23 January 2020

What it feels like to live abroad as a student

Wonderful and personal commentary from Rhiannon Lucy Cosslett on her experience living abroad in Europe as a student:

I treasure all of it and will carry it with me for the rest of my days. It’s all part of the life experience of living in another country, and that is a gift. No doubt some Brexiters will frame Erasmus as a cushy holiday for a privileged few: let them. Those of us who took part know the doors that it opened, and will mourn for the future generations who’ll be missing out if this does turn out to be the end of the programme.

My world was small and it grew big, thanks to my experiences in Europe.

I loved this piece because I feel almost exactly the same about my own Erasmus” experience. I wish I was such a talented writer to write things like this.

In 2004, I had the chance the spend one year abroad in Edinburgh, Scotland. This year living in the UK is without question what I would call the best year of my life, and for pretty much the same reasons Cosslett described: friendship, experience, opportunity.

Today I consider Scotland and the UK as my second country. For that I can thank the EU grant too, along with one from France and my région. It was not a year simply living there: it was the first year living truly on my own, it was the most intense and interesting year, the year I was twenty, and yes, the best.

A few years ago I visited Edinburgh again and I almost cried getting out of the bus from the airport, in the city center. Nostalgia is such a powerful feeling, and such a beautiful word too.


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