Erasmus+ is the European Union’s programme to support education, training, youth and sport in Europe.
Erasmus+ (also called Erasmus Plus) offers mobility and cooperation opportunities for individuals and organisations in higher education, vocational education and training, school education (including early childhood education and care), adult education, and youth and sports activities.
Funded by the European Commission, Erasmus+ has an estimated budget of 26.2 billion euros for the 2021–2027 programming period. This is nearly double the funding it was allocated for the previous period (2014–2020).
It supports priorities and activities set out in the European Education Area, Digital Education Action Plan, and the European Skills Agenda. The programme also supports the European Pillar of Social Rights, putting the EU Youth Strategy 2019–2027 into effect, and developing the European dimension in sport.
From Erasmus to Erasmus+
The European Union established the original Erasmus programme in 1987 to promote closer cooperation between universities and higher-education institutions across Europe. As the union expanded its programmes on education and culture over the years, Erasmus covered the higher-education sector under various larger programmes.
Erasmus+ has opportunities for many types of learners, including school pupils, higher-education students and staff members, apprentices, trainees, and adult learners.
Then in 2014 the European Union created a single overarching programme for education, training, youth and sport, which became known as Erasmus+. Over 13 million people took part in Erasmus+ activities in Europe and beyond between 2014 and 2021.
The programme’s objective is pursued through three Key Actions: learning mobility of individuals, cooperation among organisations and institutions, and supporting policy development and cooperation.
Erasmus+ has opportunities for many types of learners, including school pupils, higher-education students and staff members, apprentices, trainees, and adult learners. Following are descriptions of some of the programmes that individuals and organisations can join. (See the Erasmus+ Programme Guide for detailed information about all opportunities.)
The pupil mobility programme offers learning mobility for pupils individually or in groups. Individually, pupils can spend a period abroad to study at a partner school or perform a traineeship at another organisation. Study periods may be short-term, lasting up to one month, or long-term, lasting from a month to a year.
Pupils also can benefit from the group mobility to learn together with their peers in another country. Teachers or other authorised persons from the sending school will accompany them for the duration of the activity, which can last up to one month.
The school must apply to acquire an Erasmus accreditation or to participate in a short-term mobility project. In both cases, organisations should adhere to a set of quality standards for mobility projects.
Erasmus+ provides four opportunities for university students: studying abroad, traineeships abroad, Erasmus Mundus joint master’s degrees, and support for students with physical, mental or health-related conditions. Students in the latter group may apply for additional funding to offset specificcosts associated with their condition, such as travel assistance, learning accommodations, supportive equipment, or an accompanying person.
For higher-education students, Erasmus+ has study-abroad opportunities at the bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral levels, as well as trainings and internships abroad.
Opportunities are available at the bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral levels. In addition, Erasmus+ offers online linguistic support to help students improve their skills in the language used for their studies.
Students can also do a blended mobility, combining a period of virtual study with physically going abroad to study. The overseas part of a blended mobility can last from five to 30 days for short-term study programmes, or up to 24 months for “one cycle” courses such as medicine or architecture.
To study abroad with Erasmus+, the student must be registered in a higher-education institution and enrolled in studies leading to a recognised degree or tertiary-level qualification. Students need to be at least in the second year of their studies, and the home institution and the receiving institution must have an inter-institutional agreement between them to study there with Erasmus+.
Traineeships and Joint Master’s Courses
Erasmus+ also supports student traineeships abroad, including work placements and internships, for students currently enrolled in higher-education institutions in programme countries, as well as recent graduates. By doing a traineeship abroad, students can improve their competences in areas that employers are looking for, or gain the knowledge and skills create their own company.
Students can search for training opportunities through the Erasmus Intern Portal, developed by the Erasmus Student Network. Students can also apply through the international or Erasmus+ office of their higher education institution.
Erasmus Mundus Joint Masters is another open to students from all over the world, to study one- or two-year master’s degrees at universities in Europe and beyond. Full scholarships covering tuition, travel, and a living allowance are available for the best students.
Youth exchange opportunities are open to people between the ages of 13 and 30. Exchanges allow groups of young people from different countries to meet, live together, and work on shared projects for periods lasting between five and 21 days. Applications must be made by an organisation or a group of young people who select who will participate in the exchange. To apply, contact your local Erasmus+ national agency or office, or check the E.U.’s European Youth Portal.
Erasmus+ offers networking and training opportunities for youth workers. Mobility projects must last between two days and two months. Applications must be made by organisations, which in turn involve youth workers in the project. The organisation making the application must be part of a youth mobility project with another institution or organisation.
Opportunities for Staff
If you work in higher education, Erasmus+ supports teaching and training opportunities for staff. Teaching opportunities include periods of teaching at universities and other education institutions abroad, vocational education and training (VET) institutions, schools, and adult education organisations. Additional funding is available for staff with physical, mental or health-related conditions.
For higher education staff, Erasmus+ supports opportunities to teach abroad or participate in training and professional development courses, or specific competence-building events.
Training opportunities abroad can consist of job shadowing, observation periods, professional development courses, or specific competence-building events.
Erasmus+ mobility for adult learners can be organised both in a group and individually, for up to one month. Either way, you cannot apply directly as an individual. Applications must be made by an adult-education organisation, which in turn selects candidates for study periods abroad. Your adult-education organisation must apply to acquire an Erasmus accreditation in the field of adult education or to participate in a short-term mobility project.
Erasmus+ supports professional development abroad for coaches and other sports staff. Opportunities include job shadowing for periods of two to 14 days and coaching assignments lasting from 15 to 60 days. To participate in sport staff mobility, your sport organisation must apply to the national agency in your country.
Opportunities for Organisations
The programme offers a number of development and networking activities for organisations, including training to improve staff members’ management skills, ability to prepare, manage, and follow-up projects, build portfolios of opportunities for students and staff at participating organisations, and develop innovative projects with partners from around the world.
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