The Erasmus Programme (EuRopean Community Action Scheme for the Mobility of University Students) was created to ease cooperation between European universities and allow for full academic recognition of studies and qualifications throughout the Union. Erasmus for All will replace the many different Programmes (Erasmus, Leonardo da Vinci, Comenius, Grundtvig, Youth in Action, Erasmus Mundus, Tempus, Alfa, Edulink) of the Lifelong Learning Programme (LLP) to reduce administration costs, duplication and fragmentation. The Programme will be in operation until 2020.
In addition, some programs are available outside of the EU. For example, action 2 partnerships for 2014 included Malaysia.
Eligible students must be enrolled at a Higher Education or a Higher Education/Further Education (HE/FE) Institution that holds an ERASMUS University Charter in the EU Member States, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Switzerland, and EU candidate countries. The student must be enrolled at least in the second year of higher education studies. Postgraduate students can also take part in Erasmus, provided they have not already exceeded their grant quota.
It is advised to start preparing for your stay at least 1 year before departure. The earlier you plan, the better chance you find the right Programme for you and are able to submit your applications before all pertinent deadlines.
The home institution of the students applies for ERASMUS mobility grants to its national agency while the students apply to their home institution. Students apply through their university with an Erasmus Coordinator in their subject area. Applicants must submit:
Applicants should be prepared to submit certified copies of all diplomas since the baccalaureat or A Level. Translations may be required.
Students benefit from the tuition fee-waiver scheme. For example, a foreign student spending a full academic year on Erasmus does not pay any tuition fees in their host country for that year. They only pay the tuition of their home country. However, if you study abroad for less than a year, you will have to pay the tuition fees. Students may only receive two ERASMUS grants: one for a study period and one for a placement period. The payment of any national grant or loan to outgoing students should be maintained during the ERASMUS study period abroad.
Students may also receive an Erasmus grant for study or work placement. These are supplementary, non-repayable grants intended to offset any additional expenses incurred while abroad. The Erasmus grant is not means-tested. To be eligible, students must be registered at a Higher Education institution which holds an Erasmus University Charter (EUC) and spend an approved study or work period of between 3 to 12 months each at an institution which holds an EUC in another EU, EEA or candidate country. Grant values vary depending on the country you visit.
Erasmus grants are paid through your home institution and in addition to the standard grants or loans to which you are entitled. The total duration of all grants may not exceed 24 months.
The European Credit Transfer System (ECTS) provides uniform credit across different educational institutions. Student workload consists of the time required to complete all planned learning activities such as attending lectures, seminars, independent and private study, preparation of projects, examinations, etc. One credit stands for around 25 to 30 working hours with 60 Credits representing the workload of a year of study (usually 30 Credits per semester and 20 credits per trimester). Those credits allocated to modules and courses can only be obtained after successful completion of the work required and appropriate assessment of the learning outcomes achieved.
To fully understand how the system works, read our article on the ECTS.