Erasmus Mundus is a wonderful opportunity to study, live and travel to different countries. You meet people from around the world. Europe is a cradle of history and therefore the possibilities are endless. Please, don’t misunderstand me. I am forever grateful for the opportunity of Erasmus Mundus and for the unique full-ride scholarship. However, I idealize the entire programme and experience. I thought it will be better than it really is. There are a few things which have really disappointed me. Nonetheless, important to note that I started my Erasmus Mundus in September 2021, when the pandemic was not over at all. Very likely, under normal circumstances, the programme would run much better. I don’t want to discourage you or shed a negative light, I just want to share my experience and perception.
Imagine the following situation: you have to write many essays at once. There was a time when we needed to write about 8 essays within 4-6 weeks. You finish them all, you write day and night, you do your best and you submit. and then? No feedback, you just receive grades. You write a polite email asking for feedback, on what could have been done better. No response. I personally don’t need perfect grades, they don’t say anything to me. But if I dedicate a few weeks to something, which receives some sort of valuation, I want to know why. What could be better next time? Was my argumentation poor? Where? No feedback means no opportunity to improve. This is a big minus to me.
Lack of Professional Connections
The reason people study Master’s programme is to be a real professional in the field. Even though we can become professionals, the labour market is tough and full of very highly skilled competition. The reason why people go to well-ranked universities is often for the network and opportunities based on good contacts. Despite the online form, I personally lack a connection with professionals. The university offers a database of open positions for students, but in my opinion, this was all a bit impersonal. I would be very happy for some gathering or meetup for soon-to-be graduates and previous students or (young) professionals.
During the programme, it was quite common that the schedule was changed without any previous notification. The cancelled class can occur anytime, but we have experienced these changes quite a lot. In my opinion, master’s students are often working and therefore, a change of schedule makes their university-work balance very difficult. Attendance was required and you could miss out on only a very limited number of classes. It can be quite stressful and it is not professional at all.
Especially one of the partner universities was heavily based on lengthy monologue led classes. No interactions, no discussion no opinion required. Only playing reading of texts and listening to long presentations without a possibility to argue. This was not the case for other institutions, but still, it is one of the things which definitely strokes me. The classes had just minimal interaction involved.
Curse and blessing at the same time. We stayed online almost during the entire programme, even in situations where we didn’t have to (according to government requirements) Being online has taught me a lot. It has taught me to stay organized, allowed me to have more time, and save money. Unfortunately, Erasmus Mundus is about the experience, about all the changes and contrasts. This is definitely not a fault of the programme, however, in one semester we were going to the university once a week when the pandemic was nearly over. I can blame any of the programmes for the online presence, but in some cases, it was a choice of the university, not a state regulation. The online attendance just made me sad.
In the end, each Erasmus Mundus Programme is different. Even the same programme is each year different, My programme was in the middle of the pandemic and therefore, the experience was different. On the other side, I have experienced Malta without tourists and Sweden without restrictions in the middle of pandemics and living in a Swedish city
I will be forever grateful for receiving the Erasmus Mundus scholarship, being part of the international community and receiving such a valuable triple-master diploma.
I made a Youtube video about it. Watch it here. And don’t forget to subscribe for more cool content. <3