How does participating in the Erasmus+ programme benefit my CV? -

How does participating in the Erasmus+ programme benefit my CV?

Studying abroad with “Erasmus+” seems like an enticing opportunity often missed due to fear, doubt, or hesitancy. However, the experiences of those who return after a semester abroad are the same: all students agree that it is a life-changing journey, fostering personal growth, diverse experiences, and becoming a meaningful entry on their CV. How can “Erasmus+” contribute to your career changes?

Patricija Višnevska learned to take responsibility

“Deciding to go on the ‘Erasmus+’ program was easy for me, but when I started looking for plane tickets and a place to stay, it became scary. After all, I don’t know how everything works in Portugal. I’ll be completely alone! I asked myself: if I don’t go now, will I regret it later?” recalls Patricija, a student at Vilnius Business College.

Today, Patricija is a third-year student in the Interactive Media and Technology program. Reflecting on the six months spent in Portugal, she cannot contain her emotions. Studying at the Polytechnic Institute of Maia in Porto provided her with new friends from around the world, daily experiences in a foreign country, improved English skills, and a self-discovery of talents she never suspected.

Navigating the metro without knowing Portuguese, deciphering assignments in a language she didn’t speak, daring to ask questions in English—these were just a few of the challenges Patricija faced daily. “Six months of studying in Portugal taught me to take responsibility: I have to think about how to survive or get something done on my own, not just hope that someone will help me. I started strategizing on my own: if I make a decision, I think: can I implement it myself, or do I need help? If I need help, I make sure I can get it immediately,” explained P. Višnevska.

She went for her CV and found her career path

The entry on her CV regarding her study experience was one of the reasons she chose to study under the “Erasmus+” exchange program. Furthermore, in Portugal, she finally discovered her favorite field, which she continues to delve into. “Interactive Media and Technology is a broad study program that provides knowledge about various technologies. The university had a professionally equipped studio where students could learn and rent all the necessary equipment for tasks. We worked a lot with a team, and I learned to better plan my time and work. Most importantly, I found myself in the field of filming,” rejoiced the third-year student.

For students who are anxious about going abroad on the “Erasmus+” programe, Patricija suggests looking for “Facebook” groups where Lithuanians in that country gather. That’s how she found another Lithuanian going abroad on the same exchange program, with whom she later rented an apartment. According to Patricija, it is important to participate in the introduction evening for all “Erasmus+” students: “About 150 students from around the world arrived. I realized that I was not alone in being scared. It’s a good opportunity to make friends. I still keep in touch with some of them.”

When asked how this journey changed her, she said that she is more communicative, energetic, not afraid to leave her comfort zone, and sees everyone as individuals. “I’m glad I went studying when I didn’t have a job to lose. I know that after my studies, I’ll travel because I’m interested in getting to know other cultures. I always remember my own question: if I don’t go, will I regret it?” asserts Patricija Višnevska.

Dovilė Donelaitė dreamed of experiencing what it’s like to study abroad

“Even in high school, I knew I wanted to go on the ‘Erasmus+’ program. My parents didn’t support me, but I still went. If I were to go now, I would choose a longer period—not just half a year. I firmly know that if there is an opportunity, I will confidently go again next time,” says another student from Vilnius Business College, Dovilė Donelaitė.

Dovilė, a third-year student in the English Language for International Communication programme, chose the University of Nicosia in Cyprus because, during her free time, she independently studies the Turkish language. At the university, she had the opportunity to improve it and, at the same time, get to know Turkish culture better. However, it was not just this language that prompted the student to study abroad for half a year. One of the reasons was the desire to experience what it is like elsewhere: “To get to know the university, see how it is taught and learned – it was interesting to me.”

The experience was so powerful that Dovilė does not hide that upon returning to Lithuania, she had to adapt. “Going to university felt like a movie: students from all over the world, especially a lot from America and Asia. When I started talking, I realized that we all have so much to share. This brings people together. Overall, this university was accompanied by a strong sense of community,” shared the girl.

Experienced an internal breakthrough, which helped to feel freer.

New impressions of differently conducted lectures and exams were accompanied by daily challenges, many of which emerged while settling in a new country: from finding accommodation to dealing with poorly developed infrastructure. There was plenty to do, even when speaking English, although Dovilė Donelaitė studies English for International Communication. “Speaking English in Lithuania was difficult for me because I heard a lot of criticism from my surroundings for mistakes made. I was afraid of criticism, of feeling vulnerable. In Cyprus, I understood that it’s normal to make mistakes when speaking. Moreover, the more you speak, the better your English becomes. I had to adapt as best as I could. There was a breakthrough within me. Everyone who goes to live abroad experiences it,” shared the student about the lessons learned.

Experiencing different cultures changes the way one communicates with others

Adapting to challenges despite circumstances and emotions prompted internal changes that the six months of the “Erasmus+” program prompted. Dovilė is convinced that this memorable experience leaves a vivid entry in her CV: “Now I have more experience communicating with people from other countries because I got to know other cultures, not just Cyprus. Communication differences are clear, so if I work in a company where there are foreigners, I am sure that I will learn to establish and maintain a relationship with them. After the trip, I am more flexible and better able to adapt to a new environment.”

Asked what would help students decide to go on the “Erasmus+” program, Dovilė Donelaitė says that the most important thing is to make a decision and take the first step. Writing a motivational letter, preparing documents, finding a place to live is not as difficult as it may seem at first. “You need to do the minimum work, but there are not many of them. When you do it gradually, it’s not scary,” shared the student.

Comment from Mindaugas Latišenka, Institutional “Erasmus+” Coordinator:

Benefits of studying / practicing under the “Erasmus+” program for a student’s CV:

  • attractiveness to employers – a EU survey showed that almost 80% of employers found candidates who participated in international mobility programs during their studies more attractive as employees; contacts and acquaintances from around the world;
  • self-discovery in a different environment;
  • experience in different studies;
  • interculturality and expanding horizons; opportunity to improve foreign language skills;
  • experience of living abroad.

By using the support provided by the “Erasmus+” program, students at Vilnius Business College can go:

  • study (after the first year),
  • do an internship (after the second year),
  • participate in a mixed program (online meetings, plus workshops in another country; lasts about a week),
  • do a graduate internship (after completing their studies to start a career / gain specific skills, lasts 2-4 months).
  • Those willing to go on the “Erasmus+” exchange program, click here.

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Vilnius Business College Company code 191807983