CEEPUS: Dare to think outside the box when choosing your scholarship!
About the scholarship in brief
CEEPUS is the acronym for Central European Exchange Program for University Studies, and it is the name of a scholarship programme embracing 16 countries of Eastern and Central Europe. Through this, any student registered in a country involved in the programme can apply for a study grant in another participating country of their choice. Although the emphasis is on supporting already existing networks and the operation of joint programmes across universities, there is the option to apply outside of already existing networks as a freemover and to build an individual study track that suits the applicant’s needs.
So, what does this mean for you? If you are a student currently enrolled at a Hungarian (or other, Eastern or Central European) higher educational institution, you can have a look at the already existing networks here to find out if your university offers places to other students within the frames of a certain programme. If they do, that’s great, then all you need to do is hand in your application until 15 June for the winter term or the full academic year or until 31 October for the summer term. However, if you do not find an already existing network that would suit you, do not despair either, as you can apply as a freemover to any course at any participating university. The application deadline for freemovers is 30 November, but students should be aware of the fact that as a freemover, they can only apply for the summer semester, as freemover scholarships are distributed based on the remaining scholarhsip months that were not claimed within the networks.
The amount of the scholarship depends on the host country but normally covers all the expenses of travel, accommodation and food, with some universities offering subsidized places at their dormitories for the scholarship holders. For example, in the Czech Republic, Bachelor and Master students receive a monthly allowance of 900 Czech korunas (333 Euros), while in Croatia, students do not only benefit from a scholarship that amounts to 1300 kunas (172 Euros), but also free dormitory accommodation and subsidized food. However, the most popular destination with the highest number of applicants is without doubt Austria, where the monthly grant is 940 Euros. Moreover, students who are granted the CEEPUS mobility scholarship are exempt from paying tuition fees at their host institution, and sometimes, an additional travel grant is also available from their home countries.
Stories of other students can help you decide
Dragana Rakovic is a student at the University of Novi Sad, and last year, she did a 10-month study period at the University of Maribor. She applied through a network her home university created with the Mechanical Faculty in Maribor. At the same time, she applied for the Erasmus scholarship, too, and in comparison, she found CEEPUS to be not only less complicated thanks to the online application system but also much easier to acquire due to it being lesser known and therefore being less competitive. From the 296 Euros she received monthly, she lived very comfortably, and thanks to the subsidized meal tickets, she saved a lot of money on food. While she says that the course was quite demanding, she still had the time to enjoy the beautiful nature of Slovenia, and it was an experience she absolutely recommends to everybody.
How can you apply?
The application procedure is simple and is done online through the official website of CEEPUS. While for network applicants, the selection procedure is mostly carried out by their respective sending institutions, freemovers have to get hold of a recommendation letter from a professor at their current university and a confirmation letter from the host institution to be approved by the central CEEPUS office. The selection is mostly based on the project the applicant is planning to carry out during the exchange as well as their previous academic achievements.
Kép: Aki Flickr