26 years after the launch of Erasmus, the programme has reached its goal of offering 3 million students the chance to study abroad or to take up a traineeship with a foreign company.

To mark the milestone, the Erasmus Student Network (ESN) invited students from the 2012-2013 intake to apply to represent the 3 millionth Erasmus student. 1 800 students applied and, from among them, ESN and the European Commission selected one per country, choosing those whose stories highlighted the breadth of possibilities offered by the programme and its impact.

Erasmus provides a wealth of new experiences for young people. For some, it is a passport to a first-ever trip abroad. Erasmus is about learning how to live in a multicultural environment, dealing with unfamiliar problems and coping with pressure. It introduces students to new teaching methods and topics, widening their horizons about how and what to study, and what career path to pursue. The international experience and skills they gain improves their self-confidence and job prospects. Erasmus is also about making friendships and feeling part of an international 'family' – something which unites all of the students featured in this special supplement.

Among the achievements of the 3 millionth students are:

  • A student-based design consultancy set up after developing a product with an entrepreneur;
  • A new website to help future Erasmus students settle into their new host city and institution;
  • Social and environmental activities under the ESNSocial banner. Examples include: visiting orphanages, cleaning cities and beaches, teaching at local schools, and promoting the programme with the 'Erasmus back to school campaign.

Here are the personal stories told by students from all across Europepdf(1.56 Mb)

English (en) about their unforgettable Erasmus experience.