What's the Erasmus programme?
Details of the Erasmus exchange programme, with information about financial support, how to apply and what will happen after Brexit.
Erasmus+ is an EU programme for education, training, youth and sport. It helps university students to enhance their skills, experience and job prospects. UK students may be eligible to study abroad through Erasmus+ for 3–12 months as part of their degree programme, usually after the second year of study.
Erasmus+ stems from the Erasmus Programme, a student exchange programme that has been operating in the EU since 1987. It serves students across the EU with foreign exchange opportunities at some of the world’s best universities. Since its inception, over four million students have taken part.
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- Studying abroad
Thirty-three countries are part of the Erasmus scheme, giving you a wide variety of places to choose from. Sometimes a year abroad is directly linked to your course or is a mandatory requirement, so if you’re studying a foreign language, for example, you’ll probably have to take your placement in a country that speaks that language.
It depends where you go, but when studying abroad as part of Erasmus, you usually pay no additional fees to the university you visit.
On top of any existing grants or loans in place through your current university, you can receive grants of up to €300–350 per month to contribute towards accommodation and living expenses.
You can also receive a further grant if you've already qualified for additional support for higher education, and more financial support if you have special requirements.
Many countries have lower living costs than the UK, but some will be more expensive to live in. While you're abroad, you're responsible for paying for accommodation and everything else in your daily life, so make sure you're aware of extra costs before choosing where to study.
If you're interested in studying through the Erasmus programme, contact your academic adviser or your university's Erasmus office as soon as possible. The deadline for studying abroad in the following academic year is often in the winter term, but each university has its own rules.
The Erasmus+ UK National Agency is currently working closely with the Department for Education on how a no-deal Brexit might affect Erasmus+. The European University Association made this statement on the impact of Brexit on the UK's participation in Erasmus programmes:
"It is important to underline that a no-deal is a worst-case scenario; if there is an agreement, the EU and the UK have already agreed that the Horizon 2020 and the Erasmus+ programmes will continue without changes to UK participation until 2020, and that there will very likely be a transition period so that other areas such as trade and regulation are not immediately affected."