Carmen Maria Hernández Moya, teacher specialized in pedagogy, tell us how the Erasmus Plus impacted her life and change her prospective about EU.

Con 23 años, siempre sonriente y con una capacidad organizativa increíble, Carmen regresó hace unos meses a España después de terminar su última experiencia Erasmus Plus en Palermo (Italia), donde trabajó como profesora en un jardín de infancia.

Luego de una taza de té, conversamos con ella para descubrir cómo estas experiencias afectaron su vida profesional y personal.

In what kind of European projects did you take part?

I took part firstly in a 10 days Youth Exchange project in Italy, after in an Erasmus study in Finland and lastly, supported by my University, in an Erasmus Traineeship project in Sicily (Italy).

Did these experiences help you?

I can say they helped me a lot.
To begin with, I learnt it’s very easy to travel, open doors and your own mind. You come back home with much more energy and with the enthusiasm to start a new adventure.

Both, in my Erasmus study and Traineeship, I had the opportunity to put in practice all I learnt in Spain in another country, and of course, I learnt new languages! I improved my English, learn a bit of Finnish and of course, during my Internship I acquired a good Italian.

To meet people for other countries, helped me discover new cultures as well.

All young people can join these programmes but few of them do it. How did you know about them? And what do you think we can do to inform more youngsters about it?

When I discover about these programmes, I thought it was incredible. I couldn’t believe that European Union allow you to travel, study and have a first job experience in other countries.
I was lucky because in my university the youth organization Mille Cunti had an information and I received information about the programme by whatsapp. I visited the info point and they explained me about the opportunities Erasmus Plus programme was offering.
This was how everything start.

The pity it is that all projects has a limiteded time. You can’t stay as long as you would like, anyway it was enough to learn a lot.

After all these experiences you came back to Spain. What did you bring with you? And how did you plan to use all knowledge, skills and competences did you acquire?

I bring with me so much things!!
Now when I get to know someone who is doing the same experience as me in Spain, I try to support them and help as I can.

At the same time, as teacher, I am very grateful about the opportunity I had to study and live a while in Finland, as it is said that it is the the best education system. There I learnt things that I couldn’t learn in Spain, and that I use in my professional life.

As well in the first project I did in Italy I learnt a lot about art and other cultures. The good part of these short term projects, it is in very short times you meet so much people and open so much your mind. You get in contact with other cultures. This is very useful when you plan to live and work in an intercultural context.

These projects changed your life at professional and personal level. Did as well change your relationship with European Union?

It is true. When the projects finish you have more friends that when it start and they are from all Europe. In my case, I as well met my couple in my first project.

Now I consider European Union as a more close institution and I believe it gave me, and to a lot of youngsters in Europe, the opportunity to travel, learn, meet new people and stay in touch with them.

When the projects ends it is hard to say goodbye, but you know that in European Union people are closer. It is easier to travel and meet them again.

Carmen, what would you tell to young people that have douts about join an Erasmus Plus project?
Don’t think twice! It’s worth it.
You grow up so much, live such incredible moments. And come on, if you have the opportunity just catch it!

Interview by Miriana Squillaci

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