How to get an Erasmus scholarship

erasmus

I have been getting loads of questions such as: What are the criteria? Do I need to have good grades? Are the studies in english? Etc.

In the following paragraph I will try to resolve your doubts.

Everyone can do it. Before being worried and asking what it takes, it is way better to ask yourself: What’s stopping me from doing it? Ok, yes, I am competing with 20 to 2000 other candidates but we were all born the same way. Exchange programmes are bridging the gap between EU and non EU countries, poor and rich, christian and muslim, computer science and philosophy students.

If you are coming from EU country your 300€ Erasmus scholarship is definitely not sufficient, but on the other side you are allowed to pursue flexible time internship or part time job.

If you are coming from a non EU country, you are usually allowed to work for maximum 10 hours a week. However 1000€ Erasmus scholarship can easily cover your accommodation (except if you decided to study in San Francisco), health insurance (20-50€) and food (200-400€).

Tempus foundation, in charge of Serbian students, contains information about all available partnerships and projects:

Once you arrived to campus, all of you are going to drink the same cheap beer, make awesome kitchen parties instead of going to fancy clubs and pack sandwiches and tomato pasta in plastic bags for school break.

Erasmus scholarship

What’s the most important in application?
In the following order:

1. Motivational letter

This is the only document where you can express your personality and describe who you really are. Express your passion and motivation to study abroad but try to avoid cliché.

2. CV

You can also express personality in your CV by playing with colors, text boxes and fonts, but remember, you are not applying for an internship in Pinterest or Spotify. CV will be analysed by an academic who is for you the only person representing an educational institution you are applying for. Therefore, it should have:

  • Chronological order
  • Extracurricular activities: student organisations, projects, volunteering, part-time jobs.
  • Clear structure – include bullets to make it easier to read
  • Personal touch – please delete the title “Curriculum vitae”
  • Precise and concrete information
  • Colours – use the complementary colours and lower contrast.

3. Average score

Depends from country to country, for example. German companies value formal education, which makes universities seek excellent students.

What else do I need?

All the documents must be submitted in English in most cases, which sometimes includes hours spent in the international office of the home university.

  • Transcript of your records
  • Recommendation letters – two letters can be considered as recommended, where my advice is to provide one academic and one business letter (from internship, job) if applicable.
  • Proof of enrolment – confirmation that you are a student.
  • Valid health insurance
  • Language certificate

Language Certificates

Almost every study programme in English requires either IELTS or TOEFL certificates with a certain score that target university requires, and sometimes CAE. You have to schedule a test online and in advance and the price is about EUR 190 for both IELTS or TOEFL. If you are planning to continue your studies in USA afterwards, than I suggest you to take the TOEFL test since it is approved overseas. I personally took the IELTS test since it involved speaking part in person with the examiner, and exam (writing and listening) in the classroom on the paper instead of doing it on the computer.

The average minimum scores required are:

  • IELTS 6.5 – please note that the candidates must take the Academic test and not the General one.
  • TOEFL paper-based test: 580
  • TOEFL computer-based test: 237
  • TOEFL internet-based test: 92
  • Cambridge Certificate in Advanced English (CAE): A, B, C.
  • Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE): A, B, C.

Health Insurance

If your home health insurance is not valid in the country where you are going to study, than you will need to get a new one as soon as you arrive or sometimes even before. Don’t worry because in most cases you will be able obtain it online.

The average health insurance price ranges from 30 to 35 EUR per month.

For example DAAD student health insurance is used in Germany whereas AON student insurance is used in Netherlands and other countries.

Accommodation

Even thinking about possible accommodation options sometimes turns into exhausting and frustrating process. The best option with no doubt is to sign up for a student campus/dorm which is usually recommended or offered by the university. The price range is hard to specify, it goes from € 120 for student dorm in Bucharest, € 300 in Stuttgart and € 400 – 600 in Amsterdam. Adventure of looking for a place to stay on your own ends up with paying the same or higher amount of money for a small 11-15 sq. meter room in shared flat with 3 people.

Conclusion

Equip yourself with patience to deal with inaccurate information, outdated websites and feel free to send emails to project coordinators in your country or university you are applying for. They answer eventually.

Erasmus scholarship

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1 Comment

  • Gonçalo Santos

    Just wanted to share another scholarship option: http://scholarship.uniplaces.com/en
    It’s an accommodation scholarship for a whole semester.
    Uniplaces is giving out this scholarship to 10 students worldwide.

    Share it if you think it is worth it.
    Thanks.

    Great job by the way. 🙂

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