When moving to another country to receive an international degree, applicants are guided by a number of reasons. Education abroad enables future specialists to gain strong knowledge and large-scale practical experience; provides conditions for the development of linguistic skills due to daily communication in a foreign language environment. It gives a chance to plunge into a new reality, discover different countries and expand the boundaries of your world view. Factors of personal growth are also of major importance: training of flexible thinking, the ability to navigate in unusual life situations and adapt to unfamiliar conditions.

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The European Region Action Scheme for the Mobility of University Students ERASMUS+ provides excellent opportunities for the simultaneous implementation of all these aspirations. Officially, the programme was launched over 30 years ago and today it has been used by about 10 million students from all over the world.

The essence of ERASMUS+ is that a student can undergo vocational training at a similar faculty of a foreign educational institution. The main goals of the ERASMUS+ programme are to improve the quality of education, develop mobility and cultural connections of students from the European Union and its neighbouring countries. The time a student spends abroad is taken into account by his/her home university within the relevant study programme.

Interesting facts about student exchange programmes:

  1. In Europe as a whole, 20% of students have experience in studying or passing work placements abroad.
  2. More than 60% of exchange participants are girls.
  3. The largest number of students are trained in exchange programmes in such areas as the Humanities and Social Sciences, Art, Journalism, Law and Business Administration.

What Is Needed to Participate in the Programme?

The conditions for participation in the ERASMUS+ programme are as follows:

  1. The chosen university must have an agreement with your home educational institution about student participation in the exchange programme.
  2. You must study at least in the second year of a Bachelor’s degree programme (if you want to complete a part of the programme or the entire programme of the second year abroad, you must apply when being in your first year of studies).
  3. Your average score must be higher than the level determined by the university.
  4. You must speak English or the state language of the host country at the B1/B2 level (according to the Common European Framework of Reference for Foreign Language Proficiency).

The candidates are selected on a competitive basis. To participate in an exchange programme, it is necessary to fill in an electronic form in due time in accordance with the recommendations of the home university and submit two documents:

  1. Certificate of academic performance (taking into account the average exam score for the current year of studies or the previous one).
  2. A motivation letter (1–2 pages). In your letter it is necessary to indicate three important points: experience in studies and practice according to your study programme; the benefits that the programme will give you personally and/or the country where you will work afterwards, and how you can benefit the host university (knowledge, experience, innovation).

The home educational institution can independently select candidates for participation in the ERASMUS+ programme. At the same time, it is obliged to ensure a transparent, open and fair competitive procedure. All students receive final documents with the results of the selection and may appeal if they disagree with the decision of the university.

The winners of the competition before leaving abroad enter into a Learning Agreement with their home university. It includes all the subjects and standards that the student will study and perform in the host university. Similar subjects, given a successful study abroad, will be registered in the student’s record book upon returning to home university.

The duration of the exchange programme ranges from 3 to 12 months at one level of study (that is, a maximum of 12 months at the Bachelor’s level, 12 months at the Master’s level and 12 months at the PhD level).

You can study abroad under exchange programme after receiving a diploma. It is important to observe two conditions:

  1. no more than 12 months can pass after graduation;
  2. it is necessary to register for participation and pass the selection while still having the student status.

The competition for participation in the ERASMUS+ programme opens at universities in January. Applications are accepted from late February to early March.

Intramural students participating in the exchange programme can count on a scholarship, the monthly amount of which varies depending on the university and the host country. Thus, the minimum amount in the 2018/19 academic year is 370 euros for countries with low living expenses and 520 euros for countries with high living costs. It is important to emphasize that staying in a higher educational institution of another country under the ERASMUS+ programme will not require the student to incur additional expenses related to tuition payment.

ERASMUS+ Programme Geography

 All countries of the European Union, as well as Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, the Republic of Macedonia and Turkey participate in the ERASMUS+ programme. Access to universities in these countries is open to students and teachers from around the world. From the 2015/2016 academic year, it is also possible to participate in a mobility programme outside these countries, if the educational institution has requested funds for its student to participate in the Erasmus+ programme outside of Europe.

The majority of higher and vocational educational institutions in Slovenia participate in the Erasmus+ exchange programme. The choice of programmes is the broadest: Economics, Law, Social Sciences, Engineering, Construction, High Technology, Medicine, Veterinary Medicine, Journalism, Architecture, Humanities, and Natural Science. Thus, receiving a high-quality education in Slovenia, a student has the opportunity to become a participant of the ERASMUS+ programme, discovering not only this single European country, but also a wide international space.

Needless to say, the ERASMUS+ entry record adds weight to the resume of a young specialist in the minds of any European employer. A brief wording “a participant of the ERASMUS+ programme” means that the candidate is a proactive, persistent and goal-oriented person with a broad outlook who knows how to set priorities and make decisions correctly.

The programme officially ends in 2020. However, there is no doubt that ERASMUS+ will continue its work in future. The deputies of the European Parliament are in favour of doubling the budget of the international exchange programme for students and teachers, which means that it will continue to work!

Olga Shumakova

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