Going on an Erasmus exchange in your 80's
Who said the Erasmus program is only for young people? Today we tell you two parallel stories that we hope will be an inspiration for many of you.
Miguel Castillo is a student at the university of Valencia, and he's 80 years old. Gloria Coco, student at the university of Rome, is 79. What they have in common is that they both went for an Erasmus last year, Miguel in Verona (Italy) and Gloria in Tarragona (Spain). They both share the enthusiasm and fear they had before leaving for this new adventure.
Miguel is not new to this kind of experiences: he left his native city, Valencia, to go study Law in Barcelona when he was young, and 40 years ago he also visited Verona to attend a concert of Maria Callas. Now he's 80, and he and his wife are going back to the city of Romeo and Juliet for a new stay. "I already have plenty of visits planned" he says, amused "especially from my daughters and granddaughters, but also from friends".
Even though they belong to very different generations, Miguel integrated very well with his classmates so far. They share notes and organize dinners and events. "My classmates call me 'grandpa' with affection" says Miguel.
Similarly, Gloria talks about her Erasmus experience in Tarragona with affection. Her classmates welcomed her very well, and they always invited her to go out, partying or having dinners, and Gloria really enjoyed her stay. "You don't need to think about the age" she says "I have a very young spirit"
An Erasmus is a unique moment for every student, no matter their age. It's a time made of learning, changes and personal growth. It's an opportunity to go out of our comfort zone, to know ourselves and the world around us better while we're immersed in a different culture. Miguel and Gloria leave us an example to follow to not be scared of doing new things only because we think we don't have the right age. These are two more stories that confirm that there is no age to do what you love if you have enthusiasm and desire to do it.