community that is really interesting to observe. The further we extend our observation the more helpful information will be found about being a citizen in a world without borders.