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Erasmus+, the new EU program
Last year, the famous EU Erasmus program seemed about to disappear, due to severe budget cuts. Since January 2014, the program has been replaced by Erasmus+, which will enhance international mobility opportunities until 2020. What exactly is the purpose of this new European program? The idea is to allow more than 4 million people, including 2 million students, to gain a valuable experience abroad in order to boost their employability. Overview of the benefits of the Erasmus+ program.
With a budget of 14.7 billion Euros over 7 years, which represents a 40% increase compared to the 2007-2013 spending, Erasmus+ is an ambitious program. Thus the number of program participants should be doubled and the grant amounts will be higher. During a study abroad experience, students will receive a €150 to €500 monthly grant, depending on the country. For an internship abroad, the allotted grant will vary between €250 and €700 per month. Also, Master’s level students will be able to benefit from a loan scheme to go study in another European country. Maximum loan amount is of €12,000 for one year and €18,000 for 2 years.
There used to be many different international mobility programs (Erasmus, Comenius, Leonardo da Vinci, Grundvig…), not all equally renowned and not always very user-friendly. With Erasmus+, simplicity is the watchword! The new program brings together 7 EU programs with 3 types of key action:
- learning mobility of individuals,
- cooperation for innovation and exchange of good practices,
- support for policy reform.
Erasmus+ is designed for broader range of users:
|Users||Type of mobility||Stay abroad period/length|
|Students||Mobility for studies||between 3 and 12 months|
|Students||Internship mobility||between 2 weeks and 12 months|
|Trainees and apprentices||Internship mobility||between 2 weeks and 12 months|
|Recent graduates||Internship mobility||Internship to be completed less than a year after graduating|
|Young people||Voluntary placements||between 2 weeks and 12 months|
|Staff||Training courses, seminars, job shadowing||between 2 weeks and 12 months|
|Youth workers||Training courses, seminars, job shadowing||between 2 weeks and 12 months|
Erasmus+ is a more global program. Countries neighboring the EU are especially concerned by this opening of the program to a larger number of nations. Though there currently are 34 European program countries, almost all the other countries in the world have become Erasmus+ partner countries. Higher education students will be able to gain international experience outside the EU. Mobility opportunities will also be offered to students from third countries. Erasmus+ paves the way for mobility for all.