Chemin de navigation

Left navigation

Additional tools


Brussels, 5 October 2009

Who is the 2 millionth Erasmus student?

Since its launch in 1987, the Erasmus programme has helped 2 million students carry out a part of their studies or a work placement in another European country. 31 students (one per country participating in Erasmus), have now been chosen to symbolically represent the 2 millionth student. They were honoured at a conference taking place on 5-6 October in Lund, Sweden. During this conference, stakeholders are discussing the way forward for the Erasmus programme and more broadly debate the issue of opening up opportunities to all young people to go abroad for learning purposes.

Handing out the awards, t he new European Commissioner for Education, Training, Culture and Youth, Maroš Šefčovič , said: " Erasmus is a European success story and I am delighted to celebrate the milestone of the 2 millionth Erasmus student. The Commission strongly supports the view that going abroad to learn should become the rule rather than the exception for young Europeans. The conference in Lund is helping to make this objective a reality ".

The stories of the 31 selected students are highlighted in a publication accompanying the conference. For example, the following 2 testimonials show how Erasmus has had a positive effect on students' lives:

Stefanie Bakelandt, a 21-year old student from the Ghent University in Belgium, studied philosophy at Vilnius Pedagogical University, Lithuania, as an Erasmus student for four months. As she puts it: " I realised that the experience made a whole new person of me and that I would never look at the world and Europe, my home, like I did before."

Kate Samways, a 21-year old language teacher student from Cardiff University, UK went for a 10 month Erasmus placement to the institute "2isa" IT Training Centre for Physically Disabled Adults in Millau, France, as well as for her Erasmus studies to Ca' Foscari University Venice, Italy. She says: " Erasmus life for me is about opportunities. Every opportunity I had, I took it and I thank Erasmus for it."

The Erasmus programme started in 1987, and today more than 180,000 students go abroad annually with its support. In mid-2009 the total number of people who went abroad with Erasmus as students reached 2 million. What is less well known is that since 1997, more than 200,000 teachers from higher education institutions have also taken part in Erasmus to teach abroad. In addition to these exchanges, institutions also work together across Europe through projects and networks funded by Erasmus.

The celebration of the 2 millionth Erasmus student coincided with the conference entitled "Erasmus – The way forward and the Green Paper on mobility of young people", organised under the Swedish Presidency of the EU. Discussions focus on improving the Erasmus programme and on how to make going abroad for learning purposes the rule rather than the exception for all young people in Europe. This is the underlying question of the Green Paper on learning mobility for young people, published by the European Commission in July 2009. A public consultation (including an online questionnaire) on this matter is open until 15 December 2009.

To find out more:

European Commission: T he 2 millionth Erasmus student: 31 students from 31 countries tell about their Erasmus experience (testimonials and videos):

European Commission: IP/09/1204, 30 July 2009: "Erasmus reaches the 2 million students mark": IP/09/1204

European Commission: The Green Paper and consultation on learning mobility for young people:

Website of the conference:

European Commission: The Erasmus programme:

Side Bar