If spending time abroad ever comes up in conversation, you’ll be sure to hear at least one person remark, “oh I wish I’d done that when I had the chance!”. With a placement through the Spanish Erasmus Plus programme you can be sure to avoid that regret.
What is the Spanish Erasmus Plus programme?
Erasmus Plus is a programme set up by the EU to help support and encourage training and education in Europe. To do so, the EU offers grants and mediates contracts between individuals and organisations, meaning it enables people to build and share knowledge across 32 different European countries hence improving overall training and education.
The programme is open to people of all ages and has opportunities linked to many different organisations: universities, businesses, think-tanks etc. Typically, individuals have access to the programme through a host institution which mediates that person’s programme. A common example of this would be a student applying for a year abroad placement through their university as a registered institution. For students, grants from Erasmus Plus help to combat fees associated with moving/living abroad, making this opportunity more accessible for everyone. In the UK, many universities work through Erasmus Plus to give their students the opportunity to study or complete a work placement abroad; in 2019 there was an estimated 17,000 British students intending to go abroad. The Spanish Erasmus Plus programme plays a key part with Spain receiving the majority of UK students going abroad. For those studying language degrees, a year abroad is often a compulsory requirement and the Erasmus loan helps to facilitate this part of their learning.
Benefits: skills, language, and experience
The benefits of experiencing full cultural immersion when living abroad should not be underestimated. Being in a different country encourages you to develop new skills as you learn to live and adapt to a new lifestyle in a place with different rules. With a lifestyle change comes a different perspective and you inevitably grow from this experience. This is especially true if the language is different. Whether you opt into the Spanish Erasmus Plus programme with the intention of improving your language skills – if you’re a university student of Spanish – or just want to get experience in a different country, your understanding of language will change, consciously or not. On a practical note, with the opportunity to choose to carry out a work placement through the Spanish Erasmus Plus programme, it helps to provide invaluable work experience.
Despite this advantage, according to the most recent figures published by the EU commission, there is a trend in that most students opt to study at a university in a foreign country, a lot fewer students apply for a trainee placement. Whilst developing communication and social skills the placement has the added benefit of potentially providing experience in new fields which helps to either cement or narrow down career prospects. Your experience abroad will aid you far beyond the day you return home.
Positives for the future?
Erasmus Plus placements can be really useful further down the line when it comes to your professional career. Time abroad connecting with new people makes for a great networking opportunity. Not only that but you’ll have established soft skills from navigating a new culture and have hands-on experience and unique knowledge of a foreign workplace. You’ll be able to use this different point of view to be reflective in future posts. What’s more, as a student taking advantage of the Spanish Erasmus Plus programme, you’ll have actual experience of a placement abroad that reflects your studies and demonstrates your skills, adding extra value to your degree. Research even shows that students who take time to study abroad are likely to fare better than their peers both in a classroom and a work environment, with a supposed 1/3 trainees being offered work where they carried out their traineeship.
Work placements with the Spanish Erasmus Plus programme are offered in many work disciplines, we even have one here at Entrelenguas! Our interns join us from different countries to learn about and experience work in marketing and communication, all whilst practicing and improving their Spanish. One of our current interns, Harry Ellis, gave us his thoughts: “Doing my year abroad has given me a lot of confidence regarding the workplace and language skills. I feel I can communicate so much better, and having done interpreting in front of 50 people I feel like my fear of public speaking has finally become a thing of the past.” Lewis Foakes, a past intern from the University of Portsmouth, wrote about his whole intern experience in another blog here. If you’d be interested in carrying out your Spanish Erasmus Plus programme placement here with us, don’t hesitate to get in contact at firstname.lastname@example.org!