I took part in Erasmus because I wanted to live in another country and learn more about the culture, really put into practice all that I had learnt in the classroom. Almost like a test to myself that I could fully immerse myself within a foreign environment.
The best thing I got out of the experience was the opportunity to fully appreciate all that I had learnt, and see how I could easily use my language skills to establish a whole new life in another country whilst also learning about a new job and society even though it was not my first language. It was also great to know that you can communicate with people in their own language and build up that respect people have for you if you can fully submerge yourself in their culture and society.
My biggest fear was probably that I was under-prepared and did not have the relevant language skills. This boils down to confidence, which once you are out their rockets as you find yourself in entirely different situations that put you out of your comfort zone. This quickly leads to you changing and becoming more malleable to different situations. By experiencing things you are not used to more often you learn how to cope with them, it also strengthens your language skills tenfold.
I speak French and I had a good level of Spanish before I left the UK however, on returning, my Spanish had noticeably improved. I think it is important that schemes like this appeal to all, by more minority students taking part, levels of integration and cultural awareness are increased. Spain is still somewhat insular after 40 years of having a dictator in power. It is important that they understand that no matter what your background, minorities are the same and have the same intentions and ideas - hence, as long as you do not let it bother you, any race-related issue can be overcome. The initial ignorance is often mistaken for animosity, however, the younger generation is much more worldly aware and I only had a few issues with older members of society.