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"And if you can't go on Erasmus, then what?"

From my point of view, going on Erasmus should be compulsory for everyone. It is a really rewarding experience in all aspects of life. Well, maybe not on your finances, but that depends on the destination you choose haha.

However, we can't always go on Erasmus. Maybe because we aren't studying for a degree at university or because the destination we wanted wasn't accepted, or because circumstances have arisen in our personal life that have stopped us. Whatever the case what do you do if you find that you've missed out?

Well don't worry (too much) because you can do the following. Luckily, outside of the university and regardless of our level of education and age, we can live the international experience of leaving home and living in another country and getting to know its culture from within our everyday lives. Sounds perfect, doesn't it?

If the problem is that you haven't reached university age yet, you can choose to spend a school year abroad. There are many programmes with which you can do your studies in another country and stay within the warmth of a family or in the company of other students in a student dormitory. Both experiences have their pros and cons but you'll be satisfied with either. Also, this experience is a great springboard for your later stages. It won't just look great on your CV but you will also be able to demonstrate a real mastery of that language from an early age.

If the problem is that you don't go university, you can take a chance with the European Voluntary Service (EVS). This is the most straightforward option. Anyone between the age of 18 and 30 years old can volunteer in Europe in exchange for accommodation, transport and a language course. The aim is to promote culture, sport and youth and the duration of the programmes is between 14 days and 12 months.

If you have finished your degree but you couldn't go on Erasmus, you can still get involved with the Leonardo Da Vinci scholarships, which are internship programmes abroad for graduates within the EU. The deadline to apply for this scholarship is a year after you finished your studies, so hurry up if you notice you're running out of time.

And you, which option are you going to choose to get the best experience of your life?

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