International Opportunities... ERASMUS
I would love to invite you to the new series ‘International opportunities’ where I will provide you with an insight into legal opportunities for law students, graduates, and young professionals all over the world. There are numerous of options available for driven and ambitious candidates who want to develop their black letter and soft skills, as well as make their CVs stand out.
This week we will present you one of the most popular programmes among students – ERASMUS.
The Erasmus exchange program is a well supported and organised scheme that has been in operation since the late 1980's. It allows students to study at universities in the EU member states for set periods of time in order to experience a global education. There are currently over 5,000 higher institutions participating in the Erasmus Program across the 37 countries involved in providing the program to students. 6 million students have been a part of it since it was introduced in 1987. ERASMUS is run in the spirit of free movement and education exchange between registered universities and institutions for eligible students.
Erasmus can go for the period of 3 months to a year. There might be required from you to do Erasmus as part of your course or degree, or you just simply might do it to experience other country. It will look amazing on your CV, assist in shaping you to be more motivated, increase your independence, massively improve your English (and other!) language skills plus provide an unique angle to get some work experience.
If you would like to get more information on the exchange programme, please read a dedicated website here.
In order to show you what kind of impact ERASMUS has on its participants, let me present to you a short story of Ula – Polish student who had a chance to spend some time and gain legal experience in lovely Spain.
My name is Ula and I am a law graduate from Poland (Class 2019). Since the first year of studies at the University of Białystok I’ve wanted to study abroad, so I started looking for arrangements among my University and those from abroad. In the end I decided to go for Erasmus to Sardinia, and it was the best decision in my life.
My University was located in the capital city of Sardinia - Cagliari. Cagliari is often called "city of the sun". Apart from crystal-clear sea and one of the most beautiful and longest beaches in the Mediterranean, Cagliari has natural environment consisting of lagoons, bird sanctuaries, and wildlife reserves which are unique in Europe. Cagliari's historic "old town" (Castello) has an appealing North African character. The Bastione San Remy on Piazza Costituzione offers magnificent views over the city and surrounding countryside.
From that moment my students life has changed completely. I spent six months in the wonderfull island. Erasmus exchange is an unforgettable experience and a great opportunity to discover completely different culture, traditions, customs, and language. During the exchange, I attended the following classes: Comparative Corporate Law, Law of International Organizations, Policy Evaluation, as well as Contemporary Africa. All were taught in English.
One of the differences I noticed when it comes to studying was point scoring system and the fact that most of the exams were oral, whereas, in Poland preferable is written form. Another difference is that there are no lectures for all students on the year. Instead, there are small group classes of maximum 30 students. In every class it was also obligatory to make a presentation on a given topic. The experience gained was valuable to me as a law student. I met many interesting people – representatives of many countries.
When I came back from my Erasmus in Sardinia I wanted to try another international option. I was offered an Erasmus legal internship for graduate students. I just had to meet the following conditions: find a company that would accept me, and become a master of laws. I found a company offering apprenticeships in Lugo, Galicia in Spain.
I worked in a law office. My job was mainly to help prepare documentation and search for information that would be helpful in solving a given case. Sometimes I took part in court hearings as an audience. I gained valuable experience of how to work as a lawyer in Spain. In addition, I had the opportunity to improve my English and Spanish. During the apprenticeship I had a lot of free time allowing me to travel. Although the weather in Galicia is not the most pleasant, it was not an obstacle when visiting this region, as well as other Spanish regions or located next to Galicia - Portugal. Spain is a multicultural country. I met many people from different countries.
My best memories from that time are view of always smiling lawyers in my law firm and tapas in the cafeteria. I am very pleased with the internship. It provided me with a valuable work experience, gave me a chance to learn about the country, and improve my language skills. Additionally, I got to know different culture, visited many interesting places, and made new friendships. Going abroad for an internship gives you the amazing chance to create memories for a lifetime. I highly recommend it to everyone.”