The Erasmus Programme – study abroad in Europe
By Melanie Marti,
During your first year at university, at some point between the hectic Fresher’s freebie fair and the introductory lectures, you are bound to hear the phrase ‘Erasmus’.
What is the Erasmus Programme?
The Erasmus Programmes is a great programme funded by the EU, which gives students a unique opportunity to study abroad with one of the most flourishing exchange programmes in the world. Many universities across the EU offer the Erasmus programme to their students, so if you love travelling or experiencing different places, put your best foot forward and do it with Erasmus.
Why go abroad with Erasmus at my university?
Leaving home to study abroad can be a daunting prospect, especially if you’ve never lived away from home, but also an exciting one. As well as the amazing cultural opportunities you will be given, going with your university gives you a greater sense of security. All of your studies will also be taught in English, so you won’t have to worry so much about the language barriers.
The programmes vary in length, so you don’t have to stay for the entire year if you feel that it will be too much for you. Erasmus offer between three and 12 month prospects, making sure that anyone thinking about going can decide what will be most comfortable for them personally. Additionally, one of the main benefits of the Erasmus scheme (and arguably the best part) is that you don’t have to pay any extra fees to the university you transfer to. This is a programme based around students, learning and cultural development, so although you can apply for an extra Erasmus grant to cover you whilst you learn you will not need to pay any extra tuition fees. Lastly, make sure you click onto your university website and check out any extra specifications or opportunities they may offer to you if you complete the Programme.
How do I apply for the Erasmus Programme?
If you’re serious about applying, you need to have at least completed your first year. Make sure you keep up-to-date with your universities deadlines for their Erasmus Programmes, as these can differ from uni to uni. Remember, there will be plenty people applying, so you’ll want to get your application in as soon as you can. Talk with your tutors about it; they will need to know when you want to transfer and they will be able to point you to the right people to converse with if you have any questions. After that, it’s as easy as filling in the right forms and away you go! Dominic Kissel, who is currently studying at De Montfort University (DMU) after transferring with Erasmus from UAS Worms in Germany, explained that “organising the trip was very easy” and that “the process was very fluid”.
What are the options available on the Programme?
Erasmus provides opportunities for students to work and study. Your Erasmus co-ordinator at your university should take you through all the opportunities available to you and help you with whichever one you decide on. I also asked Dominic if his university and Erasmus coordinators at DMU provided him with all the information he needed to know: “I was provided with all the information I needed” and “all questions were answered sufficiently”. Universities mostly deal with either exchange students or transfers to universities in whichever country you decide, but they will also help point you in the right direction if you do want to gain work experience instead.
Which countries can I go to if I take part?
There are 33 countries in total which are a part of the Erasmus programme. Your university will have a certain amount connected with them that you will able to chose from. Make sure you have a look and decide for yourself where you would like to be placed. Researching the countries will be the first step in getting you excited about being part of the scheme.
Erasmus helps over 230,000 students every year to study abroad and is specifically created to helping students expand their academic and intercultural skills - so they can stand out in a business environment, as well as improving language skills. It’s an amazing and fun opportunity and any undergraduate student can take part! If you are looking to set yourself apart from many other undergrads, the Erasmus Programme is something seriously worth looking into.