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Through this article, we aim to help you become familiar with the study and traineeship mobility opportunities offered through the Erasmus + program!
We're sure you've heard of this program, or maybe you've even participated in an Erasmus+ mobility already, but how much do you know about it? The Erasmus + program is the European Union's program for education, training, youth and sport. It was started in 1987 as a student exchange program. Since then, it has evolved to include various opportunities for individuals and organizations in sectors such as school education, adult education, higher education, vocational education and training and youth. In the first 30 years since its launch, more than 10 million people have participated in various Erasmus + projects (or other programs that have since been incorporated).
1. Benefits of participating in the Erasmus + program
It is not a novelty that participating in a mobility through the Erasmus + program contributes to your personal and professional development.
In today's society, more and more employers place more value on such experiences. Did you know that your participation in a study or traineeship mobility is recognized through the diploma supplement you obtain at the end of your studies?
By participating in an Erasmus + mobility you can experience what it is like to study or work in another country, you are exposed to new teaching and research methods, or to different work practices in your field. At the same time, you improve your language skills, learn about new cultures and make friends from other countries and beyond! Develop transversal skills such as communication, problem-solving and the ability to adapt to new situations.
2. Study mobilities
Study mobilities are dedicated to people (no age limit) who are enrolled in a higher education institution participating in the Erasmus + program. International Relations Offices constantly open up opportunities for their students to access a scholarship. Based on the partnerships concluded between your faculty and other higher education institutions, you can choose where you want to carry out your mobility. For information on this, as well as for details on the selection process, contact your faculty's Erasmus + Office.
Study mobilities can take between 2 and 12 months. You can benefit from a maximum of 12 months of mobility/study cycle (bachelor's, master's, doctorate). The mobility performed may be interconnected, or separated, during the studies. At the same time, they can include, without exceeding the maximum number of months allowed, a traineeship.
Did you know that the new Erasmus + program offers the possibility of blended mobility? Blended mobility is a combination of physical mobility and a virtual component.
Also through the Erasmus + program, you can do a traineeship in another country, within a private institution or company. Thus, during your studies, you can choose to do an internship lasting between 2 and 12 months in another country, based on the partnerships concluded by your university, or, in some cases, you can even look for an opportunity yourself, and the Erasmus + Office may sign an agreement with that entity. In some cases, it is allowed to do a practical internship even after graduation - we recommend that you check this with the International Relations Office of your university.
Did you know that our friends from AIESEC Romania (https://aiesec.org.ro/) can help you find different opportunities to do your internship in another country?
4. Support provided by the Erasmus + program
As a participant in an Erasmus + mobility, you primarily receive financial support from the European Commission. In order to access the grant, you must go through a selection carried out by the responsible committee at the university level. If you successfully go through this stage, depending on the country in which you are going to carry out your mobility, you will receive a grant of 540-600 euro/month for study mobility, respectively 690-750 euro/month for mobility practice (note - for Romanian students!) If you come from a disadvantaged environment, you can benefit from an additional amount of 250 euros/month extra for study mobility, respectively 150 euro/month extra for practice mobility.
Before leaving for mobility, you will sign a financing contract with the university and 80% of the total grant you will receive during the entire mobility will be transferred. The rest of the grant will be transferred to you when you return from mobility. It is important to know that the grant will not cover all your expenses, so it is very important when choosing your destination to study the prices and cost of living in general because you will have to manage your budget carefully in order to cover your expenses. with transportation, accommodation, utilities and food.
* if your mobility is funded by the previous Erasmus + program, the amounts may be different
5. Tips to consider when choosing a destination
When you apply for an Erasmus + study mobility application, you must make a list of your preferences (city, university - maximum of three options). There are several things to keep in mind when choosing a destination.
Courses available - you need to make sure that they are in the same field of study as the one you are taking at home. Consult with the Erasmus + Offices’ representatives when choosing the courses to ensure that you will be able to match your grades.
Language of instruction - some destinations may be very tempting for you, but you need to make sure that you are taking courses in a language that you understand. You will benefit from language support, but it will help you a lot more if you manage to express yourself at least at an intermediate level in the language of instruction. If language skills are not one of your strengths, don't be discouraged, the Erasmus + experience can help you grow!
Cost of living - it is very important to know that you are able to be financially independent and that you are able to fit in the monthly budget that you allocate! You need to do your homework well and choose a suitable destination for your income. We recommend https://www.numbeo.com/cost-of-living/ where you can get acquainted with the cost of living depending on the chosen destination.
The facilities offered - do your homework well and in terms of the host university! Make sure it offers dormitories to foreign students or that you need to look for rent. It may also be interesting for you to know what other facilities you will have (eg canteen, fitness room, library, etc.).
Weather, gastronomy - can be small, but very important in many cases to feel comfortable during your mobility… or why not, you may want to experience a whole new lifestyle!
6. Application preparation and tips for the interview
To apply for an Erasmus + scholarship / traineeship you need to go through a selection process carried out at the faculty/university level. Each university establishes its own rules, but often they are similar, and the selection process may include the preparation of a file (CV, cover letter, student certificate). If you are eligible, in most cases you are invited to an interview with representatives of the International Relations Office.
During the interview, you can be asked about your academic and/or extracurricular activity, about the motivation to go on mobility, as well as the reasons behind the choice of the destination, etc. The interview often includes a dialogue in the language in which you are going to study in order to test your language skills. We advise you to be natural and sincere. It is important to show that you are a communicative, receptive, and adaptable person. Don't forget the enthusiasm - you have to be convinced that you really want to participate in such an experience!
7. Documents required to participate in a mobility
There are also bureaucratic aspects that you need to consider before, during, and after the end of the mobility. There is a set of documents that you need to prepare, but you will be guided in this regard throughout the mobility by the International Relations Offices.
First of all, you will conclude an agreement that will include information about the activities carried out within the mobility, as well as the courses to be taken in case of a study mobility. This agreement must be signed by various stakeholders. You will also conclude a financing agreement that regulates the rights and obligations that the parties have regarding the granting of the scholarship / practice. When you return from mobility, you will prove the courses attended / the activity carried out (through the certificate of participation), as well as the marks obtained based on the transcript that you obtain from the host university.
8. The main actors in a mobility
There are different actors in an Erasmus + mobility that will be involved in order for it to run smoothly.
Sending Organization - the university you belong to through the Erasmus + Office / International Relations Office which will guide you through the mobility staff throughout the mobility. Together with them, you will elaborate the agreement, the financing contract and you will be in contact for the recognition of the mobility and the eventual equivalence of the studies (for a study mobility).
Host organization - the institution or company where you will carry out your mobility. This entity is responsible for the smooth running of your academic / professional activity.
Student organizations - In order to integrate into the local / academic community, there are various student organizations such as Erasmus Student Network (ESN), which will support you in this regard through the services they provide and the activities they carry out.
9. How do you prepare to go on mobility?
Once you have completed the administrative steps and you know for sure where you are going to carry out your mobility, you need to start preparing for what awaits you.
The most important aspect is represented by the accommodation - where you are going to live. Check if there is a possibility to live in a student dormitory, if not, you will have to look for an apartment to rent. You can find a rent through real estate agencies or on different groups on social networks. If you encounter difficulties, contact local students (including Erasmus Student Network volunteers) or the International Relations Office.
Your health is very important, so don't forget to get your European Health Card before you leave. It will be useful if you need medical care. If you think you have health problems that require more attention, we advise you to buy an insurance from a company that provides such services.
When it comes to transportation, it's important to check your options in advance. We encourage you to choose an environmentally friendly means of transport (train, bus) from two perspectives - you show that you care about nature and you can pack more from home without having to pay extra for luggage! Speaking of luggage, don't forget to check the weather and pack the right clothes!’
10. Tips for the mobility period
Erasmus + mobility is a truly unique experience in life, so you need to make sure you get the most out of it! First of all, our advice is to be a responsible person, to make sure that you fulfill your contractual obligations successfully and to take care of your personal and professional development. At the same time, it is important to carefully manage your budget and use various tools to monitor your expenses.
It is also important to be aware of potential cultural differences. By participating in an Erasmus + study or traineeship mobility you will spend a few months in the middle of other cultures, so it is good to get acquainted with the different social and cultural rules just before leaving. Pay attention to your own behavior and make sure that it does not cause discomfort to those around you, even if certain things may seem normal to you. It is important to be open and tolerant, but do not be afraid to communicate with others things that may seem strange to you or when you feel uncomfortable in different situations.
It is said that the Erasmus + experience is not just a year in your life, but a whole life in a year… this is because during your mobility you have the chance to experience a little bit of everything. Take full advantage (but responsibly) of all the opportunities that arise! Make friends from all over the world, visit new places, learn about other cultures… these will help you grow as a person! Get involved in the local community, discover the traditions and customs, but also the less visible aspects of the culture of the host country! Talk to the locals and try new things!
11. Validation and recognition of mobility
The Erasmus + experience, regardless of its type, is a valuable one for your personal and professional development!
At the end of study mobility, your grades obtained will be converted by a faculty committee based on an equivalence grid that covers the grades according to the differences between the grading systems and the ECTS credits obtained. Mobility, regardless of its type, will be recognized through the diploma supplement you obtain at the end of your studies. Regarding traineeship mobility, it can be considered a work experience by employers, so don't forget to mark the mobility in the CV and why not, ask for a letter of recommendation from the host organization!
If you have any questions or concerns, Erasmus Student Network Romania volunteers will always be at your disposal to answer them with pleasure but don't forget, the best source of information is the International Relations Office of your University who knows the particularities of the applied program at the institution level.
A campaign carried out in collaboration between Erasmus Student Network Romania and the Uniunea Studenților din România.