The Idea of Europeanness: Perceptions of Erasmus Students in Turkey and The Netherlands
The European Union Erasmus program enables student exchange between higher education institutions in partner countries. This article focuses on Erasmus students’ perspectives regarding Europeanness. Adopting qualitative methods including focus groups and in-depth interviews, the study was conducted in two universities with a comparative approach: Izmir (Turkey) in 2015 and Amsterdam (Netherlands) in 2016. The primary study provided a significant insight into how Erasmus students make sense of Europeanness in Turkey. Moving from this insight, the second study aimed to investigate further the notion of Europeanness in an EU member country. The study reveals that Erasmus students tend to express a strong European consciousness when they meet with the cultural other, whereas they prioritize nationalities in EU boarders. The article discusses that the idea of Europeanness still relies on its constitutive outside(s), whereas benefits of mobility stand out as a more powerful aspect when the other is not apparent within the Erasmus context.