What is Erasmus?
Erasmus is the European Commission's exchange programme that enables students registered at a university in the following countries to study, work or teach for part of their degree in another of those countries.
- EU member states: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom.
- EFTA-EEA countries: Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway.
- Candidate countries: Turkey, Croatia.
It aims to increase European awareness amongst university students by encouraging them to experience work or study in another European Union member state, or member states of the European Economic Area.
Erasmus grants are provided only for formally organised study or work placements involving specific universities or organisations with which Queen's has an agreement.
Study Agreements normally involve the exchange of students between academic departments in two partner universities, with the students fulfilling part of the requirements for their own degree at the foreign university. Erasmus is open to the majority of disciplines, but opportunities will depend on the agreements your department has made and what degree programme you are on.
Organisation - Study Placements
An Erasmus study placement can have a duration of between 3 and 12 months, but most will last for either one semester or a full academic year. Each bilateral agreement at the university is looked after by a member of academic staff - the Erasmus Programme Director - who is the key figure in the administration of the agreement. This person is responsible for identifying the course units which Queen's students could take at the host university, arranging the selection of students, discussing the practical aspects of the scheme with our partners, informing the Global Opportunities team of names of the incoming and outgoing students, etc. Your Erasmus Programme Director will be your first point of contact for all questions and difficulties you may have. Please click on this link for the list of the Erasmus Programme Directors for participating schools at Queen's. Each of our partner universities has a corresponding member of academic staff to act as a Programme Co-ordinator for that institution, and that person should also be able to help you with your Erasmus placement.
Organisation - Work Placements
Students wishing to undertake a work or language assistant placement as an integral part of their degree programme may be able to receive funding under Erasmus. An Erasmus work placement can have a duration of between 2 and 12 months. The placement will need to be approved by your School, and an agreement made between you, Queen's University and your employer. Increasing number of Erasmus students throughout Europe are taking advantage of this opportunity as it provides such a good preparation for future employment. Sometimes employers will give you a basic income which can be added to your Erasmus grant. As with academic study, the work placement should be recognised by Queen's as part of your degree programme. Please contact the Placement Co-ordinator in your School for further details.
Why join the Erasmus programme?
Erasmus is a great opportunity to spend time in another European country and have it count towards your degree. You can make new friends while experiencing another culture and new ways of looking at your subject.
The personal benefits should be obvious: the broadening and deepening of understanding which should come from immersion in a different culture; new friendships; the increased self-reliance and self-assurance which come from trying something new; and the benefits of learning another language.
Erasmus students may also find benefits for their specific degree course, for example, a fresh range of specialisms in the host university: a new angle on the subject; and different methods of teaching, learning and assessment.
An Erasmus placement should also enhance a student’s employment prospects. Employers put a high value on initiative, self-reliance, and maturity of outlook. They are also keenly aware of the need for staff who can work confidently and efficiently in an international context. Participation in the scheme should also improve the likelihood of obtaining a job elsewhere in Europe in an increasingly international labour market.
Who may take part?
In the UK, Erasmus provides financial support only for full-time students studying abroad as part of a pre-agreed Bilateral Agreement. Thus, you can take part only if your Queen's School has established such an agreement covering students on your degree course. Moreover, the period abroad can be spent only at the universities named in the Agreement(s). Financial support is also available for full-time work placements, which are a recognised part of a student's degree course.
Students of any nationality, as long as they are enrolled on a full-time regular degree programme, are eligible to participate. Students originally from another programme country may return to their home country, but the Erasmus rules state that priority must be given to other students. As the University receives a limited amount of Erasmus funding each year, it is therefore unable to offer Erasmus grants to students undertaking placements which are located less than 50 miles from a student's home address or the family home where they grew up.
Erasmus rules allow students to undertake placements for up to 12 months in each cycle of higher education (Undergraduate, Masters, PhD). This may be a combination of study and work placements. However, depending on your degree course, it may only be possible to spend a shorter period of time abroad. You should check this with your Queen's School.
If you are not sure whether your School has a Bilateral Agreement for which you would be eligible, you should consult the Global Opportunities team (Careers, Employability and Skills) - Tel: 028 9097 5255 or Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Please click here for details of subject areas and universities for which there are likely to be grants available for Queen’s students.