It is the 25th Anniversary of Erasmus Exchange Scheme. The British Council, the committee and staff from the International Office celebrated it on Thursday afternoon on the concourse of Southampton University.
According to the introduction by Andreas Mathikolonis, the president of Erasmus Student Network in UK . Erasmus Exchange Scheme was established in 1987. The aim for the Exchange Scheme is to provide students with the opportunity to study or work abroad for a period of time in another European city. There are nearly 410 societies in Europe and 40 of them are in the UK. As one of the biggest societies in the UK, Erasmus students celebrate their anniversary in different places, for example, Cambridge, Bristol, Bath and London. The celebrations will be held on different days, ranging from March to the end of May. Yesterday it was Southampton’s time to celebrate.
In addition to the UK, the anniversary is celebrated in other European countries as well. In France, they arrange trips around the country. In Spain, they organise a massive concert in Madrid. In Estonia, they engage with the local community. They have, for example, helped cleaning up in the community.
At Southampton University, the public celebration on the concourse included releasing balloons. They provided free pens for people to write message on the balloons and many students engaged in the activity. They wrote their wishes on the balloons and the balloons were then set free. It is a marvelous moment! The blue sky was full of the colorful balloons. In addition, they made different types of birthday cakes and gave out for free. They had also rehearsed a flash mob which was performed on the concourse before releasing the balloons, which was organized by the Committee of Erasmus Society of Southampton , with coordinator Andreas. It was very memorable and successful.
Melanie, a third year exchange student from Germany thought the activity was meaningful: ‘It is good for people to go abroad in a formal organisation rather than going abroad by themselves.’ Jade, a British first year student, said that one of her friends has already gone abroad through the Erasmus Society. It is a society known by many people, but she won’t attend because she doesn’t like going abroad. Some students also said that they had never heard about this society. But through this activity on campus I believe they may now have made an acquaintance with the society.