18 Jul EU4EU – Italian university students don’t stop: Covid or not, they want a work experience abroad
Young Italian university students who – by taking part in the EU4EU-Erasmus+ programme – want to know Europe and gain work experience in countries other than the one in which they are studying, did not stop last year because of Covid and are not about to do so this year either.
During the pandemic, there were many students who gave up applying for a scholarship for a traineeship. The reasons are of course understandable, but with this in mind, we are pleased to point out that our numbers have diverged from the general trend. And again this year, as we shall see, the assignment of scholarships fully met our expectations.
Our data, updated to mid-2022, make it clear how much enthusiasm there is on the part of students, as well as on the part of European companies, which appear to be increasingly interested in hosting first- and second-year university students to work with them and introduce them to the world of work, with a view to European openness and internationalisation.
Participation in the EU4EU-Erasmus+ intercultural exchange programme appears to be positive and beneficial for both trainees and Host Organizations, and the high satisfaction index – confirmed in this 2022 by the numerous feedbacks – makes us even more satisfied with the project, also because this year marks the 35th anniversary of the Erasmus programme, which since 1987 has made mobility possible for 12 million people.
Important words were said about the value of the Erasmus programme during the conference “35 years of Erasmus: a success story“, organised by the Italian Erasmus+ Agency Indire as part of the European Festival celebrations, held on 9 May 2022 in Florence. For those wishing to learn more about the contents, here is the link: https://www.indire.it/2022/05/09/al-festival-deuropa-la-celebrazione-dei-35-anni-del-programma-erasmus/
Let’s come to our numbers: since the beginning of the year, 34 university students of the Italian consortium have left to carry out the traineeship provided by EU4EU-Erasmus+ programme, of which 6 from the first cycle and 28 from the second cycle. Among all the universities participating in the EU4EU project, Italian universities ranked first in terms of the number of students who applied for the grant, followed by France, Spain and Portugal. The most active field of study (and therefore also the professional field) is currently Political Science, while the top destinations are Spain and Austria.
Among women and men, the former appear to be more numerous and therefore more inclined to take advantage of this special job opportunity.
We don’t want to go any further with the data, as we will sum up our activity with more complete and indicative numbers at the end of the year, but undoubtedly from our point of view the trend appears positive and the young students of Italian universities – despite the difficulties still not completely overcome regarding the epidemic that has hit the country – do not seem willing to let go of the possibility of spending time in a new country where they can learn professional notions and at the same time make their knowledge and working energy available.
We conclude with a couple of testimonies that seem to us significant of how important the Erasmus+ experience – even during a pandemic – has been and can be for young university students and the European companies that decide to host them:
“For my future job in the field of finance, it is very important to know how to program using specific platforms, and I learnt it. Also, I was very autonomous with my work. When I had some doubts, my tutor always replied very fast. I learned a lot from him.”
Raffaello Cesetti, from Italy to Portugal (Read the full story here: https://eng.eu4eu.org/eu4eutestimonial/eu4eu-internship-experiences-during-covid-19-raffaello-cesetti/)
“One of our current trainees caught my attention because she is half Irish and living in France. That gives her a profile with two mother tongues; therefore, she is wonderful for us. In addition, we are also involved in European projects that haven’t been done in Spain, and it is interesting to find and work with people who have knowledge in those fields.”
Zaira Villalba, CEO at Instituto iKigai, in Zaragoza, Spain (Read the full story here: https://eng.eu4eu.org/eu4eutestimonial/eu4eu-host-organization-experience-during-covid-instituto-ikigai/).