Within the International Week, UNIZA hosted the ERASMUS+ Day on 16 March 2017 under the patronage of His Excellency Mr Christophe Léonzi, Ambassador of France to Slovakia. This year, the Erasmus+ Day marked the 30th anniversary of the Erasmus programme. The event, attended by more than 60 participants, highlighted the positive impact of Erasmus both at individual and society level and included discussions and first-hand experiences on the ERASMUS theme from various points of view.

The Erasmus programme is a huge success. ‘’As many as 100% of Erasmus students would recommend everyone to participate in this programme’’. However, ‘’only 6% of people aged between 25 and 34 years old benefit from this programme’’, reported François-Xavier Mortreuil, Attaché for University and Scientific Cooperation at the French Institute in Bratislava. He also emphasised the importance of EU achievements since the signature of the Treaty of Rome and the relevance of promoting student and labour mobility within Europe in times of crises and uncertainty. ‘’Europe and the world need people who build bridges between countries and cultures’’.

Dr. Giuseppe Lugano, ERAdiate team member and former Vice-President of ESN International, was invited to talk about the impact of Erasmus mobility on personal growth, professional career and employability. For him, ‘Erasmus is just the beginning of a long journey with suprising discoveries‘‘ and ‘most of [his] professional achievements would have never been possible without [his] Erasmus exchange’. According to the ESN Survey 2011 on ‘Exchange, employment and added-value‘‘, even who has not studied abroad believes that this experience represents an advantage on the job market.

The importance of internationalisation in the private sector was also addressed by Ing. Ján Krúpa from Scheidt & Bachmann Slovensko. The family business nowadays counts 3000 employees and has partners from nearly 50 countries worldwide.

ESN UNIZA, represented by Mirka Kollárová and Ján Kolarčík, is playing a major role in welcoming exchange students through various activities and projects. Two Erasmus students shared their positive experience with ESN support in making their arrival and stay comfortable.

Mgr. Dominika Kacejová, Programmes Coordinator for Žilina and Trenčín regions at the Slovak Academic Information Agency (SAIA), presented the various possibilities to study/work abroad thanks to different scholarships and provided students with some useful advice and questions to consider when planning to go abroad.

Attracting an increased number of foreign students and researchers is a high priority for UNIZA, but also encouraging Slovak students to study abroad through the Erasmus programme.

How does ERASMUS mobility impact personal growth, professional career and employability?

The presentation of ERAdiate team member Giuseppe Lugano.