Working in the International Advisory Services of Frankfurt School, I am part of a very multicultural team. Dealing with colleagues and students from all over the world is what makes me smile every day.
When I learnt about Erasmus +, this smile grew even bigger. I realized that 10 years after my Erasmus experience as a student, I now had the chance for another European adventure as an employee. Erasmus + is a programme that allows employees to study or work abroad for a short period of time. It is supported by the EU, and is a true win-win situation for my employer and me. In my case, I applied for a training (called Staff Week) in Academic Marketing in Timisoara, Romania and was luckily accepted.
An inspiring experience
And: I didn’t get disappointed. Our group was composed of 10 women from different universities in Europe: Madrid, London, Edinburg, Rotterdam, Gdańsk, Cottbus, Flensburg, Stockholm and… Frankfurt! By chance, another colleague from the Frankfurt School attended this training, giving us the opportunity to exchange ideas on each other’s’ department. As we are all working in the academic area and the course was designed in a very interactive way, we were able to learn a lot from each other’s experience in the marketing area. We could share our challenges and successes in our daily job, take a step back and rethink our practices thanks to the tools proposed during the training program. We also had very inspiring trainers full of energy, giving us many practical methods to apply in our universities. The dynamic of our group was excellent and for sure we will stay in touch to share how the things we learnt can best be utilized in our jobs.
When I talked to people about my training in Romania, most of the reactions were the same: “Romania? But why?” or “Oh be very careful there!”. Unfortunately, our image of this country is not the best, although a few actually visited it. However, it has much more to offer than we imagine. Located in the west of Romania, Timisoara is a very green and peaceful city. We could always walk from one place to another, and felt very safe there. It is not surprising that this city has been selected as the European Capital of Culture for 2021. The trainers, but also people in the streets, restaurants or shops welcomed us in a nice way and were always eager and ready to help. Most of them spoke English very well. Every evening, we discovered the city a bit more. There are plenty of nice cafes and bars. Our favorite one was the Museum of the Communist Consumer, which is more of an alternative bar than a museum. It offers delicious local beers and wines in a retro atmosphere full of propaganda posters, old objects and scary dolls from the communist period. During our last evening, we also had the chance to have a traditional dinner with our trainers.
For me, this week was truly inspiring and a creativity booster. Erasmus + is open to all employees, (not only old ones ;-)) so don’t hesitate… just go for it!