Erasmus interview questions with sample answers

Here are some potential Erasmus student exchange interview questions for you:

Possible answers are meant to guide you. The answers may not be suitable for different institutions. For instance, make sure the institution you’re applying to would not mind colloquial language.

1. Do you think you will contribute to the class at the hosting university if you are accepted to the Erasmus programme? How?

Yes, I believe I can contribute positively to the class at the hosting university if I am selected for the Erasmus+ programme. As an exchange student, I will bring a unique perspective and diverse cultural background to the classroom, which can enhance the learning experience for both myself and my fellow classmates. Additionally, I will be motivated to learn and engage actively in class discussions, as I will be eager to take advantage of this opportunity to immerse myself in a new academic and cultural environment. I also plan to participate in extracurricular activities and clubs to meet new people and learn more about the local culture. Overall, I am excited about the prospect of contributing to the academic and social community at the hosting university.

A more informal answer with daily expressions and idioms

Absolutely, I think I can bring a lot to the table if I’m chosen for the Erasmus+ program. As an exchange student, I’ll be able to offer a fresh perspective and a diverse cultural background that can really spice things up in the classroom. Plus, I’m really eager to learn and get involved, so I’ll definitely be an active participant in class discussions and extracurricular activities. I’m excited to hit the ground running and make the most of this awesome opportunity!

2. Have you ever made any cultural mistakes? What mistakes do visitors to your country sometimes make?

Yes, I have made a few cultural mistakes in the past, especially when travelling to countries with different customs and traditions. For instance, I remember once I accidentally wore shoes inside a temple in Japan, which is considered disrespectful in their culture. I felt embarrassed and immediately took them off after realizing my mistake. It taught me the importance of being aware and respectful of local customs and traditions when travelling. As for mistakes visitors to my country sometimes make, one common one is not being familiar with our tipping culture. In some countries, tipping is expected for various services, while in others it is not. So, visitors to my country sometimes find themselves in situations where they are unsure whether or not to tip, how much to tip, or when not to tip at all. Another mistake I’ve seen visitors make is not understanding the appropriate way to greet people. In my culture, it’s common to greet someone with a handshake, hug or even a kiss on the cheek, depending on the level of familiarity, while in some other cultures, it might be seen as inappropriate or too informal.

A more informal answer with daily expressions and idioms

You bet, I’ve definitely made a few cultural faux pas in my travels, especially when I’ve found myself in countries with customs and traditions that differ from my own. One time in Japan, I accidentally committed a major cultural blunder by wearing my shoes inside a temple, which is a big no-no in their culture. It was a humbling experience, and it taught me the importance of being culturally aware and respectful. When it comes to mistakes visitors make in my country, one that I’ve seen happen time and time again is not understanding our tipping culture. It can be tricky to know when to tip, how much to tip, or even if tipping is appropriate at all. Another common mistake is not knowing how to greet people in the appropriate way. In my culture, we often greet people with a handshake, hug or kiss on the cheek, depending on how close we are with them. But visitors from other cultures might not be familiar with these customs, which can lead to some awkward moments.

3. Please describe the proudest moment of your life.

The proudest moment of my life was when I won a public speaking competition in high school. I had always struggled with public speaking and had a fear of speaking in front of a large audience. However, with the encouragement of my teacher and peers, I decided to challenge myself and participate in the competition. I worked tirelessly on my speech for weeks, rehearsing it in front of a mirror and in front of my friends and family. On the day of the competition, I was incredibly nervous but managed to deliver my speech confidently and eloquently. When the judges announced that I had won first place, I was overcome with a feeling of pride and accomplishment. It was an incredible feeling to have faced my fear and come out on top. Winning the public speaking competition taught me a valuable lesson about the importance of pushing myself outside of my comfort zone and taking on new challenges. It also gave me a newfound confidence in my ability to speak in front of others, which has been invaluable to me in my personal and professional life.

A more informal answer with daily expressions and idioms

You got it! The proudest moment of my life was when I clinched the top spot in a public speaking competition in high school. Let me tell you, public speaking was never my strong suit, and I used to get really anxious speaking in front of a large crowd. But with the encouragement of my teacher and peers, I decided to step out of my comfort zone and give it a go. I spent weeks perfecting my speech, practising it in front of a mirror and anyone who would listen. When the big day finally arrived, I was a bundle of nerves, but I delivered my speech with poise and confidence. And when the judges announced me as the winner, it was an absolutely euphoric feeling. I was so proud of myself for facing my fears and succeeding. Winning that competition taught me a valuable lesson about the importance of taking risks and challenging myself to do things that scare me. It also gave me a newfound confidence in my speaking abilities which has served me well in both my personal and professional life.

Suggested answers to be continued…

4. What actions should be taken to improve road safety?

5. According to you what is the greatest achievement of the decade? Explain why you think so.

6. Why do young people increasingly tend to live with their parents till later in life?

7. How do you think the Erasmus experience will contribute to your education / to your future life?

8. How do media influence the understanding of beauty?

9. What skills and qualifications do people need to get a good job?

10. How are the lives of youth today different from those of previous generations?

11. What building or buildings do you consider to be iconic? Why?

12. What makes you a good candidate for the exchange program?

13. Do you agree with this statement? ‘People are basically the same all over the world. It is not essential to be aware of other people’s cultures.’

14. Do you want to be an official resident in a foreign country? Why/Why not?

  1. In what ways have people’s attitudes to food changed over recent years?
  2. How do you feel about the quality of driving in your country?
  3. What are your greatest achievements?
  4. In ten years, where would you like to be living and what would you like to be doing?
  5. What do you hope to get out of being an exchange student?
  6. Do you think that the rapid rate of technological development has improved our lives? Why? Why not?
  7. What aspects of other cultures do you admire? Why?
  8. What experience in your life has influenced you the most or changed the way you think? Why?
  9. What do you rate as your greatest personal strengths and weaknesses?
  10. Soon, medical advances will allow people to live to a very old age. Is this desirable? Why / Why not?
  11. In what ways, do you want to benefit from the Erasmus program?
  12. As an exchange student, you’d be an ambassador for your home country. How could you be a good ambassador for your home country?
  13. What are the typical features of your own national culture? What do you imagine people from other cultures would say about it?
  14. How do you use the internet to make new contacts in your field of studies or work?
  15. How are people’s spending habits influenced by the media?
  16. Exchange students usually encounter a range of situations which test their stamina. What are the challenges you might encounter during your stay?
  17. ‘Women have the primary responsibility for bringing up children.’ To what extent do you agree with this statement?
  18. Do you think that it is essential to get a degree in today´s society?
  19. Should new drugs be tested on both animals and humans before being prescribed by doctors?
  20. How do you keep up to date with trends and business issues?
  21. Would you prefer to stay with a host family? What kind of problems might you encounter if you stay with a host family? How would you solve them?
  22. What does experiencing life to the fullest mean to you?
  23. Why are you interested in doing an exchange in your chosen country?
  24. Do you agree with the following quote? ‘A fish only discovers its need for water when it is no longer in it. Our own culture is like water to a fish. It sustains us. We live and breathe through it.’
  25. How do peer pressure and bullying appear in our society? What can be done to prevent them?
  26. What do you hope for your country in terms of health and society? Please tell me about your expectations for the next fifty years.
  27. Please describe the most important historical event in your country.
  28. Would you have any problems with being placed in a small, isolated town in your host country, in a rural or remote area?
  29. What do you think makes an effective team? What sort of people do you need in an effective team?
  30. How is the increased use of mobile technology and social networks changing the way people think and behave?
  31. What kind of cultural differences do you think you will experience when you go abroad?
  32. What part of your routine do you consider to be a complete waste of time?
  33. What do you think the hardest adjustment that you will have to make is when you go abroad?
  34. What is the key to a person´s happiness?
  35. How do you evaluate a website’s reliability?
  36. What problems could arise when people from different countries have to work together in a global team?

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