Would you like to go on ERASMUS as a student and would you like to know a little more about the procedures to be followed? Here’s a recap of everything you may need to prepare before you can enter the host country.
Please note that this article has no official scope and is only the result of my experience applying for Erasmus. For more information, I invite you to refer to this website.
ERASMUS, or the European Action Scheme for the Mobility of University Students, allows students to go on a university exchange for a period of 3 to 12 months. That exchange can take place in any country that is part of the European Economic Area (including Turkey and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia) in an institution that has signed the ERASMUS Charter for higher education. Students can also do their internship abroad via this programme for a period of 2 to 12 months.
Becoming ERASMUS+ in 2014, the programme is now more global and integrated than ever in education, training, youth and sport.
In this article, we will focus on ERASMUS+ for students.
This experience has many benefits, including:
- Exemption from tuition fees at the host institution.
- Opportunity to live abroad and be socially involved, thanks to your student status.
- Financial grants.
- Priority in student housing (for Bergen).
But also two significant cons:
- The country or the city you want to go to may not be available. If that is the case, I encourage you to go on ERASMUS in another country because I think it will still be a rewarding experience in any case.
- The scholarships awarded will surely not be enough for you to live on, you will have to dive into your savings or make some money before you leave.
3. The conditions
Before you can apply to go to ERASMUS as a student, you will need to meet a few requirements:
- Studying at least in the 2nd year of the bachelor’s degree when you apply.
- Be registered in your home institution for at least one semester before your application.
- Your main teacher agreement on your courses choice: discuss it with him/her and if there are any problems regarding their validation, try to find an arrangement for the period or duration of your exchange.
- A good level of the language taught in the host institution.
4. Steps with the home university
Once you have your main teacher agreement, you can carry out the administrative procedures with your institution to ask for your exchange.
You will be allowed to make a limited number of destination wishes (usually 3) regarding your destinations choice.
You will have to provide :
- A cover letter for each of your destination wishes.
- Your academic records.
- If you’re not a native English speaker: results of an official language test attesting to your level (TOEFL, CAMBRIDGE or maybe TOEIC).
- Depending on the university, but still recommended: a recommendation letter from one or two referent teachers.
- Other administrative documents.
And also apply for scholarship grants.
Please note that the courses from the host university that you choose must reflect the number of credits required for your semester or year validation. If you leave for 12 months, you can spread the necessary credits over two semesters.
5. Application with the host institution
- Translate your academic records if they are not in English. Some universities may also ask you for a translation of your degrees.
- Probably draft a cover letter and CV related to your course choices.
- Provide documents that highlight your application.
- Depending on the institution where you wish to do your exchange, results from a language test may be required.
Most classes taught at the University of Bergen don’t require a language certification, they assume that your English level is at least B2. More information here
Still, you will have to take a test online with OLS before and after your stay to check your English level progression.
If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to your host university. They are generally very responsive!
Before your departure, you will have to apply for the European Health Insurance Card. The Norwegian Immigration Service may ask you to provide a document certifying that you have the necessary financial resources to support yourself during your stay.
Good to know: The grading system in Norway uses letters from A to F like in Anglo-Saxon countries, but in this case, you only fail with F.
Also read : Tips and advice for a successful Erasmus experience.
7. The returnPlease note that some steps may vary from one institution to another and this was my own experience going in ERASMUS from France to Norway. For more information, I invite you to visit this site.Depending on your results, your home university will validate your year or not.
You will also have to retake the OLS language test and answer a questionnaire about your experience living abroad.
Please note that the university where you have completed your stay will not award you any diplomas.
Finally, I hope that all of these steps won’t discourage you from participating in ERASMUS or any other academic exchange. Once this whole administrative process is over, your experience will definitely be worth it.
Sources : Erasmus Bergen (my own experience), erasmusplus, univ-paris8, uib and ec.europa.