Experience Reports with Erasmus+

Below, you can find testimonials of Information Systems students and their stays abroad at our European partner universities as well as reports from exchange students who spent a semester studying at the University of Münster. 

  • Nina (Italy)

    Where and when did you do your Erasmus semester?

    I spent a semester abroad at the University of Trento in Italy during my Master's programme. 

    Why did you decide to spend a semester abroad with Erasmus? 

    I chose to go abroad because I wanted to get to know other cultures. It’s exciting to be exposed to a completely new situation and to leave familiar surroundings. I was also interested in how other universities create their degree programmes.

    I decided to go to Italy in particular because my parents used to live there. I wanted to get to know the country and its culture better. The nice weather and pizza & pasta were of course also reasons that made me choose Italy as my destination. 

    Why did you go abroad during your Master's programme and not during your Bachelor's programme?

    Personally, I think it’s more relaxing to do an Erasmus semester during the Master's programme. The modules in the Master's programme allowed me to organise everything very flexibly and I, therefore, had the opportunity to complete my studies within the standard time frame of two years. 

    What was your first impression of the university and the lectures?

    I had the feeling that the lectures and seminars were much more relaxed. Lectures, for example, sometimes spontaneously started half an hour later. Overall, everything took place on a smaller scale, so that the teachers were able to work more closely with the students. As far as the content of my studies was concerned, the Italian university was more oriented towards business studies, whereas my studies at the University of Münster focused more on information systems. 

    In which language did you study?

    I had all my courses in English, but I could have also chosen courses that were taught in Italian. I had already studied in English in Germany so it wasn't really a big change for me, as I also got used to the Italian accent very quickly.

    Do you have any advice on how future Erasmus students could prepare for their stay?

    Before I went to Italy, I looked for a room online. I found a 7-person flat shared by five Italians and one other exchange student. Due to the distance, the casting took place via Skype. At first I was a bit suspicious, but it actually worked out really well. Life in the flat was great - thanks to my flatmates I also got in touch with a lot of people outside the "Erasmus bubble".

    How did you spend your free time during your Erasmus semester?

    During my time in Italy I had the chance to travel a lot. In general, the area around Trento is great for hiking. But going on city trips, for example to Venice and Verona, is also very easy, because both cities are located very closely. 

    What did you learn during your semester abroad? 

    I learned that there are many paths that can lead the accomplishment of a goal. I became more spontaneous concerning both towards my studies as well as my free time.

    What did you like best about your Erasmus experience?

    My personal highlights were the evenings with my flatmates. We often started cooking at 8 pm and then had a really nice dinner at around 10 pm. Afterwards we usually sat together and had a few drinks.

    If you could describe your Erasmus experience in a few words - what would they be?

    Incredible coffee, sunshine and adventure! 

  • Thomas (Lithuania)

    Where and when did you do your Erasmus semester?

    I went abroad in 2015, during my Bachelor's programme. I did my Erasmus semester at the Technical University in Kaunas, the second largest city in Lithuania. 

    Why did you decide to spend a semester abroad?

    I wanted to know what it’s like to study abroad and because I had only heard good things at the time, I wanted to take advantage of this unique opportunity. By chance I had heard about the "Wege ins Ausland" - fair of the International Office. So I went and talked to many people who had already done an Erasmus semester about their experiences. That definitely helped me make the decision to go abroad.

    Why Lithuania?

    I was able to indicate three country preferences in my application and mainly chose Nordic or Baltic countries. I also paid attention to whose universities’ courses I was most interested in. In Kaunas, I was lucky that many of the course credits I obtained could be transcribed to my information systems studies at the University of Münster. An additional plus was that I was already able to decide which courses I wanted to take during the application process. 

    What differences did you notice between studying abroad and in Münster?

    Kaunas, like Münster, has about 300,000 inhabitants and is a typical student town with a large university. Overall, I had the feeling that everyday university life in Lithuania was a bit more relaxed. I took most of the courses together with many other Erasmus students. We often worked together in groups, one of the reasons being that the courses were relatively small, usually only around 20 students. I studied at the Faculty of Economics and Business, which was quite modern. My courses were all held in English. The switch to having courses in English worked out really well and it took me very little time to get used to it.

    How did you spend your free time during your Erasmus semester?

    My activities outside of university varied quite a bit. I travelled a lot with other Erasmus students not only through Lithuania, but also to other countries. The local Erasmus associations were also very active in most cities. During the semester the ESN network, for example, offered many excursions for international students. But I also travelled a lot on my own, for example through the Baltic States or to Poland and the Czech Republic. And of course I also enjoyed the nightlife. ;)

    What did you learn during your semester abroad? 

    I learned that it’s best to get involved in new situations head on and to be open to what's coming next. I, for example, shared a room with another person I didn't know before. At the beginning I wasn't sure about that circumstance but we got along very well and in hindsight I shouldn’t have worried at all. 

    What did you like best about your Erasmus experience?

    What I liked most about it was that it brought people from different countries together. Through my stay abroad I made friends from all over Europe. Especially the fact that we all lived together in the same housing made us become a tight-knit group.


    Do you have any tips for students who are considering going abroad? 

    You don't have to worry too much about the language barrier. I always had the feeling that I was well-prepared and could react appropriately. My English also got better and better during my stay. You also don't have to be afraid of not making friends because everyone is in the same situation. 

    If you could describe your Erasmus experience in three words - what would they be?

    Unique, integrative, fun!

  • Katharina (Sweden)

    Where and when did you do your Erasmus semester?

    I did my semester abroad in Luleä, Sweden, a very small town located far north in the Arctic Circle during the winter semester of 2019/20. There were exactly two Erasmus spots available and my friend from university and I got them. I had known her since the beginning of my information systems studies and we were really happy to go to Sweden together.

    At first, I had only registered for one semester, which lasted until Christmas. Generally, Swedish universities divide the semesters into two quarters which meant that the third quarter ended in March. I then extended my stay for another quarter, so I returned to Münster just in time for the summer semester. I also spent Christmas at home, but flew back to Sweden for another two months in mid-January because I liked it so much. 

    Why did you decide to spend a semester abroad with Erasmus? What was your motivation? 

    I applied to undergo the usual application process and was not very motivated at first. I just wanted to apply and then decide whether I really wanted to do it or not. Then I got accepted and was sure I didn't want to turn it down. 

    My greatest motivation was to live somewhere else and to get to know another country. It was also important for me to improve my English and to use the language in everyday life. I had heard a lot of positive things about the Erasmus program prior to applying. Those are the main reasons I chose to do an Erasmus semester, and the funding of course also made the option of going abroad even more viable.

    What was your first impression of the university?

    Everything was super relaxed, because the university was located in a relatively small city. Everything was also really well organised, we could choose our dormitory in advance and were picked up from the airport and driven to the university. We also had a welcome week with many activities which was great to get to know other people. We all got to know each other very quickly within the Erasmus group, because we all lived very close to each other. So my first impression was really good. When I arrived, I immediately thought "Why did I ever think about not doing Erasmus?”. 

    Unfortunately, the weather was a bit bad in the beginning, especially compared to Germany. But I quickly learned how to deal with it. It always got dark in Sweden very early.
    But what was very nice was the long twilight. The sunsets lasted for about four hours. That was an amazing experience, also because it is totally different from what I had experienced in Germany. 

    What differences did you notice abroad compared to your usual university life in Münster?

    There was a lot of group work. In the marketing course, for example, we had a project with the local hockey club. The course was very practice-oriented, so you could apply your theoretical knowledge. Our objective was to figure out how to get students interested in hockey games. In contrast to Münster, the university was a campus university. The dormitories were also directly on site. The university was also super modern and technically well equipped.

    What was your teaching language and did you get used to it quickly?

    The language of instruction was English. The situation was totally relaxed as the Swedes speak English very well, so I had no problems following the courses. 

    Which course did you particularly like and why? 

    The marketing project course was the most interesting one to me, especially because it was very practice-oriented. In the lectures we learned the theoretical parts and afterwards we wrote reports about the project and our results. The "Swedish for Beginners" course at the beginning was also really interesting. The course teacher was super nice and told us a lot about Swedish culture.

    How did you spend your free time?

    On weekends we went on many trips to go skiing or even to other countries such as Norway. In general, we were outdoors a lot. The special thing about Luleä is that it is located directly by the sea so there are many islands located around it. The sea freezes completely in winter and is called "Ice World". On the weekends, many people go on the ice for a walk or for ice skating. 

    What was your greatest learning during your semester abroad? 

    I learned to take a more relaxed approach to new things and learned to organise myself better through all the group work I did. I also have the feeling that I have become more mature and open-minded. Overall, I think I have become more self-aware and know where I stand as I am more aware of what I want. 



    What did Erasmus mean to you before, what does it mean to you now?

    Before, Erasmus was more university related for me: getting to know a different university system and a different language. Now, in retrospect, it's the people I still keep in touch with. And the experiences I've gained from it and the memories I've shared. 

    What do you take away from your Erasmus experience?

    That I would like to do another Erasmus! I am an ambitious person, but I have also learnt through this semester that I should use my time at university to try out new things and gain experiences. I would like to travel more and my Erasmus has motivated me to try new things.

    What was your personal highlight experience? What did you like best about your Erasmus experience?

    What I liked best was that I got to meet so many new people from different cultures. It really broadened my horizon. What made my Erasmus special were the people, my personal development and the exciting adventures. 

  • Nils (Liechtenstein)

    What was your motivation to spend a semester abroad with Erasmus? 

    I wanted to foster my personal growth, meet new people and become a more open person. 

    How did you feel about the application process? 

    It was great, I had a good experience with it. I was able to submit several applications on an online platform and prioritise them according to the university and the country I favoured. Everything was arranged in a way that was easy to understand and there was always someone available to answer any potential questions.

    What was your first impression of the university and its events?

    For me personally, I gained many exciting impressions - especially in the beginning. I had never been abroad for such a long period of time before. To prepare, I took a preparatory English language course in Münster, but learning a language and ultimately speaking it are two different things. My first impression of the university was great, there was a welcome week and a programme was organised for the students to get to know each other. During the welcome week we were guided through the city in small groups and had the chance to get to know the country - overall, it was really well organised! 

    What differences did you notice between your stay abroad and your usual university life in Münster?

    I studied business administration in Liechtenstein, so the overall subject matter was different from Münster. Apart from that, the number of students in the courses was very small with no more than 20 students so the atmosphere was very relaxed. That's also a reason why I quickly made friends and got to know new people. 

    How did you get in contact with the local and fellow international students?

    We often started talking with locals through collaborating on group work in our courses. I made friends with fellow international students very quickly. I had a group of people with whom I hung out almost every single day. My friends from my Erasmus semester were from Slovakia, Belgium, Scotland, Spain and Russia - it was a group with many different personalities and backgrounds, which was very nice. 

    What did you learn during your semester abroad? 

    On a social level, I expanded my horizon so much, which really had a positive effect on me and my life. During the five months I met many new people and developed international friendships. We, for example, often cooked together and were able to get to know each other’s cultures better. Through my Erasmus semester and the contact to others I have become much more open and communicative. The social environment there was my highlight because we experienced so many wonderful things together. The intercultural exchange was generally a great experience for me.

    What do you take with you from your Erasmus experience?

    I would like to become even more open and learn more about other cultures. I think it is very important to be open to new things and to get to know new environments and people. 

    If you could describe Erasmus in three words - what would they be?

    International. Diverse. And exciting!

  • Mathias (Poland)

    Where and when did you do your Erasmus semester? 

    I did an Erasmus semester in Poznan from September 2019 to February 2020. Poznan is a city in Poland with over 500,000 inhabitants and is famous for its universities and its beautiful old town. 

    Why did you decide to spend a semester abroad?

    Unlike many of my classmates, I did not go abroad after graduating from high school, but started studying at university immediately. That's why it soon became clear to me that I wanted to take advantage of the opportunity to spend a semester abroad. I chose to spend an Erasmus semester in Poland because it was not too far from home, the financial support provided by the scholarship was good and I was really interested in getting to know more about Europe.


    How did the application process work?

    I gathered information about the courses I could take abroad that suited my information systems programme at the University of Münster and submitted my application to the International Relations Centre. In my opinion, it is not that important where the Erasmus semester takes place, because it thrives on the fact that students from different countries come together. Poland was my host country, but I had contact with students from many different countries which shows that you can have your international experience everywhere.

    What did you learn during your semester abroad? What do you take with you for the future?

    I made a lot of international friends, improved my English skills, became more independent and feel more confident in planning and organising. I think the Erasmus programme is important and useful, as it strengthens European solidarity and prevents thinking from an individual country’s point of view and instead fosters a way of thinking that considers the European point of view. In the future, I could imagine myself doing an internship or even a Master's degree abroad.