Studying Abroad

Erasmus Programme

Ben Maples  · Nov 29th 2021

The Erasmus Programme is a student exchange programme that works across Europe.


Erasmus stands for European Region Action Scheme for the Mobility of University Students.

The Erasmus Programme is one of the most popular exchange programmes in Europe today, the programme has been running since 1987 and has a number of parallel schemes that they run too.

Erasmus plus programme guide

What is the Erasmus Programme?

So what is Erasmus programme?

The Erasmus Programme (sometimes referred to as Erasmus + or Erasmus Exchange Programme) is a programme that allows for students to travel to countries in the European Union for the purposes of training, education and sport.

Did you know that Erasmus is actually an acronym? Erasmus stands for EuRopean Community Action Scheme for the Mobility of University Students. Bit of a mouthful, so let’s just stick with Erasmus programme.

Who can apply for the Erasmus Programme?

There are a number of people who can apply for the Erasmus Programme, it’s not just limited to students!

  • Students at university of an institute of higher education: This is likely the category you fall into. The programme is for students to have the chance to apply abroad and stuy a new side of their course abroad.
  • Staff at university or an institute of higher education: Yep, even teachers and lecturers use Erasmus! It is sometimes known as the Erasmus staff exchange programme. This gives people the chance to teach abroad, gain some experience and can even gain external funding for their trip as well.
  • Private companies: Sometimes private companies require their employees to work abroad or to take people from other countries over to help out and even to take on joint projects.
  • Students from outside of Europe: Yep, that may well soon be the UK! Erasmus programme Brexit plans are in place (see below), but for people coming from North or South America, for example, Erasmus exists as well. This is known as the Erasmus Mundus programme (or Erasmus Mundus scholarship programme or Erasmus Mundus exchange programme, as it’s sometimes known or even known as the Erasmus For All Programme) and aims to globalise European education properly.

So anyone can apply, even if you're a mature student. The Erasmus programme website will have more information for you on how to apply for Erasmus programme.

There are a number of people who can apply for the Erasmus Programme, it’s not just limited to students!

Is the Erasmus Programme ending?

No, it’s not.

There is another arm of the Erasmus Programme, called the Erasmus + programme (or the Erasmus plus programme), which runs until 2020 and has had €14.7bn invested into it for education, sport and training.

The difference between the two programmes is relatively small, but basically, the Erasmus + programme focuses on the main things the normal Erasmus Programme does, but has a real focus on volunteering opportunities and vocational courses.

There are plans to keep the Erasmus programme and any Erasmus programme funding initiatives going from 2021, when the programme will enter it’s next phase.

There are plans for the European Commission to double the Socrates Erasmus programme funding to €30bn from 2021 to 2027, negotiations are still ongoing, but it’s likely that the Erasmus placement programme won’t end!

Erasmus programme statistics

How to apply for Erasmus programme?

You should speak to your university if you’re thinking of studying abroad. Your university will most likely have an Erasmus office that will handle issues such as these. You can also speak to any lecturers that you have and they will be able to give some personal advice and the Student Advisor will also bring many benefits, as these people deal with the Socrates-Erasmus exchange programme.

Be sure to research the different countries where you are able to study, all will have benefits and drawbacks, only you can evaluate and decide what is best for you.

How long is the Erasmus Programme?

Unfortunately, there is a limit to the timescale that you can go away for with the Socrates Erasmus exchange programme.

If you go to a university in the European Union, you have a minimum stay of three months and a maximum stay of twelve months. No matter how long you go away for, it is crucial that you have European health insurance, the Erasmus international student exchange programme, won’t provide you with any.

When can I start using the Erasmus Programme?

Annoyingly, you can’t use Erasmus until you’re in the second year of university or later than that, depending on what course you happen to be studying.

Your course may have a year studying abroad at another university as mandatory. A lot of language courses will require you to go abroad, however, often going abroad will be an option rather than strictly mandatory, but this depends on the course that you’re doing and the university that you happen to be studying at.

There is another arm of the Erasmus Programme, called the Erasmus + programme

What countries take part in the Erasmus programme?

There are a number of countries who take part in the Erasmus programme in Europe, such as:

  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Bulgaria
  • Croatia
  • Cyprus
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Holland
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Latvia
  • Liechtenstein
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Macedonia
  • Malta
  • Norway
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Romania
  • Sweden
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Spain
  • Turkey
  • United Kingdom

These Erasmus programme countries have a number of different codes and conducts in place, but they all work under the Socrates-Erasmus programme rules and regulations.

Nearly one thousand institutes partner with the scheme and allow foreign students to visit the premises, although the list is likely to be affected by Brexit. It is important to have a study abroad back up plan, so once you have researched the different possibilities, pick at least 3 options, don’t rely on just one institution.

Erasmus mundus programme guide

Will I have to pay any additional fees for using the Erasmus programme?

No, you won’t.

When studying abroad or using the Erasmus exchange programme for students, you can actually do yourself a big favour in terms of your own student loan.

If you study abroad for the full academic year, then you will only be required a maximum of fifteen percent of your tuition fees for that year. However, if you studied for less than twenty-four weeks, then you will have to pay the full amount with the European Erasmus programme.

Your prices will be listed in your Erasmus programme guide.

If you study abroad for the full academic year, then you will only be required a maximum of fifteen percent of your tuition fees for that year.

What is the Erasmus Programme deadline?

This can vary from university to university as it will all very much depend on what your university’s stipulations are; although the most common deadline usually happens to be around the winter term.

Erasmus Programme grants and scholarships

Your university will often have a grant or a fund for Erasmus programme Europe, which very much depends on whereabouts you are going and the cost-of-living in that area too.

The going rate for most universities is around €250-€300, which goes towards student accommodation and your living costs, although this can change depending on the university that you happen to be studying at. You can also get an additional €100 towards your stay if you have any special needs that need accommodating with your Erasmus European exchange programme.

undergraduate Uni's

Get your questions answered by sending them an enquiry now.