After months of intense suspense, you finally got a response. Your Erasmus + application has been accepted and you can already see yourself leaving for the other side of Europe. But before you live what could well be an unforgettable experience, you will have to face your administrative phobia. Eurosender has categorized, for you, a list of things to do to prepare for Erasmus.
You cannot go to Erasmus without doing them.
1. Check your passport/ Visa.
Although you should always take your passport with you, your visa is a more complex topic. In which country can I study without a visa?
If you are a citizen of the European Union, you can travel and study, without a visa, in one of the 26 countries of the Schengen area. Please note that you can also travel freely in 6 other countries: Bulgaria, Cyprus, Croatia, Ireland, Romania and the United Kingdom (this situation may change after the Brexit).
For all other countries, you will need a visa if you want to stay for 1 or more months on the territory.
2. Find a place to live.
Universities sometimes offer the opportunity to find accommodation on campus, depending on your budget. If you are going on an internship, think about taking a look at the dedicated websites as soon as possible. This will prevent you from staying too long in a student dormitory.
3. Create a new bank account
Make an appointment with your banker and discuss the possibility of opening an account abroad. This process is sometimes useful if you stay abroad for a year. You can also try to use a new type of banks like Revolut or Monese that work all around the world and can help you save a lot of money.
4. Get health insurance
There are two scenarios. You are going to study in the European Union or in one of the following 4 countries: Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland. In this case, you must apply for the European Health Insurance Card. This card is free and valid for two years.
If you are staying outside Europe, you must obtain new health insurance. If you are going on an Erasmus internship, your receiving organisation may give you health insurance, but you have to ask them to know for sure.
5. Book your flight ASAP
If you are going by plane rather than bus, train or private transport, we advise you to book a flexible ticket back home. This will be particularly useful if your exam dates end earlier than the official date. And the earlier you book the tickets, the cheaper they usually are.
6. Choose your courses
You will probably have to fill out a Learning Agreement, which is a document with all the subjects you will be taking during your semester abroad. The same goes for the internship. We recommend that you start early. Deadlines are sometimes tight and are based on the “First one, first serve” rule.
Check that your passport does not expire soon. In most countries, the “6-month Validity Passport Rule” applies. This means that your passport must be valid for at least 6 months after the end of your trip. Allow between 3 and 5 weeks for a passport renewal.
They will highly facilitate your daily life abroad.
7. Telephone subscription and the options available:
8. Receive an Erasmus + Grant
Among all the possible scholarships, the best known is that of Erasmus +. Erasmus + offers financial support that varies according to the cost of living between your home and host country. You can receive between 170€ and 520€/month. If you would like to know more about the potential amount you can get, we invite you to click here.
9. Get informed by participating in information meetings
Using the internet to get information about your new culture. Joining useful Facebook groups: prepare yourself mentally and find other people who are in the same situation as you. Check what kind of resources you have access as an Erasmus student (integration weekend, events). Talk to other students that already went to the same university as you or the same country as you. They will give you valuable feedback and tell you what you should expect. For an internship: ask your company for the dress code and ask if you have to bring some documents.
To make your experience even more pleasant.
10. Take a notebook
Having it the traditional way by writing some notes, might have some advantages. We all rely on technology nowadays but imagine having no battery on your phone. This way you will have your address written down, some emergency phone numbers (that you can still call from another phone), or even some phrases to help you communicate better.
11. Pack light
Do not bring too many clothes. You will most likely go shopping, receive free t-shirts from the university and buy gifts for your loved ones.
12. Don’t forget some useful gadgets
Top 3 that Erasmus students always forget: a calculator, a bathing suit, an umbrella.
13. Find a way to comfort yourself in moments of blues
Bring something that reminds you of your home country. It could be a picture of your friends, your boyfriend’s or girlfriend’s t-shirt. For me, it was to find a supermarket or a French bakery.
If you want to discover what the other things to do to prepare for Erasmus are, you can read our dedicated article.
From my experience, I have seen a lot of students coming to a new university with 3 pieces of luggage and coming back with 5. If you want to avoid to pay extra fees at the airport, Eurosender can ship your suitcases to your final destination. To know more about how to send your packages abroad, feel free to contact us.