Cross-border mobility and European identity: The effectiveness of intergroup contact during the ERASMUS year abroad
Cross-border people mobility has long been seen as a promising method to promote European integration. In this article, I test the premise that the ERASMUS student experience abroad and direct interpersonal contact promote a European identity. The results draw from a two-wave longitudinal survey on two samples of ERASMUS students who studied in continental Europe and England, respectively. Although studying abroad led to increased socializing with other Europeans, contact with host country students remained limited. The paired sample t-tests reveal that ERASMUS does not strengthen studentsâ€™ European identity; on the contrary, it can have an adverse effect on it. Nevertheless, the regression analyses show that increased socializing with Europeans has a positive, though modest, impact on European identity.
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