Coming from a family of Jewish immigrants originating from Russia and Iraqi I feel I am a perfect example of diversity within the student population. I was totally at ease with the idea of discovering new cultures and fully open to different and diverse experiences. My mother's side of the family are all Sephardic Jews from Iraq and my father's side are Ashkenazi Jews from Russia. My grandfather lived in Burma and India before getting a boat to go to America. He stopped off in England, met my grandma in a music hall and never left.
I took part in Erasmus because it offered me the best opportunities for learning a language abroad and getting funding at the same time. I worked as a language assistant in a school which was a fantastic experience, it improved my language skills and also gave me an insight into a certain professional world that otherwise I would have known nothing about.
My biggest fear before going was standing in front of a class teaching, without any prior experience. Luckily I wasn't required to take any classes on my own, but instead be the teaching assistant to a senior teacher. This meant that I always had help and support and was able to gradually improve my own teaching skills over the year.
Coming from a minority group can often be hard, but it also opens your eyes to aspects of a culture which otherwise could have gone unnoticed. I think students with mixed backgrounds should recognise the potential they have in themselves, thanks to their roots, to embrace entirely new cultures and to really fit in, wherever they are. I don't feel alien to other cultures - I'm a mixture of cultures and countries myself so I feel entirely able to learn and understand a new environment without any fear of being an outsider.
I had a fantastic time in Madrid. I made friends that I will keep for life and will no doubt be visiting soon. I discovered what it is to be a teacher and how tough it is to teach a subject that is compulsory and may not appeal to everyone!
Don't be scared! Erasmus is all about new places, new people, new experiences and going with the flow. Embrace the unknown and whatever you do, enjoy yourself!