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Erasmus+ links Europe with 150 partner countries around the world

Until now, the “Erasmus” student mobility programme was restricted to 33 European programme countries. In 2015, it acquired an international dimension and was extended to a further 150 partner countries. It’s now known as “Erasmus+”. Europe’s largest educational mobility programme now offers undergraduates and PhD students, university staff and researchers from around the world the opportunity to study or teach at a university in Europe.

Batoul Adel is just one of those who has benefited: Erasmus+ supported her period of study in Germany. Adel, a Masters student at the German Jordanian University in Amman, says “I’ve got to know so many people from all around the world – it’s really boosted my intercultural skills.” Between April and late July 2016, she was in Berlin, working at the Humboldt-Universität on a research project on integrated natural resources management, which was being run jointly with the German Jordanian University.

“I gained a huge amount of academic experience, and those of us working on the project were able to set up an international research network”, enthuses Batoul Adel. Her story illustrates how important periods of study abroad can be for both professional and personal development: students and researchers alike get to know another country and meet lots of new people: they have a chance to test themselves in a different learning environment; they boost their academic and intercultural skills; and they learn new languages. And all these skills make them attractive to future employers.

EU programme for education, training, youth and sport

The Erasmus+ programme runs between 2014 and 2020. In addition to mobility for individuals,  this means exchanges for undergraduate and PhD students, university staff and researchers (Key Action 1), Erasmus+ funds three further actions:

  • Cooperation for innovation and the exchange of good practice (Key Action 2): this Action supports the internationalisation of European universities through strategic partnerships and knowledge alliances. It also supports the creation of networks and joint capacity building projects in regions neighbouring the European Union as well as international partnerships around the world.
  • Support for policy reform (Key Action 3): through Erasmus+, the Commission supports reform of education and training policy within Europe and beyond its borders.
  • Jean Monnet activities: this part of the programme supports teaching and research in connection with international research into European integration.

Key Action 1 and the strategic partnerships under Key Action 2 are administered on a decentralised basis by the National Agency for EU higher education cooperation. The remaining programme areas under Key Actions 2 and 3 and Jean Monnet activities are administered centrally by the European Commission. The National Agency provides information and advice on all Actions.

150 partner countries outside Europe

“Our 33 programme countries remain the 28 EU Member States plus Iceland, Norway, Switzerland, Turkey and Macedonia”, explains Dr Markus Symmank, who is an expert for Key Action 1, “Mobility of Individuals” under the Erasmus+ scheme within the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), “but since 2015, Erasmus+ has also enabled us to link Europe with the rest of the world.”

Erasmus+ has brought 150 new partner countries into the scheme. The main focus of the programme’s support is on partner countries neighbouring the European Union: the Western Balkans, the South Mediterranean countries, the Middle East, Russia and a further six Eastern Partnership countries in eastern Europe and the Caucasus. The priority is to support mobility to Europe, but the programme also offers a wide range of new opportunities to support students from Europe who are travelling in the other direction. It also continues to offer full support for study trips to partner countries.

Wide-ranging support for students from Erasmus+ partner countries

The opportunity for support for a period of study in Europe has proved very popular in the new partner countries. As Markus Symmank explains, “Germany supports exchanges with partner countries for around 3,000 academics and students each year.” Participants from the 150 Erasmus+ partner countries coming to Germany benefit from a wide range of support mechanisms, including subsidised travel, and pay no university tuition fees.

Those from Erasmus+ partner countries also receive grants of EUR 800 per month. As Dr Markus Symmank points out, “this is considerably more than the grants given to programme country participants studying abroad in one of the 33 Erasmus+ programme countries, who receive smaller grants of between EUR 150 and EUR 500 a month, depending on the country involved.”

How do I apply to study in Germany under the Erasmus+ programme?

  1. Find out whether your own university has Erasmus+ agreements with German universities and, if so, with which universities.
  2. If there is an agreement, contact the German university at which you would like to study. You will find contact details on the DAAD’s Erasmus+ website (in German only).
  3. Check the criteria for applying to your chosen university and then send your application direct to the university. Most universities give details of application deadlines, the documents you need to provide and other relevant information on their website, or you can contact their International Office for more information.

Detailed information for students is available on the European Commission’s Erasmus+ website


Erasmus+ students can now spend more than one period abroad

Markus Symmank explains that students on Bachelors or Masters courses can spend a total of 12 months studying abroad. A new feature of Erasmus+ is particularly attractive to students from the 33 programme countries: “They can now go for one period of 12 months or divide those 12 months up into separate, shorter periods of study, spending, say, four three-month periods or two six-month periods abroad”, he says. Symmank adds that students can also now choose to spend time in more than one country.

Dilek Utku is one of those who has benefited from this arrangement. The summer semester of 2016 saw her studying in Germany for the second time. Between May and September, the German Studies graduate from Izmir in Turkey was at the University of Wuppertal, working on her Masters dissertation. She had previously studied at the University of Augsburg as an undergraduate in 2013. She says, “It’s all down to the new Erasmus+ programme, which supported a second period of study abroad.”

Utku adds, “If you want to learn another language, the best way is to speak it, and for me as a student of German, that’s really important. Over the past few months, I’ve been able to improve my language skills enormously. I’ve been really lucky that Erasmus+ made it possible for me to spend a second period of study in Germany!”

  • Batoul Adel: “It was wonderful to be able to use my expertise on a specific project.”

    “It was wonderful to be able to use my expertise on a specific project.”

    Batoul Adel is completing a Masters course at the German Jordanian University in Amman.
    The joint research project between her university and the Humboldt University in Berlin on aspects of water resources governance and water management in Jordan got under way in December 2015. From March 2016, Masters students at the Humboldt University spent time in in Jordan carrying out empirical research for the project with Masters students from the German Jordanian University. Between April and August 2016, it was the turn of the Jordanian students to spend time in Berlin completing the project. The exchange was supported by Erasmus+.

    “I met so many people from different countries, and it really boosted my intercultural skills. I was also able to gain a lot of new academic experience, and those of us working on the project set up an international network of researchers. And it was wonderful to be able to use my expertise on a specific project. For me, it was a completely new learning experience. The exchange enabled me to really develop my personal and academic skills.”

  • Dilek Utku: “I’m not scared to speak German any more.”

    “I’m not scared to speak German any more.”

    Dilek Utku has a degree in German from Ege University in the Turkish city of Izmir. She is now completing her Masters at the same university.

    “When it comes to finding a job, it’s a real boost to your CV to have spent a semester studying in Germany. For me, Erasmus+ was the best way to do that. The programme really supported me.

    I’ve been learning German for seven years, and I’ve been teaching German in Turkey for two years. If you want to learn another language, the best way is to speak it, and for me as a student of German, that’s really important. I’ve been really lucky that Erasmus+ made it possible for me to spend a second period of study in Germany! I’m not scared to speak German any more.

    I’ve also made lots of new friends from around the world while I’ve been in Germany. I’ve visited lots of other cities in my free time – Cologne, Hamburg, Düsseldorf, Dortmund and Essen – and I’ve been to lots of different events, including theatre and opera performances and festivals. A new culture, a new cuisine, new people and places – it’s a whole new world!”

  • Goshunali Taghiyev: “It’s going to be a great experience!”

    “It’s going to be a great experience!”

    Goshunali Taghiyev is from Azerbaijan and is studying Business Administration at Ege University in the Turkish city of Izmir.

    “I’d already spent a year in Germany – in Bavaria, in fact – during 2011- 2012 as part of the ‘Youth for Understanding’ international youth exchange programme, so I’d already got to know the German language and German culture.

    Erasmus+ is now supporting me to spend a further year in Germany; this time, I’ll be in Hamburg until September 2017. I want to use the time to improve my German and I also hope to be able to develop my professional skills and expertise. And, of course, I want to meet lots of other students. It’s going to be a great experience for me!”

The focus topic “Setting out – People on the move” takes a look at people moving from their home country to another one, and possibly back or even elsewhere again. One of the ways of covering some ground is to participate in a term abroad while studying. Which programme did you go with? What experiences did you have? Discuss the special challenges of studying abroad in the comments below.

Author: Verena Striebinger

Are you planning to study abroad? What do you most hope to achieve?

October 2016

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Alumniportal Deutschland-Team
16 May 2019

Hallo Roberto La Rosa Robles,
Kennen Sie schon die englischsprachige Study in Europe-Website (https://www.study.eu/), die über Studienmöglichkeiten und Studiengänge in europa informiert?
Falls Sie sich auch vorstellen können, in Deutschland zu studieren, würden wir empfehlen, sich auf der Website "Studieren in Deutschland" (https://www.study-in.de/de/) zu informieen. Dort finden Sie auch ganz konkrete Tipps, wie Sie passende Studiengänge finden, sich bewerben und den Aufenthalt planen. Natürlich gibt es auch Hinweise dazu, wie Sie solche ein Studium finanzieren können, zum Beispiel mit einem Stipendium.
Viele Grüße und viel Erfolg
Ihr Alumniportal Deutschland-Team

Roberto La Rosa Robles
16 May 2019

Ich interessiere mich für das Studium in Europa. Ich bin aus Peru, können Sie sich bewerben.
Vielen Dank

Roberto La Rosa

Melissa Montagliani
14 May 2018

Dear Saomi Rizqiyanto,
thank you for your message. As an social network for Germany-Alumni the Alumniportal Deutschland is offering a platform for connecting with other alumni, universities and companies.
If you need some help in finding the right university in Germany for your colleague, it might be better to contact some german institutions in your country (for example Alexander von Humboldt-Foundation, DAAD).
Contact Information of the DAAD worldwide: https://www.daad.de/der-daad/kontakt/en/29344-addresses-telephone-numbers/
Contact Information of the AvH worldwide: https://www.humboldt-foundation.de/web/ambassador-scientists.html
In our Study & Continuing education section you can find helpful links on the subject of Research in Germany: https://www.alumniportal-deutschland.org/en/science-research/research-in-germany/
For recent calls for applications, scholarships, research projects or funding programmes, please follow the link: https://www.alumniportal-deutschland.org/en/news/scholarships-germany/

Best regards and good luck!

Melissa Montagliani
Alumniportal Deutschland

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