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What's the Erasmus programme?

Details of the Erasmus exchange programme, with information about financial support and what will replace it after Brexit.

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CONTENTS

  1. What's Erasmus+?

  2. Where can students go?

  3. What financial support is available?

  4. How can students apply?

  5. After the UK withdraws from Erasmus – Turing scheme

What's Erasmus+?

After Brexit the UK won’t be part of the Erasmus scheme in the future, with the programme set to be replaced in September 2021 by the new Turing scheme for students to study and work abroad. However, current Erasmus+ projects will run until their funding ends – even if this is after 2020. In addition, students at institutions in Northern Ireland who have a British passport can continue to take part in Erasmus, funded by the Irish Government.

Erasmus+ is an EU programme for education, training, youth and sport. It helps university students to enhance their skills, experience and job prospects. Students may be eligible to study abroad through Erasmus+ for 312 months as part of their degree programme, usually from the second year of study. Students can also apply for a traineeship lasting between 2–12 months, if their degree permits.

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.

Where can students go?

As well as EU and EEA countries, the Erasmus scheme includes other partners from Armenia to Tunisia, giving students a wide variety of places to choose from. Sometimes a year abroad is directly linked to a course or is a mandatory requirement, so students studying a foreign language may have to take a placement in a country that speaks that language.

What financial support is available?

It depends where you go, but when studying abroad as part of Erasmus students don’t normally pay any extra tuition or study-related costs to the university. They may have to pay for insurance and student union membership.

On top of any existing grants or loans in place through their current university, students can get a grant towards their accommodation and living expenses while studying or training abroad. There may be further financial support for those with extra needs.

While some countries have lower living costs than the UK, others will be more expensive. When abroad, students are responsible for paying for their accommodation and other daily expenses and must plan ahead for these costs.

How can students apply?

Students who are already at university and are interested in studying through the Erasmus programme should contact their academic adviser as soon as possible to find out if programmes are available. Opportunities will only be available on Erasmus+ programmes that were funded before the UK withdrew from the scheme, or to students studying in Northern Ireland.

After the UK withdraws from Erasmus – Turing scheme

As part of the Brexit agreement, the UK withdrew from Erasmus. From September 2021, the UK’s new Turing scheme will fund around 35,000 students from universities, colleges and schools to go on placements and exchanges overseas. Students from disadvantaged areas and areas with low participation in Erasmus will be targeted in particular, to give them access to life-changing opportunities.

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