Damola Olowoye is a student of politics at Loughborough University. She tells us why her second choice of studying abroad through Erasmus+ turned out to be her best choice
Why do a year abroad?
"Although it was scary to begin with, my Erasmus+ year was so worthwhile, and it turned out to be one of the best experiences I have had to date!
"For some the thought of doing a year abroad might seem really daunting, for others it might be an exciting adventure. For me, the decision to do a year abroad came after I failed to get a work placement at home in my second year. Despite this setback, I was determined to get some experience outside of my university degree and a year abroad through Erasmus+ seemed like the perfect option. It was great that I had this opportunity and was supported by the Erasmus+ funding.
"It enabled me to experience a different country, a different culture, to meet new people, to learn a second language and to live and learn in a different style.
"I was very nervous at the thought of leaving what I knew and going to a place where I could not really speak the language, despite having passed French at GCSE. Luckily though, I was able to study a mix of subjects at the University of Lyon 2 all in English. Learning in France, even in English, was still a great experience. I was able to study topics I had never done before, like American history and join a debate-style class discussing contemporary political issues in America. I also tried new things outside class, like joining an Athletics class - something I would have never dreamed of doing back home in Loughborough.
See the world
"My year abroad also gave me lots of opportunity to travel to different cities and countries around Europe, I went to Budapest, Prague, Vienna, Switzerland, Nice and Monaco - to name just a few!
"I was also able to save up some money to go to America for around three months, including a week in Los Angeles on a solo trip. This was a fantastic experience that I would never have considered doing before Erasmus+.
"Doing the Erasmus+ programme has helped me grow in ways I would never have imagined and it has given me a better understanding of different people and different cultures. I was able to enjoy the world and all the adventures that come with it and as a result I am more adventurous and confident. I also find it easier to connect with a variety of people, thanks to the friends I made from all over the world. I believe I have gained new skills that will be transferable to the workplace and look good on my CV.
"I encourage everyone to do a year abroad if they can."
To learn more about Erasmus+ funding for mobility opportunities for students in Higher Education and how to apply take a look at our apply for funding page.