Erasmus – Study Abroad

Erasmus is, without a doubt, the most famous of all European exchange programmes.

Launched in 1987, it provides any European student enrolled in a university or a superior school, the possibility to pursue a 3 to 12-month study term abroad. After that period, as students must validate their stay abroad, the credits gained by following the classes chosen during their exchange programme  are integrated in the learning programme of the student’s home university. The programme is available to students from 33 countries (European Union + Switzerland, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Croatia, Norway, Turkey).

The Erasmus Programme is a part of the Lifelong Learning Programme, it has been created and is managed by the European Union, but schools and universities are responsible for their students.

How can students get the erasmus scholarship?

Typically, at the beginning of the academic year, students must go to the International Relations Office of their university. Students that enroll in this programme will only study at universities or schools abroad their university or school signed a learning agreement with. Students must keep in mind some universities enroll 1 year before the exchange starting date and fulfill some requirements such as – language, limited number of students, specific period, only students in their 2nd or 3rd year of studies …

In the case the student’s university has a learning agreement with another one abroad, the student has to sign a Study Contract choosing all the classes he is going to take abroad.

All those requirements might seem scary but no worries, in 2009-2010 more than 213.000 students went to study abroad thanks to the Erasmus programme.

How much and how to get the Erasmus grant / scholarship?

“Money is the sinews of war.” Every student that goes abroad benefit from a grant! However the grant or the monthly allowance may vary depending on the university. Indeed, the grant is linked to the standard of life of the destination but also may vary depending on the sending country/region/university. Therefore, it is of importance to discuss the topic at the international department of the University/School.

What future Erasmus students must know

- As the rating system is different in every country, Erasmus programme has its own rating system which means for instance that a grade of “18/20” in Italy will no be equivalent to an “A” in England.

-  Some universities/schools rent their own student rooms booked exclusively for their international students on campuses or nearby. However, students must ask directly to their university/school if you would better try to find an accommodation by their own in order to. Sometimes, it might be better to find an accommodation before you arrive on site at your new university, so try to get in touch with people who already went there to study.

- Every student makes an evaluation of his exchange studies at the end of the programme. It is full of information about the university where they studied, how did they manage to find a room, their own experience, and so forth… If your university give you access to those documents, do not miss a single line, read it carefully and get the most out of it!

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