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Fostering future Europeans : how the Erasmus exchange is shaping Europeanness and who is really benefiting from it


  • Gabriella Pezzella

Summary, in English

The Erasmus exchange is a recent phenomena that has seen a steady growth in participation, and it seems that it is just a matter of time before it will be a fundamental part of students’ life. The participation of young Europeans to such exchange gives them the possibility to experiment a new, more direct way of living Europe.
My thesis wants to analyse how study exchanges are shaping the perception of Europe in younger generations. In order to accomplish this, I pose two different research questions, strictly related to each other. I first ask in what way the Erasmus exchange is shaping Europeanness, and in order to explain it I take into account a few different researches that highlight different aspects of what ”being European” could be. I then shift to the second research questions, which focuses on who is benefiting of this enhancement in Europeanness and if there is any recurring pattern related to the socio-economic background of the participants. In this perspective, I analyse the problem by performing a survey on a group belonging to a specific socio-economic background: students from the University of Naples ”L’Orientale” who have never been on Erasmus.
By posing two different questions, I want to analyse the problem from a broader perspective, wanting to see how Europeanness has been influenced by such phenomena and who are the active actors of it. The first question is answered by previous researches, confirming that study exchanges have contributed in creating more awareness about Europe in younger generations and a stronger sense of belonging to a bigger structure of multiple countries. The second question, answered by my own research, confirms how the participation is often relegated to students who come from wealthier backgrounds, as low funds make it harder for less wealthy students to take part to study exchanges.







Examensarbete för masterexamen (Två år)


  • Cultural Sciences
  • Social Sciences


  • survey
  • mobility
  • exchange
  • Erasmus
  • European studies
  • identity
  • Europeanness
  • Europe
  • culture
  • students


  • Eleonora Narvselius