Studying abroad at prestigious European universities, learning new languages, getting to know new cultures and traditions are part of the benefits of student exchanges within the Erasmus+ Programme. This was made plain at the promotion of the Erasmus+ Programme, organized by the EU Info Centre in BiH in cooperation with the University of Banja Luka, which took place in Banja Luka on 4 July 2019.
New opportunities of this programme were presented to the academic staff and students, who also had the opportunity to hear about the experiences of former students and participants in the Erasmus+ Programme.
The University of Banja Luka, the second largest university in BiH, has a large number of partner universities, and the number of students interested in exchange and going to one of the European universities is growing year after year. The Office for International and Inter-University Cooperation of the University of Banja Luka is the first contact point for all student issues and concerns.
„In the past three years, between 2014 and 2017, we conducted different researches with students and asked them what they believed were the obstacles concerning the student exchange. They explained that there were several, such as not speaking the foreign language, lack of information and fear that they would not succeed or that the results achieved abroad would not be recognized. Hence, the University of Banja Luka has been working a lot on solving these issues“, the Senior Officer for International and Inter-University Cooperation Jelena Rozic said.
Students from Bosnia and Herzegovina are more and more interested in the student exchange and this advances the mobility and makes it easier for them to gain knowledge and skills required at the labour market. Students and professors from Bosnia and Herzegovina are more and more using the numerous opportunities of the Erasmus+ Programme, one of the most successful EU programmes.
The director of the Erasmus+ Office in Bosnia and Herzegovina Suad Muhibic says that the main objectives of the programme are to assist higher education institutions in improving their capacities and modernizing and advancing the curriculums and managerial structures.
He claims that by participating in the programme students improve the international mobility, and that the increasing mobility of students from Bosnia and Herzegovina is one of the most significant components of the programme.
„You invest in your education. Participation in the Erasmus+ Programme is crucial for your future, you will meet new people and learn much and thus do yourself the biggest favour – Erasmus+ is your entrance ticket for Europe and the world,“ Muhibic emphasizes.
Studying abroad is nothing new, it is something the Erasmus+ alumni students are very proud of. The Erasmus+ experience has completely changed the perception of life and career and has taught them the patience and importance of leaving the comfort zone.
Inspired by the positive experiences of his friends and wishing to improve his biography with the international student exchange and new skills, Veselin Radosavac, a master's student at the Faculty of Economics of the University of Banja Luka, attended two Erasmus+ exchanges at the universities in Maribor and Crete.
„All my friends were at these exchanges and they have great experiences. They motivated me to do it as well, to broaden my horizons and meet new people and get to know new cultures. I have experienced everything they had talked about, and even more, and I am very grateful for this opportunity,“ Radosavac pointed out.
Reducing youth unemployment, promoting the development of new skills, encouraging young people to participate in European democracy, supporting innovation, cooperation and promoting youth mobility are the reasons why Erasmus+ constitutes a good opportunity for students and higher education institutions from Bosnia and Herzegovina. By doubling the budget of the Erasmus+ Programme for the period 2021-2027 to EUR 30 billion, the European Union strives to empower young people and strengthen European identity.