Good preparation is the key to success. To get you started, here are a few pointers that might help you plan your trip and ensure things run smoothly.
In some cases your home and host institutions may be able to help you with finding accommodation for your Erasmus study/work period; please contact your Erasmus co-ordinator for further help. Do not be deterred though if it is not guaranteed, there are many accommodation websites, such as Casaswap which exist to facilitate the exchange of rented accommodation. CasaSwap is a free international housing network, where you can rent, sublet and swap accommodation with other members from all over the world. You can find a place to stay, get a roommate, and exchange your own room, apartment or house. Good preparation and planning will ensure you get off to a good start.
You may also find it useful to visit www.justlanded.com Their aim is to make the process of moving abroad as easy and as enjoyable as possible for students. They have launched an international community where students can exchange experiences and meet new friends abroad. They also offer an international housing portal which has proven to be extremely popular among students, as they search for flatshares in their city of destination.
Another useful site is Sharemyflat. This is a not-for-profit website where landlords can post their accommodation ads and be contacted by room searchers, all for free. The site is available in 10 languages and welcomes users from all across the globe. Sharemyflat manually screens all room ads to ensure the website is kept safe and up-to-date.
We cannot recommend individual travel agents, but it's good to shop around and find the best deal. Before booking flights, check out whichbudget.com which shows which airlines fly between which cities. If you decide to take your car, make sure it is adequately insured. Europe also has a great rail network, so why not look into travel by train. Have a look at Eurail for informationon on rail passes -it covers travel from one to 20 countries. You may also want to download a useful guide on your passenger rights when travelling by train, produced by the EU.
You should ensure that you have medical and travel insurance for the duration of your study/work period, including travel to and from the UK. If you go to any EU country, you should get a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). The EHIC has replaced the E111 which are no longer valid.
The quickest and easiest way to get an EHIC is to apply online. Applicants will need their National Insurance number to hand. The EHIC is free of charge and entitles you to reduced-cost, sometimes free, medical treatment that becomes necessary while you're in a European Economic Area (EEA) country. The EEA consists of the European Union (EU) countries plus Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway. You should also consider taking out an additional policy to insure your possessions, if this is not covered on your family’s insurance.
Further health advice for travelling abroad can be found on the Gov.UK
Take a look at www.justlanded.com as they currently have guides to 38 different countries, all of which provide practical information about issues such as health insurance, finding accommodation, visas and permits, banking and telecom services and much more.
Also read the latest advice from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO)
The FCO is moving from a system where British nationals are encouraged to register when they travel in case there is a crisis, to one where they are using a number of channels to give the latest information and advice on what you should do if you need their help in a crisis and how to contact the FCO's crisis response team. This faster and more practical system supersedes the 'Locate' system;. which will cease running from 14 May 2013. See the new Consular Strategy on GOV.UK.
Millions of British people travel abroad every year. Most have a journey free from trouble and do not need consular services. However sometimes things go wrong and British nationals can be victims of serious crime, require hospitalisation or be caught up in a major crisis. The FCO is committed to doing its utmost to assist British nationals in serious difficulties abroad. On 18 April 2013 the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs launched a new consular strategy for 2013 to 2016 titled "Consular Excellence". As part of this strategy, the FCO is also responding to what British nationals have said about how they want to stay informed about crisis and security situations when overseas. The FCO is updating its systems to offer a wide array of ways to stay in touch on these issues, including via email updates of the FCO's country-specific travel advice or by following FCO on Twiiter @fcotravel and on Facebook: www.facebook.com/fcotravel. The FCO encourages you to subscribe to this free service so you will be alerted by email when there are important updates. During a crisis, advice to British nationals will be published on their travel advice website and updated regularly.
Don't forget to watch our short films where former Erasmus students talk about their experiences and read our guides by students who give insider information on the places where they lived. You will also find thirdyearabroad's guide to studying abroad full of handy hints and tips.