It’s a busy and sometimes worrying time for parents when your children are about to fly the nest for university, let alone to go and live abroad. However if your child wants to study or work in Europe, we think they should be encouraged and supported. And the best way to experience life abroad for the first time is through the Erasmus programme. It’s the largest organised mobility programme in the world, known and respected throughout Europe. Over two and a half million students in Europe have taken part in the programme and the majority would agree it was the most rewarding time of their college life.
Students can do a study period or work placement and both count towards their degree. See our Academic Recognition and Student Charter sections for further information on recognition and rights and dowload our Parent's Guide. You will also find it interesting to read the report by the Higher Education Funding Council for England: "Attainment in higher education of Erasmus and placements students", which highlights how Erasmus students perform in their degrees and in their future careers.
Students not only have their first experience of living abroad and facing all the challenges and fun this can bring – they also acquire many new life skills that will set them apart in the job market where a degree is no longer a passport to a job. Employers want life skills such as communication, team working and problem-solving capabilities and Erasmus helps develop these skills. Read how former Erasmus students have benefited from their Erasmus experience in our Case Studies section and find out about some of the key benefits of the programme.
Students who enrol at a Higher Education Institution in the UK and wish to undertake a study period or a work placement for between three months and an academic year in an EU, EEA, or candidate country can participate in the Erasmus Programme. See our section on where you can go for a full list of the countries that are involved.
Students from all subject areas can participate, from art to zoology, biology to psychology. Erasmus is not just for language students and prior knowledge of the language, although recommended, is not always essential as many countries offer courses taught in English. See our language section for further information.
UK Erasmus students normally receive an Erasmus grant provided by the European Commission. Erasmus grants are paid in addition to the standard grants or loans to which students are entitled. During their Erasmus study, students continue to receive any student grant or loan to which they are entitled and they may be eligible for a supplementary grant or loan. Students who spend a full academic year on an Erasmus placement do not pay any UK tuition fees for that year. See our section on Funding for further information.
Robert Gordon University tracked down a group of their former Erasmus students to find out how their Erasmus experiences have helped them since leaving university. Read their stories in the university's brochure 'Where Are They Now?'