Matthieu Saglio – 40 – France
Erasmus+ Higher Education – Spain, 2000-01
‘The Erasmus+ programme is a cornerstone of the construction of the EU. Every time someone goes on an Erasmus to discover another culture, integrate into another culture, learn a language – they form new relationships with the people around them directly, and also indirectly.’
Matthieu found love thanks to Erasmus. He met his wife when she went on a year abroad to his university in Nancy, and the next year he followed her back to Spain as part of the Erasmus exchange programme that existed between their universities. Now they are raising their 3 Franco-Spanish boys together.
‘Erasmus+ changed my life. You could say that I became Spanish in a way. I really feel that Spain adopted me.’ In Valencia, Matthieu immersed himself in the Spanish culture, learnt to cook paellas and discovered flamenco. Erasmus+ also changed his professional choice. Without this experience, meeting the musicians in Valencia, he would never have made the decision to begin an international career as a cello player.
For him Erasmus+ leads to more openness and tolerance towards other cultures. He believes people discover intercultural exchanges ‘with passion, and at the same time with a certain distance as you come from somewhere else’. Matthieu tries to integrate this into his work and believes ‘this openness is something which is passed on through our concerts.’