June 29, 2022

Erasmus was born out of a disappointment: Sofia Corradi, from student to Mother Erasmus

1987: the European Union does not exist yet, the Berlin Wall is still standing and the single currency represents a distant mirage. Yet students from all over Europe are free to attend university in another country, enjoying the customs and traditions of a culture different from their own.

To fully understand the tenacity and farsightedness that led to the realization of the project, it is necessary to take a step back of almost twenty years, scrolling the timeline until 1958, when the young student from Rome, Sofia Corradi, sees denied by her university the recognition of qualifications obtained after a period of study at Columbia University in New York.

It is precisely from this big disappointment that we must start to tell the origin of the Erasmus Project, the intercultural program that has given millions of young people from all over Europe the opportunity to live an experience of growth in a country other than their own

Born in 1934, Sofia Corradi immediately learned what it means to be citizens of the world, thanks to two cosmopolitan parents who convey to her an unstoppable thirst for knowledge.

The real opportunity to become a citizen of the world occurred in 1957, when Sofia, enrolled in the 4th year of the Law Faculty of the La Sapienza University of Rome, had the opportunity to spend a year of study in the United States, winning the prestigious Fulbright Scholarship at the most important American universities.

In New York she attends a master’s degree in comparative university legislation at Columbia University, one of the most prestigious universities in the world, but above all she has the opportunity to make life experiences unthinkable for a girl of the 1950

At the end of the summer of 1958, Sofia returns home, with a different way to look at the world. But an injustice is about to occur.

“Why should we give you a degree if you spend your time travelling around the world? This was the reply of a zealous clerk of the University to her request to validate the exams done in America.

The life experience thus turns into one of the worst humiliations of her life.
But Sofia does not lose heart. With pride and determination she passes the 3 exams she misses in her degree and 8 months later she obtains the title of “Doctor of Law”.

However, she soon realizes that the experience of an academic year abroad was not in vain. She starts receiving job offers from companies and law firms, but chooses to stay in the university environment to fulfill a precious mission: to ensure that everyone can have the opportunity to make a study trip abroad like the one she did. Years go by, but her dream is still alive.

In the seventies she becomes a professor of Educational Sciences, but while United Europe is still a distant concept, Sofia continues to imagine the free movement of European students. For years she has been gathering ideas to try to create a favorable culture in terms of student mobility to be spread among professors and principals, but she only comes up against an insurmountable wall of bureaucracy and prejudices that is difficult to break down.

She fights for eighteen years before winning her battle, but in 1987 her idea finally comes true. It it the birth of The Erasmus Program, an acronym for “European Action for the Mobility of University Students” which, by a fortunate coincidence, recalls the name of that illustrious Dutch philosopher who, between the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, traveled the route of the main European cities of the era, animated by a thirst for knowledge…Erasmus, in fact.

Since that distant 1987, more than 5 million students have traveled to European universities, contributing to the creation of a Europe of peoples.
Over the years, as an extraordinary tool for promoting European citizenship, Erasmus has brought young people closer to the concept of Europe, seen as an intercultural space of sharing and debate.

Since then, Sofia Corradi has been known by all as “Mother Erasmus”, a gentle nickname that honors her commitment to creating an intercultural model of study and life that is a stimulus and motivation for the curious citizens of the Europe of the future.

In 2014 the Erasmus Project was extended and refinanced as Erasmus Plus, the new transnational mobility program that expanded the boundaries of the predecessor project, also involving the working and entrepreneurial dimension of its participants.

The dedication with which “Mamma Erasmus” led her battle for years was rewarded in May 2016, when Sofia Corradi was awarded the prestigious “Carlo V” prize, an award assigned by the “European Academy of the Yuste Foundation” which includes among its winners Michail Gorbachev, Nobel Peace Prize winner, and Simone Veil, the first woman to hold the position of President of the European Parliament. A few months later, she receives from the President of the Republic the honor of Commander of Merit of the Republic.

“An anger and humiliation: this is the genesis of Erasmus. I promised myself that no other student would have to suffer an offense like the one I had suffered. ”
She has honored her promise.

Related Posts

Goethe, the ante-litteram Erasmus student with his “Journey to Italy”

February 10, 2020

February 10, 2020

“I consider  all men as my compatriots and embrace a Pole as I do a Frenchman, setting this national bond...

Erasmus+ KA2 “Skills Act 4 VET” project: the power of dissemination

March 7, 2022

March 7, 2022

At the same moment in which the transnational mobility activities, which were so lacking in pupils and teachers, have regained...

Erasmus+ 2022 call has just been published: 3.9 billion euros for mobility and cooperation

November 25, 2021

November 25, 2021

Today, the European Commission launched the calls for proposals under Erasmus+ call for 2022, following the adoption of the 2022 annual...

The Soft Skills Tree – Game Manual: the second output of the Playing 4 Soft Skills project is online

June 16, 2022

June 16, 2022

The second output of the “Playing 4 Soft Skills” project is online! This is the “Soft Skills Tree – Game...

Erasmus+ KA2: “Skills Act 4 VET” with wind in its sails

January 24, 2022

January 24, 2022

The “Skills Act 4 VET” project is gaining momentum for its last phase of development. With many goals successfully achieved...

Erasmus+ KA2 “Skills Act 4 VET” project: in Rome the last Transnational Meeting

March 1, 2022

March 1, 2022

The last Transnational Project Meeting of “Skills Act 4 VET” is taking place these days in Rome. Tribeka, our Spanish...

Erasmus+ KA2 “Playing 4 Soft Skills” project: gamification as a pedagogical approach

June 9, 2022

June 9, 2022

Why is non-formal education important? Everyday life and professional activity in the 21st century often require us flexibility, creativity and...

When there is Europe

May 9, 2022

May 9, 2022

When there is Europe, there is the free movement of people in all the countries that are part of it:...

ETN for the fifth time in a row is nominated for the ST Star Awards in London

February 21, 2020

February 21, 2020

We are very happy to announce that, for the fifth consecutive time, we will participate in the ST Star Awards...

The ABC of Erasmus +: what it is, how it works, how to participate

January 16, 2020

January 16, 2020

What is Erasmus+The European Union’s mobility program for Education, Training, Youth and Sport for the period 2014-2020 is called Erasmus+....

Erasmus+: 2021-2027: first call approved

April 2, 2021

April 2, 2021

After a long wait, the European Commission has finally approved the first 2021 call of the new Erasmus plus programme...

Why is it called Erasmus? Not only after Erasmus of Rotterdam

January 23, 2020

January 23, 2020

Now a word commonly used, Erasmus brings with it an infinite series of meanings that each student has the fascinating...

Erasmus+ KA2 IPAL project: news from last Transnational Meeting

April 7, 2022

April 7, 2022

The 4th Transnational Meeting of the Erasmus+ KA2 “IPAL – Improving Instructional Practices in Adult Learning and Supporting Adults Trainers’...

Erasmus+ KA2 IPAL project: promote and develop adult training and education

December 17, 2021

December 17, 2021

Briefly about IPAL The IPAL project is a joint initiative of 5 organizations from Spain, Bulgaria, Italy, Greece and Germany...

A wall that divides, a wall that unites: Erasmus+ in Berlin talking about history, values and Europe

May 17, 2022

May 17, 2022

With the end of the Second World War and with a weakened and destroyed Europe, there was a geopolitical reorganization...

Comments
Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Newsletter