Does ERASMUS Student Mobility promote a EuropeanIdentity?
The potential of European student mobility to promote a European identity and,consequently, European integration has long been stressed by transactionalistssuch as Karl Deutsch but was never tested empirically. The EU-funded exchangeprogramme ERASMUS moves more than 150,000 university students annually,and it is still widely assumed it plays a pivotal role in the promotion of a Europeanidentity. Based on the results of a longitudinal survey among ERASMUS and nonmobilestudents I show that reality meets only partly these expectations. WhilstERASMUS enables students to improve their foreign language skills and learnmore about other European countries, it does not foster a European self-identity ora sense of European pride. However, the ERASMUS experience does help Britishstudents to feel more attached to Europe and to acknowledge they have things incommon with continental Europeans.
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