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ERASMUS: Student Mobility Programme Receives Citation
Thread poster: Parrot

Parrot  Identity Verified
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Nov 3, 2004

I should really have posted this at the end of October, when the Prince of Asturias Award – the closest you can come to a Spanish Nobel, I suppose – fell to ERASMUS, for achievement in International Cooperation. Eurasmus? Anyway, it was roughly meant to stand for the European Action Scheme for the Mobility of University Students – although for very good reasons it takes the name of the great philosopher from Rotterdam who fought tirelessly against the stranglehold of dogma on free thinking way back in the fifteenth-sixteenth centuries.

A scholar worthy indeed to lend his name to travel grants-in-aid: Desiderius Erasmus lived in Holland, France, England and Italy before ending his days in Switzerland and bequeathing his fortune to the University of Basel, precisely in the form of a mobility grant. More than anyone else during his time, he was aware of the important role that travel and multifarious cultural experiences had played in his achievements. And if, in translation, anybody quite comes up to St. Jerome, it was Erasmus who, in 1516, published the Greek-Latin version of the New Testament, thereby calling our attention to the importance of using – along with the Latin references in the Vulgate – original Greek and Hebrew sources.

Still, perhaps his best-beloved work was the parody he wrote "In Praise of Folly". But no man, you'll say, ever sacrificed to Folly or built me a temple. And troth, as I said before, I cannot but wonder at the ingratitude; yet because I am easily to be entreated, I take this also in good part, though truly I can scarce request it. For why should I require incense, wafers, a goat, or sow when all men pay me that worship everywhere which is so much approved even by our very divines? Unless perhaps I should envy Diana that her sacrifices are mingled with human blood. Then do I conceive myself most religiously worshipped when everywhere, as 'tis generally done, men embrace me in their minds, express me in their manners, and represent me in their lives, which worship of the saints is not so ordinary among Christians. How many are there that burn candles to the Virgin Mother, and that too at noonday when there's no need of them! But how few are there that study to imitate her in pureness of life, humility and love of heavenly things, which is the true worship and most acceptable to heaven! Besides why should I desire a temple when the whole world is my temple, and I'm deceived or 'tis a goodly one? Nor can I want priests but in a land where there are no men. Nor am I yet so foolish as to require statues or painted images, which do often obstruct my worship, since among the stupid and gross multitude those figures are worshipped for the saints themselves. And so it would fare with me, as it does with them that are turned out of doors by their substitutes. No, I have statues enough, and as many as there are men, everyone bearing my lively resemblance in his face, how unwilling so ever he be to the contrary.

It was also true that he paid the price for a healthy skepticism and irreverence not often seen in his day and age.

The news of the recent award to the ERASMUS programme flushed out quite a few Prozians holding champagne glasses: after 17 years in action and over a million beneficiaries, there were bound to be several of them amongst us:

Marta Alamañac, Nantes, France, 1997-1998.
María Belarra, Angers, France, February-June 1999.
Patrick Füldner, Valencia, Spain, 1999-2000.
Angel Espinosa, Berlin, Germany, February-June 2000.
Rocío Rosales, Aalborg, Denmark, 1997-1998.

Anyone else I missed?

Although ERASMUS is primarily applied for by universities and university consortia and implemented on the institutional level, it might just be timely to feature the programme from the beneficiaries' point of view.

In keeping with the spirit of Erasmus' pluralistic thought and broad language-related expertise, contributions to this thread are not expected to be exclusively in English, although I would request posters to try to make themselves as widely understood as possible.

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Parrot  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:48
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Student FAQ Sheet Nov 3, 2004

ERASMUS is the Higher Education section of the European Community action programme called "SOCRATES" in the field of education. ERASMUS is a EU funded programme which contains a wide range of measures designed to support the European activities of higher education institutions, including mobility and exchange of their students and teaching staff.
The programme is open to the 15 Member States of the European Union, the three EEA countries (Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway) and the twelve associated countries (Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Cyprus, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Romania, the Slovak Republic, Slovenia). Turkey is presently negotiating its possible future participation.
You can find more general information on the SOCRATES/ERASMUS programme, its objectives and implementation.

Who can participate in ERASMUS?
To participate in the SOCRATES/ERASMUS programme, you must fulfill the following conditions:
• You are a student and enrolled in a formal programme of study at higher education level leading to a degree or a diploma (including doctoral level) in one of the participating countries.
• You are a citizen of one the participating countries (or are recognised as having an official status of refugeee or statelesss person or permanent resident).
• You have completed at least the first year of your university studies.

How do I participate in ERASMUS and where can I go?
If you fulfill the above conditions, you should contact the International Relations Office or the Socrates Office of your home University. These offices will provide you with information on all the exchanges your institution is involved in, i.e. which universities, which faculties, in which countries etc. You can also check on the website of your home university about its partner institutions!
You can study at selected partner institutions of your home university in one of the thirty participating countries. There are a certain amount of places and grants available at each host university which are given to the students after a selection process organized by your home university.

How long can I go and when?
In the framework of the SOCRATES/ERASMUS programme, you can spend between three months and a full academic year abroad. In general, students spend either the first or the second semester, or a whole year abroad. Academic calendars can vary in the different countries.

Are there any deadlines I need to respect?
There is no single deadline for the student's demands, because each university organises its selection procedure independently. Enquire at your university concerning its application deadlines.

Can I apply for an ERASMUS grant?
Yes. SOCRATES/ERASMUS provides mobility grants to many thousands of students. These grants are intended as a contribution towards covering the extra costs involved in studying abroad, such as travel expenses, language preparation costs, higher general costs of living in the host country. The SOCRATES/ERASMUS grant covers the period of study abroad (from three months to a full academic year).

How do I apply for the ERASMUS grant?
The application procedure for an ERASMUS grant varies from country to country. Contact the international relations office of your home university about the grant application.

How high is the ERASMUS grant?
The awarded amount varies significantly from country to country. In any case, don't expect a full scholarship. The SOCRATES/ERASMUS grant is intended as contribution towards covering the difference in living expenses abroad. It can be combined with additional funds provided by the university, by the member state or by other public or private bodies.

Do I have to pay university fees abroad?
It is a condition of the SOCRATES/ERASMUS programme that no fees (for tuition, registration, examinations, access to laboratory and library facilities etc.) have to be paid to the host institution. However, small fees may be charged for costs, such as insurance, student unions, the use of photocopiers, laboratory products etc., on an equal basis with local students. Where appropriate, normal fees are payable to the home institution.

Will I receive academic recognition at home for my study period abroad?
Yes. The SOCRATES/ERASMUS study period is an integral part of the programme of study at your home university. Full academic recognition must given for the study period abroad, as decided upon in the Learning Agreement.

What is a Learning Agreement?
ERASMUS students are expected to complete a Learning Agreement to be signed by themselves and the home and host institutions. The Learning Agreement is an informal contract that indicates precisely what modules you will be studying. It should be completed well before you arrive at the host institution. Subsequent modifications to the Learning Agreement are permitted as long as they are agreed by all parties concerned. At the end of the study period abroad, the host university will provide the exchange student as well as the sending university with a transcript reporting the results obtained in the agreed programme of study.

What is ECTS?
To facilitate academic recognition, the majority of European universities have adopted the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS). This system provides a common scale for measuring in credits the student workload required to complete course units (for example, one full year of studies generally amounts to 60 credits).

How well do I have to speak the language of the country I will go to?
You must have acquired sufficient knowledge of the language in which the courses you will attend will be taught. This can be through school qualification in a foreign language, foreign language courses at university or simply by having spent some time living abroad.

Are there any preparatory languages courses?
Yes, in general, you can follow preparatory language courses either at your home university before your departure or at your host university before the beginning of your study period abroad. In addition, host institutions of countries, where the national language is less widely used and taught, often offer Intensive Language Preparatory Courses (ILPC) to incoming ERASMUS students.

Who can help me with information about accommodation?
Finding accommodation is one of the first steps in your ERASMUS experience. Often the cheapest alternative is to have a room on campus. You should contact the campus accommodation office of your host institution about this as soon as possible. Both Socrates offices of your home and host university country might be able to help you also. You can also ask at your host university if they have any special places where they post accomodation ads. Generally, there are ads in the local press, too.

How will the ERASMUS study period abroad affect my employment prospects?
According to recent studies, your prospects for employment increase slightly if you spend some time abroad. Many former ERASMUS students, and especially « long-period » ERASMUS students (6 to 12 months), tend to succeed in finding jobs and work tasks linked to the use of the international competences acquired or reinforced during the study period abroad, for example language, professional knowledge of the host country, first hand knowledge of the host culture and society, etc


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Parrot  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:48
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Erasmus Mundus: It couldn't stop in Europe... Nov 4, 2004


The Erasmus Mundus programme (covering the period 2004-2008) aims to encourage students and visiting scholars from third countries to study at European universities as a means of promoting an important exchange of ideas between cultures both beneficial to the EU and the partner countries. It is hoped that this dialogue will enhance the quality of Higher Education in Europe and attract more students and scholars to study in the EU.

In addition, European students are also able to benefit from the programme and study alongside third country nationals on especially designated "Erasmus Mundus Masters courses" which receive funding from the Community and an "EU" seal.

To be eligible for an "EU" seal, these courses involve at least three universities from three different Member States and students need to complete periods of study in at least two of the three universities. It's aimed that by the end of 2008 around 250 "Erasmus Mundus Masters courses" will have been established.

The specialised "Erasmus Mundus Masters courses" also receive visiting scholars from universities around the world for teaching and research assignments lasting on average three months.

The programme encourages the universities participating in a "Erasmus Mundus Masters course" to co-operate with universities in third countries through joint projects which last up to three years. This co-operation facilitates the exchange of students and scholars between the EU and third countries.

The European Commission proposed the programme to the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union on 17 June 2002 and the Parliament produced some amendments on 8 April 2003.

The Education, Youth and Culture Council met 5-6 May 2003 and the proposal for the programme was ratified. On 5 December the legislative process ended and the Erasmus Mundus programme was adopted. The programme entered into force on 20 January 2004.


I'm an EU citizen and I want to study abroad...

You are eligible to apply for financial support to follow an "Erasmus Mundus Masters course". Depending on the co-operation agreements existing between your university and its partner institutions, you may also be able to complete a period of study in a third country outside the EU.

I'm a third country national who wants to study in the EU...

You are eligible to apply for an "Erasmus Mundus" scholarship to follow a European Masters course (please note the scholarship is only valid for this course) and study up to two academic years in the EU. An "Erasmus Mundus" scholarship aims to cover the student's living expenses and will be approximately €1 600 per month. It's hoped that over 2,000 students from third countries will benefit from scholarships of this kind, with around 4,200 scholarships to be awarded during the programme's life span.

I'm a university scholar...

"Erasmus Mundus Masters courses" receive visiting scholars from universities around the world for teaching and research assignments, lasting on average three months. It's planned that between 2004 and 2008 over 1,000 visiting scholars will benefit from financial support with an average grant totalling €13 000.

Based on partnerships between European and third country universities, exchanges of scholars are also possible outside the Masters' framework (around 800 assignments of this kind are foreseen in the programme budget for the 2004-2008 period).

How can I apply?

For information on who to contact and how to apply please see the DG Education and Culture website.

Any questions?
Please contact the DG Education and Culture,


[Edited at 2004-11-04 11:37]

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ERASMUS: Student Mobility Programme Receives Citation

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