The Erasmus Program is an acronym that stands for EuRopean Community Action Scheme for the Mobility of University Students. It is an EU student exchange programme that was started in 1987 and allows students to study abroad for a set period of time. Students that live in a country that is part of the European Union are able to take some of their classes in another participating country and use this credit towards their final qualification. Here are some things to know about.
History of the program
The Erasmus Program has been utilized by over 3 million students from its conception in 1987 up to 2013. There are currently over 4000 higher institutions that subscribe to the Erasmus Program, across 37 countries. Currently, the most popular countries for student exchanges are Spain, Germany, Italy, and France.
What are the requirements?
Previously, applicants had to have completed at least one year of tertiary level study; however, this was changed to allow secondary or high school students to take part. They must study in a participating institution for at least three months (or a two-month internship), and up to one academic year.
What do you get out of doing the Erasmus Program?
As part of the agreement, as long as the student abides by previously agreed terms, the University must recognize the time abroad as part of their studies and put it towards their degree. The institution that they go to is not allowed to charge them any extra tuition fees, and there are also additional grants that students can apply for to help them with extra costs involved in studying abroad.
What are the cultural benefits?
Aside from the opportunity to learn about your chosen field in a different way, you are also going to learn a whole lot about the country you are in by living there for a few months. It is a great way to learn a new language and immerse yourself in a culture that is different to your own. Stefan Wolff, a political scientist, believes that due to the ‘Erasmus generation,’ in the next 15-25 years Europe will be run by an entirely different type of person.
What are the academic benefits to studying abroad?
Learning from different people is a great way to diversify your knowledge, and getting the chance to study abroad will really give you the opportunity to have discussions with people that you wouldn’t usually get to talk to. You will also be opening up so many different opportunities for the future as your resume will have an extra spark that will help set you apart from other candidates in the future.
If you are able to take part in the Erasmus Program, there are so many great benefits to it, both academically and in terms of your personal growth. It can open new doors and opportunities, and at the very least, it will be a unique experience. After all, how many other people can say that they spend six months in a different country during college? Give it a go and bon voyage!