The link between ERASMUS+ programmes and Colombia has been created through the ESAA project “Erasmus+ and ESAA meet Colombia” and it looks like it will become stronger every day. This is the most important outcome of the project, developed and implemented by Carlo Bitetto (member of garagErasmus4Milano and Lombardia) from October 2019 to May 2020. The recent opening of a local chapter in the city of Medellin, made possible thanks to the commitment of Mr Giovanni Toro Yepes, engineer and passionate about European culture, and his enthusiastic team, clarifies how successful the ESAA project has been. Through the participation of Aula Italia, organized by the Italian Chamber of Commerce in Bogotà, Carlo Bitetto and Simone Papa (both garagErasmus members) had the chance to meet more than 300 high school and university students, many of which coming from the Da Vinci and Volta high schools. During various sessions, the organisers had the opportunity to explain how Colombian students and their universities can participate in Erasmus+ programmes and in ESAA activities, how students from Latin America can move, and which steps they have to accomplish to study a semester or even a whole career at a European university. Furthermore, Carlo Bitetto and Simone Papa met several officers of local universities, among which professionals from EAFIT University in Medellin, TADEO and National University from Bogotà, to start discussing possible joint activities for the future.
Simone and Carlo had the impression that there was and still is a giant gap to be filled regarding the relations between the educational system of Colombia and Europe and this project made a small step towards the creation of new possibilities.
In other words, the knowledge of ESAA and ERASMUS+ has been brought to Colombia and new possible cooperation and partnerships can be achieved soon. But there is much more. Thanks to the above-mentioned opening of a local chapter of garagErasmus in Medellin, a stable link between ERASMUS+/ESAA and Latin America has now been created and will surely create new enthusiastic opportunities for many people. The organisers will use the next months despite limited physical activities due to the COVID-19 crisis and support the new local association in Medellin to plan the strategy for the future.