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Erasmus-ESN Genealogy How ESN evolved... by: Simon leBon

Have you ever heard about The Erasmus Programme? Study at a foreign university, get to know a different culture, make new friends, learn another language? Yes, and probably many of you took part in the project. With this article I would like to have a look at the history of the development of this program from an ESNer’s point of view.

NAME Desiderius Erasmus Born October 28, 1466, Gouda (NL) WORK The Praise of Folly LEGACY Erasmus Programme Erasmus University Erasmus Bridge But let’s start from the beginning. The Erasmus Programme was born around 20 years ago but the idea that is at its base was born much more in advance, almost 5 centuries ago: Desiderius Erasmus of Rotterdam (1466, Rotterdam - 1536, Basel). Someone called him an humanist, someone else a Catholic priest and even a theologian but I prefer to think of him as an “International Student”, as one of us! Like young people usually are, he was a reformist and he fought against the doctrine of predestination with the doctrine of free will. During the renaissance the scholars probably did not have to cope with “Learning Agreement” or “Orientation Week”, but his life was spent learning around Europe (Paris, Leuven, Cambridge and so on) and the fact of having left his fortune to the University of Basel, made him become the pioneer of the mobility grants which now bear his name. The Erasmus Programme (European Region Action Scheme for the Mobility of University Students) has been established in 1987 by the European Commission. In 2007 ESN celebrated the 20th anniversary of the programme going around ESN sections all over Europe with an “Erasmus Van” to promote Erasmus and international mobility. The Erasmus Programme, together with a number of other independent Programmes, was incorporated into the SOCRATES Programme established by the European Commission in 1994. The Socrates Programme ended on 31 December 1999 and was replaced with the Socrates II Programme on 24 January 2000, which in turn was replaced by the Lifelong Learning Programme 2007–2013 on 1 January 2007.


The objectives set up by the Commission for ERASMUS student mobility for studies are: • To enable students to benefit educationally, linguistically and culturally from the experience of learning in other Eu ropean countries: study and party in another language; • To promote co-operation between institutions and to en rich the educational environment of host institutions: you’ll learn a new language and you’ll teach your to others; • To contribute to the development of a pool of well-qual ified, open-minded and internationally experienced young people as future professionals: go abroad and you’ll come back richer!

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