8 films and documentary series that will make you want to go on Erasmus (or live it again)

Erasmus is a period of changes and adventures difficult to explain for those who have lived it. Today we want to bring you closer to those experiences by making a compilation of the films and documentary series that will make you want to go on Erasmus or relive it again and again.

Sometimes Erasmus tends to be defined as a time of partying and excess, especially by people who haven't experienced it, and a large part of the responsibility lies with typical university films. Aside from these stereotypical university student films (of which certain American sagas come to mind that we honestly think it's time to leave behind), there are other ways to experience a period of study abroad besides partying. It may be an important part of socialising, but it doesn't seem fair to us to stick only to the idea of alcohol and debauchery in this important period of a person's life. Erasmus is much more than that and, to understand it, nothing like a good film session. Get your popcorn ready to watch the best Erasmus films!

1. Júlia ist (2017)

This film, director Elena Martín's debut feature, is based on her own Erasmus experience and tells the journey of an architecture student from Barcelona in the city of Berlin. Júlia walks you through her experience and makes you feel everything that any student feels during her time abroad: fear and insecurities, loneliness, but also joy, love, friendship, and that contradictory feeling of belonging to the place where you are and, at the same time, longing for your country of origin. 'Júlia ist' is a faithful portrait, without idealising, of Erasmus and the fact that, although not everything is rosy, those months will leave their mark on your life forever.

2. L'auberge espagnole (2001)

A classic film for mobility and Erasmus students, this film tells the story of Xavier, a French economics student, during his studies in Barcelona. There he will find himself living in a flat with seven people from different countries, with whom he will exchange experiences, good and not so good moments as he discovers Barcelona. The film shows what it was like to go abroad to study in the early 2000s, when the technologies we use today to travel or communicate were not available, such as social media, Google Maps, and even the use of mobile phones was somewhat limited. Imagine how easy it all is now in comparison!

3. I am Erasmus (Yo soy Erasmus, 2020)

This documentary series tells the real-life stories of Erasmus students on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the Erasmus grants. We can learn first-hand about the experiences of students who found friendships or love during their stay abroad, and who enjoyed Erasmus+ grants for studies and work placements, as well as grants for people with functional diversity and the relatively recent grants for young entrepreneurs, which promote learning through mobility for people who want to create their own business or who have recently done so. You will find out many things you didn't know about Erasmus!

4. Granada Nights (2020)

Ben is a young British man who travels to Granada, Spain, to see his girlfriend and ends up heartbroken and completely lost in a foreign city. He soon finds himself immersed in the Erasmus life of the city after meeting a group of students from all over the world, and we accompany him on a journey of self-discovery through Granada's most emblematic places. The director, Abid Khan, has captured some of the experiences he lived in this city as a student in his debut film; and Granada nights is, in his words, "a hymn to life, to living in the moment". In short, a film that, despite moving between documentary and fiction, grabs you and makes you fall madly in love with Granada and Erasmus life.

5. The Secret Diary of an Exchange Student (2021)

In this case we could not avoid the typical teenage comedy that, although it does not talk about an Erasmus as such, it does tell us the story of two Brazilian friends who decide to go on exchange to the USA. A film that, despite not being a marvel in terms of script or the depth of the characters, can be entertaining for a weekend afternoon and will encourage you to go on exchange and explore new places.

6. My crazy Erasmus (Mi loco Erasmus, 2012)

This comedy introduces us to an artist, Didac, who is determined to make a documentary about Erasmus students and all that he believes this entails: alcohol, drugs, debauchery, etc. In this mixture of reality and fiction, strange but amusing situations arise, resulting in a comedy that is somewhat absurd but hyperactive and unbridled (it is recommended to watch it in a calm state). Of course, it may not be 100% focused on what it is like to be an Erasmus student, but with this film you won't remain indifferent!

7. Expedition Happiness (2017)

'Expedition Happiness' is not a documentary about students, but it will make you want to pack your bags and go on an adventure. It is a first-person story of a German couple and their dog's journey across the American continent aboard a refurbished school bus that has been turned into their own home on wheels. From the USA, passing through Canada and Mexico, they tell us about their day-to-day lives, how they feel at each stage of the journey and the difficulties they face. A must see for travellers and students who want to go on a road trip.

8. Eat, Pray, Love (2010)

We could not forget this classic of the travel film genre which, although once again doesn't tell us about a student, it does reflect the situations faced by a person living in a country that is not their own and how there is a change in the way of thinking after seeing other realities beyond one's own. This film, based on the novel of the same name by Elizabeth Gilbert, tells us about a woman who, not content with the life she leads, leaves everything behind to embark on a journey in search of herself. Her adventure will lead her to experience all kinds of situations and to travel from the USA to Italy, India and Indonesia.

And you, what films and series inspire you to travel and live a study abroad experience? Tell us what made you relive these films from your Erasmus!

Don't forget that from Erasmusu we help you to find your ideal student accommodation and we give you a hand so that nothing can ruin your Erasmus with Iris Global's student travel insurance. Don't wait any longer and secure your Erasmus!

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