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Erasmus enables you to study or work in another university in one of 32 other countries in Europe, as part of you degree course. You don't have to be doing a language course; students from all subject areas can take part, with many universities even running courses in English. All eligible students receive a grant from the EU to help towards the additional costs of travelling abroad.
Whether you go for three months or 12, it will enhance your personal development, your job opportunities, your confidence, and your enjoyment of life. Not only will you acquire a broader range of skills to offer a future employer, but you'll have fun doing it. Don't just take our word for it – hear what former Erasmus students have to say on our video.
Europe is such a diverse and exciting region - culturally, historically, politically and geographically, and with a choice of so many cities all over Europe, you're bound to find somewhere very special. It can't all be work and no play, so when you're not at college or in work, you can check out all that Europe has to offer. Laze on the beaches of Greece, ski in the Alps, go to the opera in Italy, admire the art in France or go on a killer whale safari in Norway. Enjoy some fantastic and often bizarre festivals that take place all over Europe; from throwing tomatoes in Spain, to getting jazzed in Umbria. No wonder Erasmus students say it is the best part of their time at university. Read what some previous Erasmus students have done.
The Top Ten reasons to take part in Erasmus:
1. Stand out in the job market - a great addition to your CV
2. Return more motivated, independent and confident
3. Get a grant and have your tuition fees waived (if you go for the full academic year)
4. It counts towards your degree - it's not a gap year
5. Learn a range of life-skills not taught in the lecture theatre
6. Access a wider range of subject areas than in the UK
7. Improve your language skills
8. Gain an international network of friends and meet your lifelong partner! (1 in 10 students do)
9. Discover a different culture and gain an international perspective
10.It's really good fun!
Click here to read some reviews written by current Erasmus students.
Higher Education students in the UK can participate in the Erasmus Programme and it is open to undergraduate and postgraduate students in all subjects and at all levels – Bachelors, Masters, Doctoral. If you are a student enrolled in a short-term higher vocational education course, such as an HND or foundation degree, you can also participate. Part-time students are eligible to participate providing they study full-time during their mobility period.
Students can choose to undertake a study period or a work placement. Most students go abroad with Erasmus in their second or third year, although students doing a work placement can go in their first year. Subject to agreement with your home and host institutions, you could combine a study period with a work placement.
As an Erasmus student you do not pay tuition fees to the host university and in most cases if you go for an academic year (at least 24 weeks excluding holidays) your UK tuition fees are waived. However, if you study abroad for less than a year, your home institution normally requires you to pay a proportion of the fee, where applicable.
Erasmus grants are paid in addition to the standard grants or loans to which you are currently entitled. This is a supplementary, non-repayable grant intended to help towards any additional expenses you may incur while abroad.
For 2012/13 the grant varies from €270 to €370 a month, depending on the country you visit. There is also additional funding for short-term work placement students, disabled students and students from lower income households.
All UK universities and many other UK Institutions of Higher Education/Further Education are involved with the Erasmus programme. The involvement varies from institution to institution but overall every subject area is covered. Not all courses can be combined with the Erasmus programme – this will depend on the structure of the courses at you institution.
The Erasmus programme is part of the European Union’s Lifelong Learning Programme, administered in the UK by the British Council. Participating institutions in all countries have an Erasmus Co-ordinator/ International office who acts as the primary point of contact for all Erasmus students. These co-ordinators provide support and guidance before, during and after your Erasmus period.
Unlike other programmes or gap years, an Erasmus period is an integral part of your course. You will receive formal academic recognition for your period abroad and are sometimes awarded a second qualification in recognition of your Erasmus period; in all cases, the study is formally acknowledged on your degree transcript.
Check out this article on the Erasmus Student Charter: Your rights and obligations for more information on what you need to do while you're abroad.
If you want to study or work in Europe, the best way to do this is through the Erasmus programme. Make sure you don’t miss out on what will probably be the most rewarding and exciting time of your university life. Read more about doing an Erasmus Work Placement abroad.
If you're already at university, the first step in applying to take part in Erasmus will be to contact the local Erasmus co-ordinator who will be able to answer all your questions. They should also be able to put you in touch with past Erasmus students and staff members. Also remember to read some case studies written by former Erasmus students.
If you want more information on a country or city, we have some country guides as well as ‘insider guides’, written by Erasmus students who can give you the real low-down on a town.
If you aren’t yet at university – visit the Erasmus website for more information and check the university you choose offers the Erasmus programme on the course you want to do. Consult the Erasmus UK Course Guide on our website which has been designed to help students find information on UK institutions and courses that offer an Erasmus experience. The guide gives an indication of which Erasmus options are available for your subject and can help you decide to which higher education institution you would like to apply. You will also find it useful to look at the universities’ own websites and contact these institutions directly if you have further questions.