What is Erasmus+?
Erasmus+ is the EU’s new umbrella programme for Education, Training, Youth and Sport, designed to be more global and more integrated than ever before. It brings together seven EU programmes and offers more opportunities for cooperation than its predecessors.
What opportunities are available for higher education students?
The Erasmus+ programme offers a wide range of opportunities for Students and Staff to study and train abroad. The programme funds intra-EU and international credit mobility for students to study in a Receiving Institution for a period of 3-12 months and obtain credits which are then recognised by the Sending Institution. Students can also do a traineeship abroad for a period of 2 to 12 months.
What are “Programme” and “Partner Countries”?
Programme Countries are those countries participating fully in the Erasmus+ programme. To do so, they set up a National Agency and contribute financially to the programme. The 33 Programme Countries are: the 28 EU Member States, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Turkey. Partner Countries are all the other countries in the world (for a complete list check here).
Where can I study or do a traineeship under Erasmus+?
It is possible to study in institutions based in Programme and Partner Countries, as long as these institutions have signed an “inter-institutional agreement” with your home institution. To find out exactly where you can study/train, please contact the International Office of your higher education institution.
For Traineeships, the Receiving Organisation can be any private or public organisation active in the labour market or in the fields of education, training and youth. Some examples are:
- a public or private, small, medium or large enterprise (including social enterprises);
- a public body at local, regional or national level;
- a social partner or other representative of the working life, including chambers of commerce, craft/professional associations and trade unions;
- a research institute;
- a foundation;
- a school/institute/educational centre (at any level, from pre-school to upper secondary education, and including vocational education and adult education);
- a non-profit organisation, association, NGO;
- a body providing career guidance, professional counseling and information services.
It is also possible to carry out a Traineeship in a higher education institution located in one of the Programme Countries. However, the programme of the traineeship cannot consist of following courses, as that would be considered a study period and not a traineeship.
The following types of organisations are not eligible as receiving organisations for student traineeships:
- EU institutions and other EU bodies including specialized agencies which are listed on the following website;
- organisations managing EU programmes, such as National Agencies.
How long can my Erasmus+ period for studies or traineeships abroad be?
Students and doctoral candidates are able to study abroad for a period of 3 months (or one academic term or trimester), and up to a maximum of 12 months per study cycle. The duration of a traineeship period is of a minimum of 2 months to a maximum of 12 months. In case of a combined study and traineeship mobility, the minimum duration is 3 months and the maximum duration is 12 months, no matter how the time is shared between studies and traineeship.
The university where I am studying is in a different country than my country of origin. Can I do a mobility period in my country of origin?
It is possible to do a mobility period (study or training) in your country of origin as an Erasmus+ student, provided that your country of origin is not the country you normally study and live in. However, the selection criteria are defined by the higher education institutions participating in the programme, which could decide that students applying to study in their country of origin should have a lower priority than those applying to a country different from their country of origin. In any case, the selection criteria need to be set out in a fair and transparent way before participants submit their applications, and it is not possible to introduce differences in grant allocation based on nationality.
What options are available if my Partner Country university does not have an agreement with a university in a Programme Country?
Without inter-institutional agreement between both universities, you will not be eligible for credit mobility. However, there are other international opportunities under Erasmus+, such as Erasmus Mundus Joint Master Degrees and Joint Doctorates.
How do I know if I am eligible to study or do a traineeship abroad with Erasmus+?
To study/train abroad, you must be registered in a higher education institution and you must be following studies leading to a recognised degree or other recognised tertiary level qualification, such as a Bachelor, a Master or a Doctorate. Your institution must be located in one of the countries participating in Erasmus+ mobility for higher education. In addition, if your institution is located in a Programme Country, it must have been awarded the Erasmus Charter for Higher Education (ECHE). This Charter is part of an accreditation procedure established to guarantee a quality framework for all participants in mobility activities. You can check your institution’s website to know if it is an ECHE holder or see the full list of institutions here.
Is there an age limit to apply to any Erasmus+ mobility activity?
There is no age limit to participate in any Erasmus+ mobility activity. However, you will need to fulfil the selection criteria for the programme you are applying for, as defined by your higher education institution.
Is the programme available to students with special needs?
All actions of Erasmus+ are open to people with special needs. The programme aims at promoting equity and inclusion by facilitating the access to learners with disadvantaged backgrounds and fewer opportunities compared to their peers including people with mental, physical, sensory or other disabilities.
I am finishing my studies and would like to do a traineeship abroad: can I do so with Erasmus+?
Yes. This is a new possibility that the Erasmus+ programme offers to recent graduates. However, you must be selected by your higher education institution during your last year of study and you must carry out and complete your traineeship abroad within one year of graduating.
MULTIPLE AND COMBINED MOBILITIES
Is it possible to have more than one mobility experience with Erasmus+ as a higher education student?
Erasmus+ enables students to study or train abroad more than once as Erasmus students as long as the minimum duration for each activity and a total maximum of 12 months per study cycle is respected. Students who follow long cycle or one-cycle study programmes, such as Medicine, can be mobile for up to 24 months during their studies. This means that you could apply, for example, to study abroad for a period of 6 months and, later on, do a traineeship for 6 months within the same study cycle (e.g. your Bachelor’s degree). You could also combine both types of activities. Splits of 4+8 months, or 3+3+6 etc. are possible, but in all cases the minimum set for each kind of activity (i.e. 2 months for traineeships, 3 months or an academic term or trimester for studies) have to be respected.
Is it possible to combine mobility for studies and traineeships within a single mobility?
Combining studying and training abroad in a single mobility is a new possibility offered by Erasmus+. In this case, the minimum duration is 3 months (or an academic term/trimester) and the maximum is 12 months. These minimum and maximum durations are the same regardless of how the time is shared between both activities.
I have already enjoyed an Erasmus experience under the Lifelong Learning programme; can I study or do a traineeship abroad with Erasmus+?
If you have already studied or trained abroad as an Erasmus student under the former Lifelong Learning programme, it does not exclude you from benefiting from another international experience with Erasmus+. Erasmus+ enables students to study or train abroad more than once as long as a total maximum of 12 months per study cycle is respected (i.e. up to 12 months at Bachelor level including “short cycle” studies, up to 12 months at Master level, up to 12 months at Doctoral level).
Prior experience under the Erasmus-Lifelong Learning programme counts towards the 12 months per study cycle. In case you did not yet reach the maximum of 12 months, you may study or train abroad again in the same study cycle. If you have already reached the limit, you will be able to apply to further study periods or traineeships abroad once you undertake a degree in the next study cycle.
Let’s imagine that you studied for 4 months in another university under the Erasmus-Lifelong Learning programme during your Bachelor. If you want to study abroad in your last Bachelor year or do a traineeship abroad, you can still apply for mobility activities totalling 8 months (12-4 = 8).
If you enrol in a Master’s programme your counter will be set to zero for that study cycle and you will be able to apply for mobility for up to 12 months. After that, you will be eligible for another maximum period of 12 months at doctoral level. If you do a second Master’s degree and have already used up 6 months during your first Master’s degree, you can study or train abroad for 6 months, thus totalling 12 months, the maximum possible time. Do not forget to contact your higher education institution as it is responsible for the selection of participants and can set additional criteria (e.g. give priority to students who have never enjoyed an Erasmus experience).
I did a Leonardo placement under the Lifelong Learning programme; can I study or do a traineeship abroad with Erasmus+?
Yes. Participation in other actions of the Lifelong Learning programme (e.g. Leonardo) or in other programmes such as Youth in Action is not taken into account for participation in Erasmus+ higher education mobility activities.
I did a European Voluntary Service under the Youth in Action programme; can I study or do a traineeship abroad with Erasmus+?
Yes, participation in the Youth in Action programme is not taken into account for participation in Erasmus+ higher education mobility activities.
How do I apply to study/train abroad with Erasmus+?
You will need to apply through your own higher education institution, irrespective of the kind of mobility activity you are interested in. The International Office of your institution will be able to inform you about the conditions to participate in Erasmus+ mobility activities: details of the selection process, documents that you need to prepare, places where you can go and requirements that you will have to respect during your period abroad.
What happens once I am selected to study/train abroad with Erasmus+?
Once you have been selected, your sending institution must give you the “Erasmus Student Charter” setting out your rights and obligations with respect to your period of study or traineeship abroad, and explaining the different steps to take before, during and after the mobility.
If the main language of instruction or work during your period abroad is English, French, German, Italian, Spanish or Dutch you will be asked to undertake an Online Linguistic Assessment test (except if you are a native speaker of that language or in duly justified cases). By taking this assessment before your exchange abroad, you will be able to determine your proficiency in the language you will use to study or work. Taking this assessment before departure is a prerequisite for all higher education students, to make sure that they meet the recommended level at their receiving organisation (except for native speakers or in duly justified cases). The results of this assessment test will only be available to you, your sending institution and the European Commission. As you have already been selected, the results of the language assessment will not prevent you from taking part in the mobility activity. Based on your assessment results, you may be granted access to a free online language course before and during your stay abroad, in order to improve your language competences and help you get well prepared for your mobility abroad. Access to the course includes tutoring, forums, tips from former Erasmus+ students, and more. In case your main language is not covered by the OLS, linguistic support may be provided through other means by your sending or receiving organisation. Upon your return, you will be asked to take a final assessment which will allow you to measure the progress you made during your stay abroad. It will also allow the European Commission to know to which extent participation in Erasmus+ has an impact on students’ language skills.
I am already studying/doing a traineeship abroad and I would like to extend it, what should I do?
You can request an extension of the duration of your period abroad at the latest one month before the foreseen end date upon which you had agreed in your Learning Agreement. Please bear in mind that the total duration of the period abroad, including previous participation in the Erasmus-Lifelong Learning programme, cannot exceed 12 months per study cycle (except for one-cycle study programmes, such as Medicine, where the maximum is 24 months for the entire study programme). This limit includes any time spent abroad, even if you did not receive a grant from EU funds. Provided that you have not reached the 12-month limit mentioned above, your sending and receiving institutions may agree to extend the duration of your period abroad. If you have received a grant from EU funds, your institution may propose that the extension of your period abroad be considered a “zero-grant” period, if the entire available budget has already been allocated. Alternatively, it may agree to modify your grant agreement so that it covers the extended duration of your period abroad. In any case, you will need to modify the Learning Agreement and receive an email confirming these changes both from your sending and receiving institution.
GRANTS AND FUNDING
Is my Erasmus+ grant compatible with other scholarships or types of revenue?
The entitlement to any grant or loan awarded to students to study in their sending institution must be maintained during the period abroad. In the case of traineeships, any allowance or remuneration that the receiving organisation may grant the student, including contributions in kind such as meals or accommodation, is compatible with the Erasmus+ EU grant. A mobility period is compatible with a part-time job. Furthermore, the Erasmus+ EU grant is compatible with the revenue that the student receives as long as he or she carries out the activities foreseen in the agreed mobility programme.
Can my institution reduce my grant/ask me to reimburse part of/all of my Erasmus+ grant?
Students that receive an Erasmus+ grant from EU funds will have to fully or partially reimburse the EU grant if they do not comply with the terms of the grant agreement. However, there is an exception to this rule when students are prevented from completing their planned activities abroad due to a case of “force majeure”, i.e. an “unforeseeable exceptional situation or event beyond the participant’s control and not attributable to error or negligence on his/her part”. In that case, students are entitled to receive the amount of the grant corresponding to the actual duration of the mobility period and remaining funds will have to be refunded (except if agreed differently with the sending organisation). You should carefully check the grant agreement before signing it and keep it in mind during your period abroad. For example, if a final installment is foreseen at the end of the period abroad, it will be subject to the submission of the compulsory online assessment at the end of the mobility, and you may be asked to partially or fully reimburse the EU grant received if you do not complete and submit the final online report.
Will top-up grants be made available for Erasmus+ traineeships?
If you are studying in a Programme Country, you must contact the international office in your university to know the amount of the top-up grant that has been made available by your country’s National Agency (between 100 and 200 EUR per month).
Can I take part in an Erasmus+ mobility activity without a scholarship, or with other sources of funding?
For credit mobility, you must contact the international office in your university to see if this is possible.
Erasmus+ funding provides a number of scholarships for Erasmus Mundus Joint Master Degrees (EMJMDs). Typically, each EMJMD will be able to award Erasmus+ scholarships to around 15 of the best-ranked students applying to a Masters in a given academic year. Joint Master Degree Courses will also recruit other students without Erasmus+ scholarships. Some Masters courses are able to offer full or part-scholarships from other sources, or have links to other funding agencies such as national or regional authorities, or the corporate sector. It is also possible to take part in an EMJMD as a fee-paying student.
For any further information check the official website of the Erasmus+ or contact the International Relations Office of your University.
To download the FAQs as a pdf file, click here.