UNIT 3. 3C, page 24
The European Union set up the Erasmus Programme in 1987.
Presenter And now we’re going to talk to Benjamin Davies about his experience of the Erasmus Programme. Benjamin, what are you studying?
Benjamin I’m studying Politics and Modern History at Manchester University.
Presenter OK. And where did Erasmus take you?
Benjamin I went to the Netherlands to study at the University of Amsterdam. I was there for six months during the second year of my degree.
Presenter Right, I see. How was studying in the Netherlands different from studying in the UK?
Benjamin Well, most of my classmates were either Dutch or American, and those nationalities tend to be much more vocal than we Brits! They aren’t afraid to speak up in class and say what they think. I participated a lot more in my seminars in Amsterdam than I do here in Manchester.
Presenter Did you notice any other differences?
Benjamin Yes. In Amsterdam students are sent a weekly email telling them about all the conferences that are available, and most of them are free. I attended a lot of these conferences, something I don’t do in Manchester because I don’t know anything about them.
Presenter Right. So what else did you do outside university?
Benjamin Um, I volunteered with BLINN – it’s a Dutch non-government organisation which tries to help the victims of human trafficking. BLINN offers legal and financial help to people mainly from Africa and Eastern Europe. I worked in the office a bit.
Presenter How interesting! What about your social life? Was it easy to make friends?
Benjamin Yes, I met lots of really nice people. I made friends at university and also at work – I got a job in a call centre to help pay my living expenses.
Presenter Well, thank you for talking to us, Benjamin. And now we’re going to talk to Sue who’s been to Germany, I believe…