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Celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2012, ERASMUS is the most successful student exchange programme in the world. Each year, more than 230 000 students study abroad thanks to the Erasmus programme. It also offers the opportunity for student placements in enterprises, university staff teaching and training, and it funds co-operation projects between higher education institutions across Europe.
Erasmus became part of the EU's Lifelong Learning Programme in 2007, covering new areas such as student placements in enterprises (transferred from the Leonardo da Vinci Programme), university staff training and teaching for business staff.
Erasmus is the perfect example of a European success story: close to 3 million students have participated since it started in 1987, as well as over 300 000 higher education teachers and other staff since 1997 (this type of exchange was also expanded further in 2007). The annual budget is in excess of 450 million euro; more than 4 000 higher education institutions in 33 countries participate, and more are willing to join.
Many studies show that a period spent abroad not only enriches students' lives in the academic and professional fields, but can also improve language learning, intercultural skills, self-reliance and self-awareness. Their experiences give students a better sense of what it means to be a European citizen. In addition, many employers highly value such a period abroad, which increases the students' employability and job prospects. Staff exchanges have similar beneficial effects, both for the people participating and for the home and host institutions.
What you need to do for participating in Erasmus exchange?
Firstly you need to contact with your Higher Eucation Institution's European Union or Exchange offices in order to get proper information. Higher education institutions which want to participate in ERASMUS activities must have an ERASMUS University Charter. The Charter aims to guarantee the quality of the programme by setting certain fundamental principles. Each higher education institute has its own agreements with European higher education institutions. Then you need to decide in which country and higher education institute you would like to study and for how long period one semester or two semester. Followingly you may requested to take an English exam and with your exam results and grade point average you will have a final score so that you start to make preferences from the lists. For more information, it is advised to visit your Erasmus offices.
Note that Erasmus Exchange Programme is open for students, academic staff and university staff. You can also enjoy Erasmus Internship facilities.