The Erasmus program is part of an EU program (European Community Action Scheme for the Mobility of University Students) and was created in 1987 to ease cooperation between European universities (and other partner countries) and allow for full academic recognition of studies and qualifications throughout the Union for both staff and students. It offers the possibility of studying abroad for between 3 months and 1 university year, with transferable tuition rates and grants.
Who is Eligible?
Erasmus program is eligible to all students enrolled at Higher Education in EU Member States, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Switzerland, and EU candidate countries that wish to study, do a work placement or be a language assistant abroad. Some actions of the programme are open to partner country, such as the United States.
Students may be also allowed to enrol the program if they are enrolled in a short-term higher vocational education course or if they are a part-time student that will study full-time during their period abroad. Postgraduate students can also take part in Erasmus, proving that they have not already exceeded their grant quota. Students from all subject areas can participate.
Note that the language of instruction may be different than that of your home institution. Some institutions organize tests and select the students based on their skills on the language, such as the Deutsches Sprachdiplom in German, Dele in Spanish, or TOEFL in English. Erasmus Intensive Language Courses may be offered at host universities.
Participating Countries & Programs
Participation countries include countries in the European Union, EEA, or candidate country. Students from all subject areas can participate. However, not all institutions offer Erasmus for all subjects.
Do your research and make sure the institution you want to be enrolled in, it provides your program/study field. It is advised to start preparing your stay at least 1 year before departure to find the right program and ensure you are able to submit all necessary documents and deadlines.
Check the complete Erasmus Guide (page num. 21) to find out if your country is eligible to apply for an Erasmus program and grant.
Students can take part in the Erasmus study mobility at any time during their degree, except during the first year. When you go will depend on the structure of your degree and the arrangements your university has with its partners.
How to apply?
Students may apply through their European 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 baccalaureate or A Level. Translations may be required (information should be provided by your home institution).
The ECTS (European Credit Transfer System) system provides uniform credit across different European educational institutions. ECTS grades make study programmes easy to read and compare for all students, local and foreign, with respect for the marks of the host institution.
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. 60 Credits represents the workload of a year of study, usually 30 Credits per semester and 20 credits per trimester (One credit stands for around 25 to 30 working hours). 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.
In some cases, you will have to take another exam when coming back to your university to show you have acquired the level of knowledge required at your university of origin after your stay abroad.
To fully understand how the system works, read our article on the ECTS.
Duration of the Program
Students may study abroad for between three months and an academic year. For students on short-term higher vocational education courses, the minimum period on a work placement is two months. You can combine a study period with a work placement (providing there are no gaps between the two activities) so it is considered a single Erasmus period. Check with the university Erasmus Co-ordinator for details on criteria.
Tuition & Grants
Students may 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/partner country. Grant values vary depending on the country you visit.
* Check with your university Erasmus Co-ordinator for more details about the grant you are eligible to receive when being accepted in a NY University.
Students undertaking short-term work placements can receive additional supplementary funding in order to offset the relatively high initial setup costs of such placements. This includes a one-off supplementary grant of €250 to each student, in order to assist with the higher expenses relating to short-term accommodation. Up to €300 can be paid to each student for travel costs.