Where would a Frenchman, an Italian, an English, a Danish, a Belgian, a German and a Spanish be seen together? On Erasmus. No this is not the introduction of a silly joke, they are fine examples of characters found in the opening scenes of many famous screenplays. I would recommend you watch or re-watch these films to welcome the new year now that the most successful learning program of the European Union is finally saved.
A microcosm of Europe captured in an Erasmus flat in Barcelona is the main idea of the film "L´Auberge Espagnol", written and directed by Cédric Klapisch, which takes us to one of the most cosmopolitan cities that a group of students from all quarters of the continent could live. A production in which the nearly 3 million students, who participated in the programme, since its creation in the late eighties, will feel identified. Even more so, the 37,432 who have had their experience in one of the Spanish universities, the most popular Erasmus destination of the European Union.
The key objectives of Erasmus is to create a European higher education zone and promote innovation in Europe, but not just that, for many it’s a just a short diversion from their “usual” life, a period of transition to adulthood, to make decisions about the future, and this is what is takes place from one scene to another. The main characters reveal the details of what it is like to travel to a foreign country, experience another culture, a language, meet different people and learn new customs. Their new life is day to day.
University classes, friendship, fiesta, culture, sun, romance and gastronomy, Barcelona is their little world to discover just as Brussels is to the European Parliament Stagiaires. Of course, the ingredients change slightly at the Parliament: work, friendship, fiesta, cultural diversity, and all with a little less of sunshine, adding in some waffle more, but with the same feeling that the world is their oyster.
Klapisch refused to “END" this story so soon, part two exposes the uncertainties of this group of young Europeans. "Les poupées russes", 2005, a re-encounter years later, now in their thirties, a decade in which it is assumed that one has to make commitments, find a stable job, have a family, and the need to fulfil a vital project but disorientation prevails.
Parliament our institution, the classroom the different directorates, the badge, part of everyday clothing, the canteen, a meeting place, place lux, our working playground. Different locations chosen to shoot a film that has left many sequences to include before deciding the final.
And now, what do two Portuguese, an Austrian, several Italians, a Scottish, three British, one German, and several Spanish and French people do together? Decide a title for this marvelous story.