This time a year ago I was in full panic mode. I had broken down in the library at least once, spent all of my money at the LCR to drown my sorrows and committed myself to the final year mantra that I would never, ever be employed. A year on I am writing from a position of (almost) full-time employment.
I managed to do some timely networking and found myself moving to Brussels in September 2015 to work as a Policy and Communications Intern for a food, nutrition and health non-profit association. The internship is paid (yes, I know what you’re thinking but, they do actually exist) and my salary only covers my rent. This is where the Erasmus+ programme has made the last six months feasible.
I am not entirely sure what the ‘+’ stands for but I think it is deliberately intended to be vague and ambiguous. For me, the ‘+’ means food (mostly waffles, beer and chocolate as per my location), a social life (because entertaining visitors isn’t cheap) and transport (it’s much cheaper than London but still more expensive than walking).
It is also fair to say that the Erasmus+ programme changed my career path as I would not have been able to accept the internship in Brussels without knowing I would receive the Erasmus funding. In my current position, I found myself immersed in European politics and was convinced to successfully apply to the European Parliament Graduate Traineeship Scheme and I will be starting in London this year.
So whilst spending almost all of my wages on rent is a modern rite of passage for twenty-somethings, it has been great to graduate and yet, still have a university funded safety net for my (almost) graduate employment.
Read about Sam’s time at the University of Rhode Island on his previous Brilliant Abroad post.