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Student mobility within Europe and the different meanings of "Europe"

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Abstract: One of the main objectives of the Erasmus programme is to promote European identity. Although some empirical studies have investigated this relationship, few studies have investigated the actual meaning of students reference to "Europe ". Therefore, in this paper, I study the different potential dimensions of the European concept and which of them are particularly relevant to the exchange period abroad. These analyses are based on an online survey of higher education students in Austria, Belgium, Italy, Poland and Sweden in 2011 (n = 4278). The proposed model reveals four potential dimensions, namely "culture ", "politics ", "rights " and "experience ". In addition, the analysis shows that exchange students are largely self selectedgroup, being a priori more likely to identify with Europe and score higher on the four dimensions.

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