At a first glance, Erasmus Mundus degree seems like an opportunity for the most diverse minds to jump from one university to another in the most exciting corners of the world for an intellectually stimulating educational experience. Is that how it works? How does it feel to be an EMJMD student? Are there any downsides or disadvantages?
After graduating from the Erasmus Mundus master programme, Italian Debora Lorusso affirms that it is, indeed, a life learning experience. The alumna says, “An Erasmus Mundus program opens up your mind unlike any other master, as you have to cope with people coming from all over the world while learning to sympathise with their cultures. It gives you a chance to confront your ideas and opinions with people who have completely different experiences and views, so you constantly challenge yourself and your habitual believes. Best of all, now I can say that I have family all over the world.”
Sjúrður Djurhuus, who originally comes from the Faroe Islands, points out that besides the necessary academic knowledge, Erasmus Mundus alumni become equipped with a lot of transferable skills that future employers would value, including the soft skills and ability to adopt to the new environments really quickly. “The mobility within the EMJMD grants students the opportunity to improve their language skills, which are a vital asset when looking for employment,” adds Oxfordian Olivia Doyle.
It is equally important to note that such unique design of the study programme has its complexities and obstacles. “The problem with a programme that relies on more than one institution and operates in more than one higher education system is that quality standardisation and coordination is much more important than usual. Yet, because the programme is perceived to be different to 'normal' degree programmes, there often seems to be much less standardisation and quality control rather than more, ” comments Rosemary Anfield from Scotland.
Meanwhile, Danish Nikolaj L. Hansen observes that Erasmus Mundus is predominantly designed for those who wish to study the complex political, cultural, linguistic landscape of a globalised world in an international environment. “But one should not choose the programme if he / she wishes to become specialised in a field and develop very high skills in that area,” concludes the alumnus.
Since each student begins the EMJMD with different expectations, attends different courses in different universities and encounters different people, it is only natural to expect that each of them will have a very different experience. While any attempt to generalise or summarise would do an injustice to the programme, we are curious to hear your personal opinion!