Erasmus brings people together

Mike Jarrey studied Occupational therapy at Brunel University in London and went on an Erasmus exchange to Stockholm (Sweden) 14 years ago. During his stay in Stockholm he met his wife, who was then an occupational therapy student from Artevelde University College Ghent. They now live in Belgium with their three children.

’Nowadays, Erasmus is very popular and common, the possibilities for students and staff are endless. Our university college offers six international semester programmes for incoming exchange students and has more than 250 partners all over the world. Back then, when I was studying in the UK, I could only study abroad in four countries: Sweden, the Netherlands, Denmark and Finland. Happily, I chose Sweden.’

’In the UK, Erasmus wasn’t that common, but at Karolinska university in Stockholm it was already very popular. It had a big international reputation and it was a really good university. When I was there, there were 150 students from 30 different countries.’

Nowadays Mike is still in touch with his fellow students from Chile, Paris and Helsinki. He has great feelings towards his Erasmus experience and, in his opinion, everyone should do it if they have the chance. It teaches you to work together with other students and you learn a lot about people with different cultures and backgrounds, which is very important in this day and age.

During his Erasmus experience in Stockholm, Mike met his wife. After their studies they lived in London first, but then they moved to Belgium. Coincidence or not, Mike is currently working at our University college as an Erasmus coordinator. So now he can use his personal experience for helping our incoming and outgoing exchange students.

In 2017, the Erasmus+ programme celebrates its 30th birthday. The Erasmus programme has given millions of people the chance to travel, study, acquire new skills or gain new experiences. In 2017 this birthday is celebrated with countless events throughout Europe such as conferences, forums, dialogues, parties, debates and exhibitions.