Erasmus – AEGEE-Europe | European Students' Forum AEGEE (Association des Etats Généraux des Etudiants de l’Europe / European Students’ Forum) is a student organisation that promotes cooperation, communication and integration amongst young people in Europe. As a non-governmental, politically independent, and non-profit organisation AEGEE is open to students and young people from all faculties and disciplines – today it counts 13 000 members, active in close to 200 university cities in 40 European countries, making it the biggest interdisciplinary student association in Europe. Wed, 15 Nov 2017 17:59:33 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.5.11 Happy birthday, Franck! /happy-birthday-franck/ Sat, 11 Mar 2017 17:35:32 +0000 /?p=7036 By Daniela Maria Maris

Today we celebrate the Birthday of Franck Biancheri, a visionary to inspire European citizens to envision and build “tomorrow”.

While being a student, in 1985, Biancheri founded the first biggest European studentnetwork, AEGEE-Europe. This and his involvement in founding the Erasmus program were the first steps in building the first generation of “Europeans”. Throughout his life he has concerned himself with the European project and the it’s flaws. In the 90’s he concerned himself with the issues of the European public funds and lack of communication between EU institutions and citizens, major problems that enabled the development of a European citizenship.Franck_Biancheri_R0011616-for-Wikipedia_15-03-2007

Franck Biancheri remains the only person who managed to build a trans-European political movement, Initiative for a European Democracy (IED) and presented lists in different countries (France, Spain and the Netherlands) in the European elections in 1989.

Continuing to focus on political anticipation and activities serving the democratization of Europe in 2000 Franck Biancheri organized the ” Newropeans 2000 – New Europe, New Challenges, New Generations ” congress in Paris. An event that brought major stakeholder together to participate at the creation of tomorrow’s Europe. 2,000 young Europeans and politicians from national and European level took part at the event which had as a result the most important e-democracy world project, Eu-StudentVote. It consisted in the online election of the first EU Student Council in June 2002.

Newropeans Democracy Marathon was also one of the major projects16904866_10154359114592045_6811806335422664527_o of Biancheri which consisted of a series of 100 conferences in 25 different European countries in one single year. The aim was to point out that the European construction has reached a crucial stage of its history and that the main challenge of this decade consists of being able to reconcile democracy and European unity. He already draw attention in 2002-2003 that fact that if not taking any action many undemocratic movements will appear in Europe also as a result of populist trends. Following this project, Franck Biancheri was elected one of Time Magazine’s 2003 European Heroes (People’s Choice). He was nominated as one of the top 25 who are changing the world of Internet and Politics, as selected by Politics Online and the 5th E-Democracy Worldwide Forum!

As former president of Newropeans, the first trans-European political movement with the objective to democratize Europe, Franck Biancheri is considered to be the first trans-European political leader in the history of European democracy. Besides this he coordinated researches at t20170224_120604045_CAMhe European Laboratory of Political Anticipation LEAP/Europe 2020, with a particular focus on the Global Europe Anticipation Bulletin. Since 2012 his legacy is carried on by AAFB. The “Education for the present – Democracy
for the future” Conference is also part of Biancheri’s legacy, to bring young Europeans together and empower them to take action and shape tomorrow’s Europe.

For more information about Franck Biancheri, his work and ideas we recommend his book

“The Emergence of Eurocitizens”
http://geab.eu/…/the-emergence-of-eurocitizens-a-must-read…/

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Erasmus is great, but we want to know more! /erasmus-is-great-but-we-want-to-know-more/ Fri, 18 Apr 2014 19:21:51 +0000 /?p=4849

by Monica Nica

We left Brussels a week ago but it already feels like we have been travelling for a month. The numerous hours spent in trains and the lack of proper rest is already starting to take its toll. Fortunately, the people we have met along the way, who helped us in so many ways, make us bounce back instantly.

Although we have only spent half a day in Zaragoza, we had some interesting discussions with the AEGEE members present there in quite high numbers. The presentation and following interviews focused on what mobility signifies for young people, what pushes and what hinders them to go in another country to study or to work.

One idea that stood out early on from the conversations was the lack of information on the various mobility options available for young people. It was surprising to discover this from AEGEE members, who are more mobile and knowledgeable in this area than the average young person. The various AEGEE projects helps them come in contact more easily with others that have already experienced some type of youth mobility programme. If they are not aware of all the available opportunities, I can’t help but wonder what of the young people that are not active in organisations, or are not even students?

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From all the options we have presented to them (Erasmus, Leonardo, European Voluntary Service (EVS), Comenius, Grundtvig, Erasmus Mundus, Youth in Action, etc.), the majority of participants were familiar with the Erasmus programme – If they have not already experienced one, they are about to start one next semester or are thinking about it. The only other opportunity they were familiar with was EVS.

The main source of information is the university and from friends that already had the experience of a mobility programme. As Veronica from Slovakia, doing her Erasmus in Zaragoza at the moment, said, “knowing something exists doesn’t mean one will also use it”. This is true even when it comes to Erasmus, which seems to be so common and easy to do these days for most young students. If one knows a friend who did it, then it becomes more real, more achievable.

When we asked the participants where they would like the information to come from, we didn’t receive a clear answer. Some expected it from the university, while for others it seemed normal that the universities focused mainly on Erasmus. The ones who knew about EVS found out about it from AEGEE, but as Christina from Spain said, “this isn’t normal”. I believe the information should come from a source which young people trust and with which they often come in contact. I am sure most universities can provide information on mobility options, but the problem is that they do not advertise them properly. If students are not aware of the various programmes, then they can’t avail themselves of the advantages they entail.

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Moving on, the young people also shared with us what Erasmus meant for them. Their answers revolved around improving language skills, making friends, being exposed to different and varied culture and becoming more independent and self-reliant, all of which in the end boils down to personal development. Furthermore, meeting people from so many different backgrounds when it comes to nationality, religion, ethnicity, etc., helps in breaking and, at times, confirming stereotypes. This in turn, increases the feeling of being part of something more than one’s region or country; it makes them feel more European.

The advantages of Erasmus are undeniable, and the opinion was unanimous among the participants that every young person should have this experience. So why doesn’t everyone have it? Except the lack of information, it was also mentioned the fact that there are people who just don’t like getting out of their comfort zone, or for whom language can represent a hindrance more than a challenge. But the most important reason seems to be money, or better said, lack of it.

If one would want to sketch the portrait of the average young person taking advantage of Erasmus, it should include a student with initiative, the fact that most probably he or she is already active in some kind of organisation, has a certain level of financial security, enjoys a challenge and wants to develop both professionally and personally.

Although Erasmus is somewhat elitist, as most young people don’t fit the portrait above, the usefulness and importance of Veronica’s call that all young people should “travel, experience and discover” remains valid. What needs to be worked on, besides improving awareness about all the mobility options for young people, is that they are indeed available for everyone.

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Europe on Track 2: Mobility and EUrope /europe-on-track-2-mobility-and-europe/ Wed, 01 Jan 2014 16:38:34 +0000 /?p=4107 Following the successful achievements of the first edition of the project, Europe on Track 2 is also aiming to tackle issues that are of great concern for young people, giving them the chance to speak up for their needs, demands and express their proposals for changes. Only this time, a stronger emphasis will be put on encouraging young people to take action and become actors in the construction of “the Europe we want for our future!”

The choice of the two main topics heavily depended on aligning the thematics with AEGEE’s mission of empowering young people across the European continent and providing them with information on the programmes and possibilities being part of the European Union offers them. Hence Europe on Track 2 is going to put Mobility and EUrope in the focus of its interactive workshops, sessions and discussions during the whole trip of the six travelling ambassadors.

Download the project dossier and read more about the concept and the realization of the project!

Europe on Track 2 – Dossier

 

 

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Hanging out with MEP Doris Pack /hangout-mep-doris-pack/ Tue, 16 Jul 2013 10:37:46 +0000 http://aegee.blogactiv.eu/?p=683 Three weeks ago, AEGEE was invited to a pilot experience coming from the European Parliament. For the first time, a Member of the European Parliament would establish a dialogue with some stakeholders in the youth field through HangOut, a recently launched platform that allows up to 10 people to interact in a videoconference which can be also recorded and streamed to include more participants.

The MEP behind this initiative was very relevant: Doris Pack has been rapporteur of the Culture and Education Committee in the European Parliament (CULT) for the whole process of the redesign of the Youth and Education programme in the next Multiannual Financial Framework 2014-17. The topic of the conference was The Future of the Erasmus Programme.


The conference took place on June 25th and, as the headoffice of AEGEE was flying back from the Zagreb Youth Conference to celebrate the entry of Croatia in the EU, we appointed Madalena Sousa as our representative in the HangOut. We prepared several questions in advance for the session, but in the end it was quite short and as there were several other International NGOs invited, unfortunately we could not ask all our questions.

The conference was recorded and uploaded. You can watch it here.

In the opinion of Madalena, this option for interaction is complementary to the Structured Dialogue, which guarantees that “the voices of young people in Europe reach the decision making process in areas that directly affect them”. In this sense the Google Hangout seems to be “an easy instrument to establish communication between stakeholders, where everyone can participate online and place questions. It is an online dialogue, with some guests that can address direct questions to the MEP, but at the same time there is place for people following online to also make comments/ messages/ questions”. The staff from the European Parliament was in charge of collecting questions from the public who followed the streaming and engaged in Twitter, Facebook or Google+, which were also answered by Ms. Doris Pack.

Madalena stated her satisfaction with this “opportunity to represent AEGEE, to deal with a new tool and to contribute for this close contact between stakeholders. Definitely I think that AEGEE should always be involved and participating on events that promote discussion with stakeholders. Online or not, with more or less time, the important thing is to grab the opportunity to share our concerns or place our questions.

The conversation touched several topics like sustainability of the new framework, the future of some of the different programmes included in Erasmus+, the convenience of having such a big programme when so many people are unemployed and could benefit from this money being invested in them… but the best way to learn is to see the video uploaded.

The other participating stakeholders were: Erasmus Student Network (ESN), Erasmus Generation Network (Garagerasmus), Fraternite 2020, European Civil Platform on Life Long Learning (EUCIS-LLL), European Youth Forum (YFJ), Erasmus Mundus Allumni (EMA), and Cronoworld.

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Rethinking education: the European students ideas /rethinking-education-european-commission-aegee/ /rethinking-education-european-commission-aegee/#comments Wed, 13 Feb 2013 14:36:28 +0000 http://aegee.blogactiv.eu/?p=449 Last november the European Commission released the communication Rethinking Education: Investing in skills for better socio-economic outcomes. This document has been read carefully by several stakeholders in the education sector, as marks the Commission’s guidelines for the European policies in one of the most sensitive fields of national and European politics.

AEGEE’s opinion on the document is generally positive as it shows the will of the European Commission to adapt the educational system in Europe to the new challenges that nowadays society poses. However, there are some concerns that need to be addressed, regarding some critical aspects as the independence of the education institutions, the need for a balanced set of skills (that include not only the needs of the labour market but also the needs of society) or the need of including students in the decision-making process, among others.

Androulla Vassiliou presenting "Rethinking Education" communication (Photo: EC)

Read the complete reaction of AEGEE on www.aegee.org

 

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Erasmus: You cannot vote! /erasmus-you-cannot-vote-elections-italy/ /erasmus-you-cannot-vote-elections-italy/#comments Tue, 22 Jan 2013 10:50:58 +0000 http://aegee.blogactiv.eu/?p=374 More than 40.000 Italian young people studying and living abroad are excluded from the national elections.

AEGEE-Europe supports the claim of Italian students and calls for a solution that solves the violation of the democratic rights of thousand of young citizens. We expect the decision of the Italian Council of Ministers to allow all Italians living abroad the possibility to participate in the general elections. We are proud to see that the reaction of Italian Erasmus has been decisive to allow other Italians to exert their democratic rights.

Unless exceptional measures are taken, Italian Erasmus students, and all the young Italians involved in the Lifelong Learning Programme abroad such as the Leonardo interns, are going to be excluded from the elections to the Parliament that will take place on February 24-25th 2013. They cannot vote for correspondence in the Consulate because, according to the current law, in order to exercise their electoral rights abroad, Italian citizens must register at the Registry of the Italians abroad (AIRE) at the Consulate in the country where they have resided or are going to reside for at least 12 months. A period that does not apply for the most popular mobility programmes.

Showing once more how wrong is the common belief that the young generation does not care about anything except themselves, the Italian Erasmus have taken initiative and started claiming for their rights showing their indignation on facebook and social media. They have coordinated themselves even when being scattered all over Europe and they have gotten quite a lot of attention on the media, voicing their discontent and calling for a reasonable decision to be taken. A petition online has been launched, and the Leonardo interns and other Italians living abroad are signing up hoping to be included together with the Erasmus students in case a solution is reached.

All the frustration of these young people has been represented graphically in a very eloquent image: a piece of toilet paper where is written: here you are, this is what my vote is worth! One of the students wrote on  facebook:  “I am really astonished because democracy and active citizenship are among the specific objectives of Lifelong Learning Programme! So there is some contradiction on this situation”. Limiting the right to vote to those who can afford the money and time of a flight back home seems quite an unfair situation that needs to be solved. Erasmus students are supported in their request by UDU, the Italian Syndicate of Students.

Even the European Commission backs the students’ claim, which makes sense since they designated 2013 as the European Year of Citizens. According to a communication from the cabinet of the Commissioner on Education, Androula Vassiliou, “the EU supports the efforts of Italy for assuring that students within mobility programmes like Erasmus are not discriminated in their right to vote”, even though legislation regarding elections is part of the national competences.

Monti’s government has decided to do all that is in their hands to solve this problem. Today (Jan 22nd) the Italian Consiglio dei Ministri will meet and the topic is high on the agenda, with the Minister of Education pushing for a solution. Time is short, as elections are very close. When at the end of last year the government promulgated a law to allow researchers, military and professors abroad to vote in this elections, nobody thought of the students participating in mobility programmes. Now a special measure will have to be taken, and time is running out as the deadline for confirming the voting abroad expired last Sunday Jan 20th. According to the Italian Constitution, the measure will have to grant the right to vote to other Italians abroad in similar situation. As a back up plan, the possible reimbursement of the travel costs for the voting is not totally discarded yet.

As stated before, AEGEE-Europe supports the claim of Italian students and calls for a solution that solves the violation of the democratic rights of thousand of young citizens. We expect the decision of the Italian Council of Ministers to allow all Italians living abroad the possibility to participate in the elections for the Italian Parliament. We are proud to see that the reaction of Italian Erasmus has been decisive to allow other Italians to exert their democratic rights.

Related links:

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Erasmus: You cannot vote! /erasmus-you-cannot-vote/ Tue, 22 Jan 2013 11:06:12 +0000 /?p=2831 More than 40.000 Italian young people studying and living abroad are excluded from the national elections.

AEGEE-Europe supports the claim of Italian students and calls for a solution that solves the violation of the democratic rights of thousand of young citizens. We expect the decision of the Italian Council of Ministers to allow all Italians living abroad the possibility to participate in the elections to the Parliament. We are proud to see that the reaction of Italian Erasmus has been decisive to allow other Italians to exert their democratic rights.

Unless exceptional measures are taken, Italian Erasmus students, and all the young Italians involved in the Lifelong Learning Programme abroad such as the Leonardo interns, are going to be excluded from the election for the Italian Parliament that will take place on February 24-25th 2013. They cannot vote for correspondence in the Consulate because, according to the current law, in order to exercise their electoral rights abroad, Italian citizens must register at the Registry of the Italians abroad (AIRE) at the Consulate in the country where they have resided or are going to reside for at least 12 months. A period that does not apply for the most popular mobility programmes.

Showing once more how wrong is the common belief that the young generation does not care about anything except themselves, the Italian Erasmus have taken initiative and started claiming for their rights showing their indignation on facebook and social media. They have coordinated themselves even when being scattered all over Europe and they have gotten quite a lot of attention on the media, voicing their discontent and calling for a reasonable decision to be taken. A petition online has been launched, and the Leonardo interns and other Italians living abroad are signing up hoping to be included together with the Erasmus students in case a solution is reached.

All the frustration of these young people has been represented graphically in a very eloquent image: a piece of toilet paper where is written: here you are, this is what my vote is worth! One of the students wrote on  facebook:  “I am really astonished because democracy and active citizenship are among the specific objectives of Lifelong Learning Programme! So there is some contradiction on this situation”. Limiting the right to vote to those who can afford the money and time of a flight back home seems quite an unfair situation that needs to be solved. Erasmus students are supported in their request by UDU, the Italian Syndicate of Students.

Even the European Commission backs the students’ claim, which makes sense since they designated 2013 as the European Year of Citizens. According to a communication from the cabinet of the Commissioner on Education, Androula Vassiliou, “the EU supports the efforts of Italy for assuring that students within mobility programmes like Erasmus are not discriminated in their right to vote”, even though legislation regarding elections is part of the national competences.

Monti’s government has decided to do all that is in their hands to solve this problem. Today (Jan 22nd) the Italian Consiglio dei Ministri will meet and the topic is high on the agenda, with the Minister of Education pushing for a solution. Time is short, as elections are very close. When at the end of last year the government promulgated a law to allow researchers, military and professors abroad to vote in this elections, nobody thought of the students participating in mobility programmes. Now a special measure will have to be taken, and time is running out as the deadline for confirming the voting abroad expired last Sunday Jan 20th. According to the Italian Constitution, the measure will have to grant the right to vote to other Italians abroad in similar situation. As a back up plan, the possible reimbursement of the travel costs for the voting is not totally discarded yet.

As stated before, AEGEE-Europe supports the claim of Italian students and calls for a solution that solves the violation of the democratic rights of thousand of young citizens. We expect the decision of the Italian Council of Ministers to allow all Italians living abroad the possibility to participate in the elections to the Parliament. We are proud to see that the reaction of Italian Erasmus has been decisive to allow other Italians to exert their democratic rights.

Related links:

About AEGEE-Europe

AEGEE was born 27 years ago with the vision of creating a unified Europe, based on democracy and respect for human rights, bringing together students with different cultural backgrounds. Today, AEGEE is Europe’s largest interdisciplinary youth organisation: 40 countries, 200 cities, 13 000 friends. This network provides the ideal platform for young volunteers to work together on cross-border activities such as international conferences, seminars, exchanges, training courses and case study trips. In line with the challenges young people are currently facing in Europe, AEGEE’s work for the period of 2011-2014 is focused on three main areas: Youth Participation, Bridging Europe and Inclusion of Minorities.

Contact

If you would like more information about AEGEE, please contact:

Pavel Zborník
European Institutions and Communications Director of AEGEE-Europe
Phone: +32 2 246 0320
Mobile: +32 487 410 060
E-mail: pavel.zbornik@aegee.org

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I love you(th) but I don’t say it! /i-love-youth-but-i-dont-say-it/ /i-love-youth-but-i-dont-say-it/#comments Fri, 19 Oct 2012 14:14:48 +0000 http://aegee.blogactiv.eu/?p=227 We are now more than used to hearing politicians and representatives claiming high and clear that youth should be a priority. The alarming figures are not so much of a surprise anymore: the youth unemployment rate in Europe is more than 22,6%, there has been a drastic drop in the interest of young people for the democratic processes, still only 30% young Europeans end up with a University degree… Young people are our future and they do deserve support and attention. Unfortunately, despite the good intentions, we cannot help but notice that the European Union’s budget allocated to youth is still around 0,1% of the total budget, and that on a national level, education and youth is rarely a priority, when it comes to investing money.

As the saying goes, actions speak louder than words, and now AEGEE is calling for a real investment in youth and youth organisations, in order to provide young people with real opportunities, and the recognition of the importance of youth organisations in terms of empowering young people, of giving them tools, skills and knowledge which are the bulding blocks for their future success. The work carried out by youth organisations such as AEGEE – and many others, active on a local, national or European level – is crucial, as with very little resources, we are developing young people, training and educating them, so that they will later on invest in their communities. Through non-formal activities, we also contribute to empowering young people and increasing their chances, not only on the job market, but also to become active citizens.

Therefore, in a period when the EU budget for youth is drafted for the next 7 years, we consider it  necessary to remind decision makers that actions speak louder than words, and that if they want to invest in youth, it now is the time to take action. On the morning of 16th October, AEGEE took part in the stakeholders meeting organised by European Youth Forum (YFJ) to discuss the latest news regarding the negotiation concerning the youth budget planning of the next multi-financial framework, and it is with pleasure that we heard that the European Youth Forum represents the needs of young people and youth organizations.


With Androulla Vassiliou, Commissioner for education, culture, multilingualism and youth

On this occasion, AEGEE wants join the European Youth Forum, and raise its voice, not only as a European based youth structure, but also on behalf of the 15 000 young individuals who are part of our network. We believe that it is high time to give young people the means to develop themselves as active citizens, to find their place in society and in the job market. AEGEE hopes that on both the national and the European level, our representatives will take action in order to unlock the necessary resources for those young people and youth organisations who are willing to be active, who have projects, who have ideas, who take part in democratic processes, and therefore invest in the future of these young people.

Visit the  website of the new campaign of the European Youth Forum: LoveYouthFuture

Written by Lucille Rieux

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The future of Erasmus at a stake? AEGEE will not let mobility programmes down! /futureoferasmus/ Mon, 08 Oct 2012 12:02:06 +0000 http://aegee.blogactiv.eu/?p=154 October started with a worrying statement from the Chair of the Committee on Budgets of the European Parliament, Mr. Alain Lamassoure: “We have not foreseen in the 2012 budget enough credit payments … so the cohesion funds are at risk, also the European Social Fund, the Erasmus and life-long learning programmes, and even the research and innovation programmes”. [1]

These words, coming from inside the European Parliament’s Committee on Budgets, shocked the European society, and especially the students. Surprisingly, what called the attention of the media was mostly the mentioning of the Erasmus Programme, making it seem like the lack of funding for cohesion funds, science or the European Social Fund are not equally important. Nevertheless, for AEGEE-Europe, the European Students’ Forum, the impact of a lack of funding for the Lifelong Learning Programmes would be significant. For this reason, AEGEE has been following the issue during the past days.

After the statement of Mr. Lamassoure, most of the Ministers of Education of the member states hurried to reassure students and their families that their grants are secured. While this may be true for the first semester of the 2012/2013 academic year, there are serious doubts for those students who will travel abroad during the second semester. On Friday, 5th October, the European Commission published an article on the topic in its news section about Education and Training. The title already caused more worries instead of calming down the situation: Erasmus students: don’t panic (yet)! The article clearly implied that the European Commission is still trying to convince the European Parliament and the member states to provide satisfactory funding for these programmes for the second semester of the academic year.

We understand that Mr. Lamassoure’s statement was made in a context of ongoing negotiations for the 2013 budget, as well as difficulties in fulfilling all the compromises with an estimated deficit of 10 billion Euros for 2012. However, we feel that this message casts doubts on the future of this project, when we should be celebrating the positive impact on society of 25 years of the Erasmus programme – one of the most successful initiatives of the European Union -, and finding ways to make it more inclusive to reach more students.

For thousands of students all over Europe, the possibility to become an Erasmus student is now. They have already arranged everything to study abroad this year, and they are ready for an experience that will enrich both their curriculum and their personality. Moreover, Erasmus is the best tool of the European Union to create a truly European Identity, which in the face of rising nationalism is more needed than ever. The uncertainty around the funding might cause some of these young Europeans to cancel their participation. Therefore, we demand that the European Commission and the bodies responsible for the funding issue a clear message confirming that the grants for the Erasmus Programme are guaranteed not only for the whole 2012/2013 academic year, but for the upcoming years as well. Any reduction in the funding will increase inequality among young people, and could make Erasmus a privilege of wealthy students instead of a right for everyone. Only adequate funding can develop the programme into a real Erasmus for All, which after all is the name of the Commission’s proposal for the years 2014-2020. AEGEE demands an increase in the number of mobility grants and an ambitious future funding for these programmes to make sure that every year students can reinforce their European identity by studying abroad.

[1]http://www.europarl.europa.eu/news/en/headlines/content/20121004STO53016/html/Erasmus-and-investment-in-worst-hit-countries-at-risk-warns-Lamassoure1
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