The Erasmus Programme

Does the film “L'auberge espagnole” ring any bells? (It was known as “The Spanish apartment” or “Pot luck” in English.) Erasmus is perhaps the most famous European exchange programme, thanks in part to this film. Since its launch in 1987, more than 2 million students have gone abroad on this programme. Every year 120,000 students go to a European Union country to complete part of their course.

Erasmus: european higher education

Aims

The aim of the programme is to establish cooperation between students and higher education institutions in Europe. Universities  exchange students in order to develop this cooperation.

Who is it for?

Any student having recently completed their first year at university and who is a citizen of one of the eligible countries (EU and EFTA countries as well as Bulgaria, Romania and Turkey). Your institution must have an Erasmus University Charter to participate in the programme. In theory, the Erasmus programme is open from the second year of your Bachelor, Master or PhD degree course but in practice the majority of students do not go before getting their degree!

How long does it last? 

The Erasmus exchange programme can last from 3 months to 1 year but usually for a semester.

How does it work?

We would recommend you start the process a year in advance.
Since it is your university or college that is in direct partnership with the host institution, you must make all the necessary arrangements for your departure with your institution.
 
Get in touch with the International Office. They will tell you which institutions are available in the different host countries. Choose one that suits you best and carefully fill in the application form that your institution gives you. Your application will be judged by the adviser of the Erasmus department of the university based on how you complete the forms. The number of places is limited so make sure your application is watertight!
 
Then hand in the list of classes you want to take during your Erasmus course.
The course you choose should be part of the curriculum you are taking in your home university. Your institution will be able to mirror the courses you are taking in your host country with the ones you would have taken in France. Thanks to ECTS credits, your periods of study abroad will be recognised and the qualifications you obtain there there will be valid here!
 
Once your application has been approved and you have chosen your classes, you’re all set to go abroad!
And there’s no need to panic as, to make sure you get off to a good start, the first week is given over to your integration and you can start soaking up the Erasmus atmosphere!
In theory, exams conditions are the same as for local students but in practice you are often entitled to preferential treatment and grading is a little more flexible.
 

The many advantages of the erasmums programme:

The period of study is fully incorporated into the curriculum.

ECTS credits allow you to validate your year of study as if you had followed the university curriculum in the usual way.

  • You have no registration fee to pay to the host institution.
  • You are an Erasmus student!

As an Erasmus student, you get special care and attention from the university administrators and lecturers. Everything is done to make sure you settle in: access to university accommodation, scholarships, Erasmus parties to help you meet other Erasmus students etc.

In some cases, you save on enrolment fees.

You enrol and have to pay the enrolment fee from your home university. In some cases, this is a big advantage because the fees are lower in your home country.
 

To find out more:

Website of the Ministry of National Education.

Website of the agency Europe Education Formation

Since January 2014, the Erasmus+ program brings together all European mobility programs.

Date of publication May 3 2012

Other articles on this subject

What are the most expensive study abroad destinations?
Studying abroad: world’s top universities
Applying to study in France: what you need to know
Study destinations: choose one of the most student-friendly cities!
A guide to applying to study in the UK
Getting a visa to study in the United States
Erasmus+, the new EU program
Where can you go on an exchange programme?
Studying in France: the MICEFA program
Study Abroad
International exchange programmes
CREPUQ
European exchange programmes
The Erasmus Mundus Programme
Educational exchange programmes
The Comenius Programme
The Leonardo da Vinci Programme
ISEP
ALFA