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"Still keeping in touch with my friends from Barcelona every week"

Sjors Beukeboom, a Windesheim student of journalism, wrote a story about his experiences abroad and won second prize in an Erasmus+ story-telling contest.

Diving board 

It’s now been about nine months since Sjors (23) returned to the Netherlands. He studied in Barcelona for six months as an Erasmus+ student. He remembers his first day there well.  "It feels like you're on the high diving board poised to jump off at the deep end," says Sjors. "You are all alone there, with no connections and no idea what to expect. But since that’s is equally true for everyone, you get to know people right away and make some really good friends in no time at all."

Seven friends from five continents

Sjors ended up in a group of friends of the same age but from five different continents. Sjors: "We started cooking meals for each other from day one. That’s how we got to know each other and each other's cultures and ate exotic dishes from Chile, Turkey, Iran and Brazil." He built up a special bond with Mariela from Chile. "She’s a student of Public Relations and I study Journalism, so we have a lot in common. We both have a passion for video. Mariela is a famous YouTuber in Chile. I still keep in touch with her almost every day. But I also have good talks with the others in the group over Skype or WhatsApp nearly every week."

Story-telling contest

Sjors wrote an account of his experiences in Barcelona and took part in the Erasmus+ Student Mobility Award: a European Union subsidy programme offering students the opportunity to gain knowledge and experience abroad. With his story Sjors won second prize and a sum of 250 euros.

Read the Erasmus+ news item here 

Read Sjors’ story here