ERASMUS Programme has been encouraging the academic mobility since 1987, and since then, more than three million people –more than 230.000 a year– had benefited from it. Its name (acronym for “European Community Action Scheme for the Mobility of University Students”) was thought in tribute to the humanist Erasmo de Rotterdam [es].
From 2007 to 2013, ERASMUS has been part of the Lifelong Learning Programme [en] (with Comenius, Leonardo da Vinci and Grundtvig), and thereafter –at least until 2020–, and after the corresponding changes, it will continue existing.
The programme is broad and it offers different possibilities [en] (students for traineeships, professors, intensive programmes, …), although we will focus this time on the students mobility for studies [en].The programme could only be enjoyed once for studies, but it could be also applied once more for a traineeship.
Basically, someone who is studying higher studies could perform a period of such studies –between three and twelve months– in a higher education institution in another European country.
Although the final beneficiaries are the students, their participation is organized through the center where they are studying –which will be the responsible of the selection–, on condition that this center has available the ERASMUS University Charter [en], which guarantees the programme quality.
They will apply there, under the established process, so it is recommended that interested students make contact with the international office or similar department, where they could get all the information about it.
At the moment of the mobility, the student must be enrolled, at least, in the second year of his studies (up to the doctoral degree included).
With the ERASMUS programme, it is looked for an overview of higher education in Europe, beyond national education systems. In addition, the fact of going into another country, another culture, another language, … entails that students can improve the learning of another language –in fact, a course for this purpose is organized–, as well as their own autonomy; and could also get a greater European awareness, in order to gain access in the future to the labour market.
Before leaving, the ERASMUS student will be provided with documents detailing his stay: study agreement, learning agreement and the ERASMUS Student Charter [en], where his rights and obligations are collected.
It is also advisable to know the peculiarities of his destination, because some customs –even rules– will be different than the regionals of the place of origin: alcohol and drugs, national symbols, …
No need to say that going abroad means having all documents in order –including the necessary in case of moving a vehicle or a pet–, as well as having available the appropriate health coverage (European Health Insurance Card [en] allows the access to the national health systems in the same conditions as its own inhabitants). And it is also recommended to have an insurance to get the necessary tranquility in key areas such as the journey.
When the ERASMUS stay ends, the host institution will send a certificate with the results of the planned programme, recognizing in the centre of origin the studies realized abroad, except if the student does not get the required level or breaks any of the established rules.
ERASMUS students –who have to pay no registration fee in the destination– will receive a grant from the ERASMUS Programme, to finance the costs of mobility (food, accommodation, travel, …), which –in addition– is compatible with other support.
• The ERASMUS Programme [en].
• ERASMUS Student Network [en].
Written by Eurodesk Qualified Multiplier, Ayuntamiento de León