France

EU's Erasmus student exchange spawns one million babies

Getty/Camille Tokerud

The EU student exchange programme Erasmus has led to the birth of one million babies, according to a study published Monday. Nearly a quarter of former Erasmus students met their current partner while studying abroad.

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The student exchange scheme has brought so many couples together that one million babies have been born to couples who met through it.

Since Erasmus was founded in 1987, 33 per cent of participating students have found a partner of a different nationality -  three time more than students who had not travelled - and 27 per cent are still with someone they met while studying abroad.

Three million students and 35,000 teachers have taken part in the European programme.

But Erasmus is not only spawning dual-nationalities babies, it also creates jobs.

"We can see from this impact study that young people who have been part of the Erasmus programme are less likely to experience long-term unemployment," said European Commission spokesperson Pia Ahrenkilde Hansen.

While one in five young people in Europe are unemployed, 64 per cent of surveyed employers reckon that an international experience is a serious asset for a job candidate.

Erasmus also has its famous names, such as the EU's new diplomatic chief, Italian Federica Mogherini, who did a thesis on Islam and politics while on an Erasmus exchange in Aix-en-Provence, southern France.

Erasmus involves the 28 European Union member countries along with Iceland, Switzerland, Norway, Liechtenstein and Turkey.

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