People draw their inspiration from all kinds of sources. While some find it through real-life stories and others find it through fiction. If you are thinking about applying for the Erasmus programme, or if you are simply patiently awaiting for your exchange to begin, here are 10 movies to pump you up for the experience!
INTO THE WILD
“Into the Wild” is a true story about a college graduate who abandons all of his worldly possessions and hitchhikes to Alaska to live in the wilderness. Along the way, he meets all kinds of people, each with their own stories, who shape his life in a different way. Erasmus is a lot like that―you leave the comfort of your home and are forced to pack your entire life into one suitcase. You meet new people and experience a lot of good and bad things that, in the end, make you who you are. You adapt to a new way of life that changes the very core of your being. Erasmus is one long journey and, once you come home, you feel like you really did reach the wilderness of Alaska. Your once safe and secure life is now an unfamiliar concept and no one seems to understand what you’re talking about. The key is not to stay in Alaska for too long. There’s no need for that because: Once Erasmus, always Erasmus!
You have probably heard of people promoting mobility and trying to persuade others to apply for the Erasmus programme, but if you never understood the true meaning of their words then this movie should explain it to you quite nicely. The movie centers around a young adult who travels to Thailand where he finds a map that is rumored to lead to a beach paradise. That’s exactly how applying for Erasmus feels like. You send your application in, and your life remains pretty much the same until you find out that you have been accepted. That’s when the excitement begins. You start searching for flights and accommodation, and by the time you arrive to your new city, you will probably have the city map ingrained in your brain from exploring it too much. You start getting intrigued by a new culture, cuisine and customs. Erasmus addiction starts even before you leave for the journey.
THE SISTERHOOD OF THE TRAVELING PANTS
Life often leads you and your friends in different directions. Going on Erasmus means leaving everything and everyone behind, and the fear of your friendships falling apart is perfectly normal. Until now, you have shared most of your experiences with your friends, and now you’re opening a new chapter of your life and their names are not mentioned in its pages. This movie should put your mind at ease. “The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants” is about four friends whom life takes in different directions, but they plan to stay connected by passing around a pair of jeans that fit each of their bodies perfectly. Spoiler: they succeed. Shipping one pair of jeans from one country to another sounds really pricey, but thankfully we live in a world of Facebook, Skype and WhatsApp where staying in touch is really not a problem. Soon you will realise that saying goodbye to friends you have made on Erasmus is just as hard as saying goodbye to the ones you left behind.
EAT PRAY LOVE
If you’re trying to pump yourself up for your Erasmus experience, then this movie has to be on your watch list. “Eat Pray Love” is about an unhappily married woman who takes a round-the-world journey to find herself. Erasmus is all about discovering new things about yourself. When in situations where you are the sole person to rely on, you discover that you possess a set of skills that you didn’t even know about. You come in contact with so many new things, so many new people, and they change your way of thinking. Acting. Living. They change you. That is going to stick with you forever.
THE ART OF TRAVEL
A movie about a young adult who, when his wedding plans fall apart, goes on his honeymoon alone and finds an adventure with a group of foreigners. Erasmus puts you in new situations and places among people you otherwise would never have met. It’s an adventure that includes learning, growing and becoming a more independent person, as well as having fun. You have to solve whatever problems you might stumble upon with people you barely know, and those people will most likely turn into lifelong friends you can always count on, no matter where they are.
THE GIRL ON THE BRIDGE
Students who decide to apply for Erasmus often feel like they are not meeting their full potential or that they are stuck in one place. They crave change and adventure, and this movie contains both―a young girl agrees to be a human target for a knife thrower. Now, I’m not saying you should let someone throw knives at you (unless you are into that kind of a thing), but what I am saying is that you should accept an offer to any life challenge, even if it is an unlikely one. Maybe especially then! Erasmus is everything but a likely experience.
MIDNIGHT IN PARIS
You know how travelling to a different city can sometimes feel like time travel? You take a journey to a city that is different from yours―some with a rich history, whilst others have futuristic elements. Well, Erasmus is like 5 months of time travelling! Owen Wilson knows what it is like because in “Midnight in Paris” he played a young man who time traveled to the 1920’s every day after midnight. After a while, your new city will become familiar to you, but every now and then you take a turn into a street you have never been where another adventure awaits you.
NIGHT TRAIN TO LISBON
If you feel like you’re stuck in a rut, then watch this movie about a professor who abandons his lectures, and everyday life, to go on a thrilling adventure. After watching this movie, the only thing left for you to do is to go to your university’s website and find out when you will be able to apply for this trip to freedom and beauty!
“The Tourist” is kind of a love story―an American tourist comes to Italy to mend a broken heart. It’s no secret that Erasmus is a great opportunity for a new love story, but it is also an amazing opportunity to mend your heart in many different ways. Even if you don’t think your heart needs mending, you are reborn during Erasmus.
A movie about a French student who moves into an apartment in Barcelona with six other people from all over Europe. Now, what’s more Erasmus than that? You leave your home with so many promises―we will talk every day, I will take care of myself, I will eat enough, I have enough warm clothes, etc. Once you settle into your new life, you start to slowly let those promises go. Not because you don’t care, but because you make new promises to yourself. I will travel, I will learn a new language, I will meet new people, I will try the local food, etc. The promises you make to yourself become your priorities because you’re aware of how little time you actually have. Everything starts happening faster―you learn faster, you move faster, you fall in love faster.
When you think about it, Erasmus is like a reward you give to yourself: a reward in the form of freedom.