It makes perfect sense, although it’s not exactly what you might first expect, but as an Erasmus student abroad your friends are most likely to be anyone but natives. The native students have their own friendship groups and schedules and habits. The Erasmus students are building theirs from scratch. We group together. I have British friends who live with German and Spanish students; I go to classes with Romanians, who live with Latvians, who know Japanese and Chinese and South Koreans. Now we’re moving out of Euro-centric Erasmus and onto the world stage.
Whichever city you choose to spend your Year Abroad in — and last time I checked the choice includes Paris, Amsterdam, Heidelberg, Bologna, and so on — you’ll find yourself becoming cosmopolitan rather than insular. Do you expect to get a good tortilla when you go to Italy? No, but you should, because Spanish students make up the largest visible group of Erasmus students.
If you want to get the full native experience though, I’ve found that Italians are plenty willing to help as long as you put in the effort. Many British students do language exchanges and teach English to sons and daughters whose mothers can have no end to the supply of those with English as a mother tongue. If my first paragraph made it seem as the local students are cold, ignore it and pretend you started reading at the second. I’ve been lucky enough to make some good Italian friends here, and anyone can. All I mean to say is that as an Erasmus student you’re a foreign element being introduced to a stable environment. Think how the Erasmus students in Leicester must feel when they suddenly have to speak English and drink soluble coffee.
Whichever country you choose, you’ll learn about all the others soon enough.