Alberto Barbero Aguirre
Alberto Barbero Aguirre
Erasmus in Norway
Why did you decide to go on an Erasmus?
Like any university student, one of the objectives during your student days is leaving your country and getting to know other cultures, moving around in other environments and using the opportunity to improve your English.
I was sure I wanted to live outside Spain for a year and have the Erasmus experience, so I went for it.
Which destination did you choose?
Initially I wanted to go anywhere that would let me study in English. My priority was to improve my level of English with Erasmus. I had several alternatives, but finally decided on Norway because it was a very different country and culture from Spain. Except for the climate, I did not regret my choice.
Were you familiar with the language of the destination country? Was it really difficult to learn?
Norwegian is a very difficult language especially for Latin-based languages. During my stay I took a basic initiation course in Norwegian and tried to learn on my own, although my current level is still very basic.
Everyone in Norway speaks perfect English so communicating with people is simple if you know English. In the year I lived in Trondheim, my level got much better, though initially scant. It took time to adapt to studying and speaking in a different language.
How did Erasmus enhance your educational experience?
Enormously. Going to a foreign country without a good level of English and carrying on my normal life there, passing my exams and getting on with people gave me enormous confidence in myself, which meant I could go for greater challenges.
What did you learn?
Apart from English and specializing in renewable energies (highly used in Norway despite being a country with major petroleum reserves), my Erasmus experience mainly taught me to get on in a multicultural environment and realize I was capable of coping with everything alone and doing it well.
Do you think students who study in other countries find it easier to get a job afterwards?
Of course, experiencing a foreign country teaches you another language, something that is basic in today's world when searching for a job. It also forces you to enter an unknown territory, which greatly enhances your personal qualities: proactivity, self-confidence, social skills etc. These are all traits that companies look for, so doing an Erasmus is totally recommended for all students.
How did you find out about the Recruiting Erasmus program?
From people at school who had been on Erasmus. When I returned from my experience in Norway, I had less than a year to finish my degree so I decided to start looking for internships in companies. Other colleagues told me about the Recruiting Erasmus program for people who had been abroad and it seemed really interesting to me. From then on, I used it as one of my job-seeking options.
In your case, did it help you find work?
I found work using a different portal, but Recruiting Erasmus was really useful to get to know companies which were looking for profiles like mine. Reading stories of people who had participated in Erasmus like me and who had gone far in such important companies like the ones in Recruiting Erasmus is totally motivating, driving your personal growth and achieving great goals.