In 2020, I participated in my semester-long Erasmus+ mobility in Universidade Lusófona in Lisbon, Portugal. There, I had the chance to experience a different approach to the programme.
I was enrolled in at TLU, Human-Computer Interaction. In Lisbon, I took courses from the Design program, which allowed me to engage in other creative activities. During one of the classes, we baked vegan cakes and were challenged to examine the baking process from a critical and scientific point of view. It sounds more like fun than studies, but that was still very useful for my degree - and for my cooking skills. Even “simple” activities can help us understand and collaborate with people with different views of technology, design, and the world.
My Erasmus+ happened during the COVID-19 times. During these adverse times, much of the social activity (that we expect) of the mobility could not happen. However, I was granted a different opportunity: to see a Lisbon almost empty and explore a different version of a beautiful city, still filled with sights, smells, and tastes.
Such an experience actually says a lot about what going on at an Erasmus+ programme was for me: making the usual unusual. Shifting the perspective for some time, turning the problems into opportunities. Changing the landscape, the people, and the environment around me. Then, return to the same (old) topics and routines but see them through different lenses.