I come from Cambridge, England, and I have come to Germany to do a work experience exchange. I am spending a week at Dierkes Partner for my work experience in order to learn about the area of law and what a job in this area entails.
When, on the 24th June 2016, an official Brexit was announced, I was shocked. Everyone my age had joked about Brexit, casually assuming that the ‘remain’ campaign would win and a new topic of discussion would arise. However, when the result was revealed, we were all forced to think deeply about the impact this decision would have on us in the future.
New questions began to circulate and hundreds of angered teenagers took to social media to display their outrage. A common theme amongst the British youth was the lack of representation of the demographic that would, in fact, be most affected by the decision. The results revealed that 70 % of young voters chose to vote remain, whereas 90 % of the older generation voted leave. It was said that if 16 – 18 year olds had been given the chance to vote, 75 % of them would have also voted against Brexit. I, as well as many others, feel that the decision to leave the EU is a decision that does not represent the younger generation.
One particular worry that I have about Brexit is that it could potentially limit my future prospects and opportunities. As someone who studies French and German and would, in the future, be interested in studying abroad, I know that Brexit makes this experience more difficult to arrange, due to the creation of additional barriers. Popular ‘study abroad’ programs such as the Erasmus scheme could suffer. Around 12,000 British students use this scheme; however the enforcement of Brexit could reduce numbers. Reduced funding for students might put off students from living abroad and having such a wonderful and immersive experience.
I have had the opportunity to make friends with many European students over the years, due to many students studying in Britain for a year. I have been able to learn a few colloquial Spanish phrases from them and to learn generally about their culture and opinions on matters that may differ from my own. Over 125,000 EU students are currently studying in the UK, which I fear may drop. The high number of European students is a great asset to Britain, with both parties gaining a huge amount. The reduction of such students in Britain, would I believe, be a very negative effect of Brexit.
We may have to wait another year to see the true impact of Brexit. I, as well as many others, will be waiting anxiously to see the impact of this decision.