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Erasmus made my dream come true

We believe in people that are dynamic, entrepreneurial, talented, self-motivated and dedicated. People who have bright ideas and are motivated to follow their dream.

Meet Simona Pronckutė. She is 27 years old and comes from Lithuania where she studied Romanic philology. She was an Erasmus student at the University of Parma, and her experience there was so powerful she became an outspoken champion of Erasmus. She is one of the forces behind Fraternité2020, Europe’s very first citizens’ initiative aimed at supporting EU exchange programmes.

Erasmus is important for young people. For many it offers an opportunity to cross the threshold into the brave new world for the first time and learn about other Europeans not so different than themselves. But it is even more important because it creates the conditions for individuals to take the initiative to benefit themselves and society as a whole.

Hear Simona’s story:

“My dream was to go on Erasmus during my Bachelor programme to improve my language skills and to get to know a new country and its culture better. In 2007, my dream came true – I was an Erasmus student at the University of Parma. In six months I upgraded my Italian, French and English. Besides my studies, I was actively involved in ESN Parma activities. For the first time in my life I felt like a true citizen of Europe. While taking part in Erasmus my personality transformed from a little cocoon into colourful butterfly.

Two years later, in 2009, I went on Erasmus again. This time as an Erasmus trainee at the Robert Schuman European Centre (CERS) in Metz. My first Erasmus experience helped me a lot during my traineeship, where I worked in four languages and with a multi-cultural team. During my traineeship I gained invaluable experience in public relations management between the European centre and other legal entities, in European project management and communication. Finally, I got the chance to run my own small initiatives, meet local politicians and civil society, and translate at the same time. Erasmus made my professional dream come true.

With good recommendations from my former colleague, I moved to Luxembourg where I was enrolled in the European Contemporary History Masters. Thanks to my traineeship at the Robert Schuman European Centre, I was given a part-time assistant position at my university.

My Erasmus exchanges and traineeship programmes broadened my horizons and helped to open a series of doors. I will remember this once-in-a-lifetime experience as something beautiful that has changed me positively forever. Without the Erasmus programme, I would not have been able to speak four languages and to now live in Brussels.”

And you? Tell us what Erasmus did for you: #MyErasmus

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