Erasmus & EU Referendum

As most of you should know by now (if not, have you been living in a bubble?) on 23rd June (this week!) the EU Referendum takes place in the UK. For my non-British friends, UK citizens are voting to leave (Brexit) or stay in (Bremain) the European Union. Whatever the outcome there will be big repercussions as it is pretty much split equally between those who want to stay and those who want to leave, so there will be many thousands of people upset by the outcome either way. I’m not going to discuss the politics/economics of the Referendum because, frankly, I don’t understand half of it, and there are so many politicians scaremongering voters that it isn’t worth it. I am, however, going to explain how it will affect my future as a language student.

As a language student from the UK I have had the most incredible opportunity to do a year abroad this year, and one of the advantages of being a member of the European Union is that I was free to go to any country within the EU without having to get a visa. Also, I have been entitled to an Erasmus grant which has allowed me to live comfortably during my time in Spain and Portugal without having to work alongside my internship (Spain) and studies (Portugal). I know many students that, like me, wouldn’t have been able to complete their (obligatory) year abroad if it hadn’t been for this grant. If the UK votes to leave the European Union many students will lose this opportunity as they won’t be eligible for the Erasmus+ program because it is only available for members of the EU. This would mean that students wanting to study abroad would most likely have to pay higher fees whereas currently, they are covered in the tuition fees paid to the home university. Therefore, UK students would have to get visas to study or work in the EU and they wouldn’t have access to the Erasmus grant which means they would need to already have lots of money to pay for food/accommodation etc. which isn’t always possible for students, particularly those from working class backgrounds like myself.

I think it’s very clear that my vote will be going towards the UK REMAINING a member of the European Union as the younger generation will definitely suffer from a lack of opportunities in an increasingly globalised world if we aren’t members of the EU. I beg any of you who haven’t already decided to think about the opportunities offered to us by the EU – we can travel/live/work/study freely in any EU member states. The chances are that if the UK leaves the EU, I will end up living outside the UK because being a language student, I need the choice to be able to live and move around the EU to use my languages.

Thank you for reading yet another EU Referendum post and remember, please vote on 23rd JUNE!

Hannah

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