20160510_12_NP_Dia_de_Europa_y_charla_coloquioSofia Corradi, who was awarded the Carlos V European Award, participated in the meeting ‘Education, Culture and Dialogue for European Integration, organised by the European Academy of Yuste Foundation together with the University of Extremadura at the Faculty of Philosophy and Arts of the Cáceres university campus.

Professor Corradi encouraged students to “live the Erasmus experience” because “they will become better people” and she added that it is “a lifetime experience and not just in regard to study”. Corradi has insisted that the programme was not created to learn languages. The goal is “to become fully immersed in a different culture”, so that students live everyday situations surrounded by people their own age.

Esther Gutiérrez, Minister of Education and Employment of the Extremadura Regional Government, participated in the event and stressed the importance of the Erasmus programme, of which she said that in its nearly 30 years of existence, “it has revolutionised teaching throughout Europe, and it has been the embryo of change in higher education, which was born in the Bologna Declaration”.

In her speech, Esther Gutierrez affirmed that, thanks to the Erasmus programme “we are seeing the first generation of Europeans who travel the continent with books in hand, instead of a gun, or an empty suitcase”. In this regard, she stressed that during this time, the University of Extremadura has sent nearly 9,000 students to the rest of Europe and has received 5,500 youngsters. People who “in addition to working on different pedagogical approaches, have enriched their curriculum with this experience to increase their chances of success in the development of their professional activity”.

Rosa Balas, Director General of Foreign Action, also participated in the event. She recalled how the Erasmus scholarship changed the lives of those involved in the project. So he gave as an example her own personal experience as Erasmus scholar in 1997 in Italy. “From that moment on, my life was different” she said. Balas stated that, through this programme, we are able to transmit and learn the culture of other countries and ways of life of other people, and added that “cooperation and solidarity are based on the mutual respect of cultures and different thoughts”.

This act of recognition and commemoration was also attended by the political scientist Pablo Simón, project editor of ‘Politikon’, by Carlos García, a student at the University of Extremadura who has been an Erasmus student in Italy, by the director of the UEX Erasmus Programme, by Pablo Hurtado and by the Vice President for International Relations of the UEX.