Erasmus: Bringing Education and 1 Million dual-national Babies to Europe since 1987.
Erasmus, the European Commission’s world renowned higher level education exchange-programme, has recently released the results of an “Erasmus Impact Study”, which, as its name suggests, investigates how much of an impact the programme has had since its conception in 1987. The study was based on more than 88,000 interviews with (ex)-Erasmus students, teachers, and private businesses. Besides the typical type of findings you would come to expect from such a study, like the fact that Erasmus students are less likely to experience long-term unemployment compared to those who did not study abroad, there are some findings which may come as a surprise.
One such finding specifically drew a lot of media attention.
The European Commission said that 27% of Erasmus students claim to have met their current long-term partner during their time abroad, and that these couples may have brought over 1 million beautiful dual-nationality bearing babies into the world. Additionally, 33% of Erasmus students claim to have had partners of different nationalities, as opposed to 13% of students who did not study abroad. So, if you’re looking for some international loving, you know what to do! Numbers don’t lie…
But let’s look below the surface for a minute. What does this mean and why does it actually matter?
As travel becomes increasingly easy and people and cultures from all over the world are constantly mixing, statistics such as these are actually not that surprising at all. That being said, I do believe this phenomenon clearly has infinite more pros than cons, especially from a cultural and societal point of view.
If this trend were to continue, by the year 2050 Europe may consist of tens-of millions of multinational individuals, leading to a more tolerant, open-minded, multicultural, multilingual and interculturally aware society. This seems logical considering a majority of Europeans would have been exposed to a wide variety of different cultures from a young age and therefore the mentality of “different = weird” would widely disappear. Why would this be the case? Well, in the same way growing up in times where slavery was widely accepted created generations of racist and discriminating societies and cultures, the same principle should apply in the opposite case.
If this were to indeed turn out to be the case, it is fair to say that Europe’s future, from an intercultural awareness point of view, looks very bright.
Hotel Management School Maastricht
COMIN Global Minds Team