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Requirements to join the Erasmus Programme

The Erasmus Programme (European Community Action Scheme for the Mobility of University Students) is currently open to member states of the European Union, EU candidate countries, and EFTA/EEA members. If you participate in the Erasmus Programme, you are not required to pay any university fees in the hosting or partner university where you choose to study.

In addition, you will be awarded a grant to help subsidize the costs of your stay abroad. All courses passed abroad will be counted toward your degree in your home country. These credits are typically awarded based on the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS). This is a standardized system used to compare the study of students across the European Union. 60 ECTS credits normally correspond to one year of study.

In order to participate in the Erasmus Programme, you must apply. Places are allocated by the Erasmus Coordinators in each subject area. Once you have been allocated an Erasmus place, the Erasmus International Office will nominate you with your chosen host institution. You must then follow your host university’s admission process and be accepted by your host university.

Who is Erasmus for?

There are different Erasmus programmes targeted toward different groups. Opportunities exist for the following target groups:

  • Students at institutions of higher learning. Exchange programmes exist for students enrolled at institutions of higher learning. Opportunities exist for undergraduate and graduate students. In addition to studying abroad, students may also use Erasmus grants to participate in business traineeships.
  • Staff at institutions of higher learning. Exchange programmes exist for staff members at institutions of higher learning. This enables staff to teach in another country for a period of time or participate in training in another country. Staff may also use funding to attend workshops organized by businesses.
  • Private companies. Exchange programmes also exist for private companies, allowing them to work with institutions to share knowledge and undertake joint projects.
  • Students outside of Europe. Erasmus opportunities do exist for students outside of Europe. The Erasmus Mundus programme aims to globalize European education and is open to non-Europeans. The programme specifically supports joint master’s courses and joint doctorates between institutions in Europe and institutions elsewhere in the world.

Are you eligible?

In order to participate in the Erasmus Programme, you must be registered at an institution of higher education. Your enrollment at this institution must lead to a recognized degree or other recognized tertiary-level qualification (including a master’s degree or doctorate). The institution must be a holder of the Erasmus Charter for Higher Education. You must meet all applicable language requirements and must be accepted by the host university.

What about language requirements?

Some exchanges do offer courses in English. This depends on the exchange programme as well as the host country. For example, instruction for English Literature exchange programmes is always in English. Universities in Scandinavia, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Czech Republic may also offer courses in English.

At the majority of universities, courses will be taught in the native language. That means that you will be expected to follow lectures, write essays, and take exams in the language of instruction. If you are considering an Erasmus programme that is not taught in English, you need one of the following:

  • Advanced Higher or ‘A’ level certificate in that language
  • Other qualification demonstrating a minimum of level B2
  • Experience of formal study in that language
  • A minimum of one year’s university-level study (as a non-beginner)

If you do not meet at least one of the criteria outlined above, you will be required to take a language test. You will need to achieve at least a level B2 before participating in the exchange programme.

In some cases, the host university may offer language classes. These language classes may even be subsidized or free and can be an excellent way for you to improve your language skills before beginning the semester. However, the specifics of these language classes do vary between countries and host institutions. You will need to check with your host university for more information.