Blog: Erasmus Generation 2023: students help students develop international mobility
May 18, 2023

Blog: Erasmus Generation 2023: students help students develop international mobility

The Erasmus Generation Meeting (EGM) is the biggest conference where the Erasmus Generation meets to learn and discuss the future of student mobility in Europe and beyond.

The Erasmus Generation brings together young people who participate in European mobility programmes, through which they have the opportunity to study, do internships, or work abroad.

The central theme of the EGM 2023 was ‘international skills for more engaged societies’. The second edition of the biggest meeting of Erasmus+ and mobility alumni had two main pillars: skills gained through international opportunities, and civic engagement of young people, both extremely timely topics due to the ongoing European Year of Skills and the elections to the European Parliament which will take place in 2024.

In particular, the EGM 2023 brought together higher education students from all over Europe in Bucharest, Romania from 5-9 April 2023, to discuss the future of mobility and the new Erasmus+ programme 2021-2027, the question of inclusion and diversity, synergies between the Erasmus Student Network (ESN) and universities all over the world, the issues of youth empowerment, the future of mobility and internationalisation, and many other topics. 

The event was organised by volunteers of the Erasmus Student Network Romania for the second such event after the first successful Erasmus Generation Meeting event, which took place in April 2022 in the Portuguese city of Porto.

This year, the event consisted of:

  • Sessions where everyone had a chance to develop their soft skills and learn new things
  • A Flag Parade where we celebrated our diversity
  • A Career Fair where each of us was able to meet companies and businesses eager to support young professionals
  • A Mobility Fair focused on promoting mobility and different educational institutions from all over the continent
  • A social programme where we had an opportunity to have an active network
  • Delicious Romanian food and cultural activities

The event hosted the active young participation of more than 800 Erasmus+ alumni and internationally-minded young people, as well as important stakeholders in the field of international mobility and higher education.

Over the course of a few days, we, the Erasmus Generation, representatives from many European cities, had an opportunity to learn more about the new programme, mobility in general, meet our peers, and bring to the table issues we wanted to discuss. We also had an opportunity to take part in the ESN Sections Fair, where we got to know each other, planned future collaborations and mutually encouraged one another to have our countries as Erasmus academic exchange destinations. 

One of the most significant sessions, in my opinion, was the session “The Future of Mobility and Internationalisation: how can we work together to make it better?” During the session, I had a chance to meet representatives of leading European universities, where we brainstormed and exchanged ideas based on previously prepared questionnaires, and took into consideration the ideas that arose during the session, which was attended by more than 100 participants. 

We had a chance to discuss current youth self-organisation tendencies and issues with Svava Berglind Finsen, representative of the Erasmus+ Team at the European Commission, and Piet Vant Hove, President of the European Association for International Education. I loved the mood and motivation of the participants of this event, which showed the amazing eagerness of young people to help their fellow young people to travel, self-develop, broaden their outlook and build new networks due to the increasing range of international formal and non-formal education opportunities. 

During the opening, Vice President of the European Commission, Margaritis Schinas, and the President of the European Parliament, Roberta Metsola, spoke to the participants in a video message, both thanking the Erasmus Student Network for its work in supporting the implementation of the Erasmus+ programme for more than 33 years.

With your thousands of members and hundreds of local sections, your contributions remain unique to this programme’s continued success

Roberta Metsola

Although National Board of the ESN Ukraine could not attend the event, they addressed the Network in a video, asking the youth of Europe to keep them in their thoughts and stand up and speak up for the people of Ukraine. Nevertheless, EU ESN sections had a chance to meet representatives of ESN Kyiv and ESN Chernivtsi where they shared information about the current situation in the youth politics in Ukraine during the war. 

With three full days and over 80 different sessions held by both ESN members and external speakers from partner organisations, institutions and universities, first-ever EGM was dubbed a great success by all those who participated.

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