High time to spend the semester abroad? You’ve made the right decision. But it’s just the beginning! Before you start your application process you have to choose your perfect Erasmus destination. A place where your exchange will be happening and dreams will be coming true. You are wondering how to choose the Erasmus destination? There are a couple of things you should take into consideration.
First things first. You have to remember that the core of the Erasmus programme is the educational part. Sort through the list of universities and choose the ones that offer courses for exchange students in your field of study. Whether you are studying philosophy, economics, architecture or languages, most likely the courses will differ from the ones you’re taking in your country. But no worries. There is someone to help you. It is called the Academic Coordinator. You can easily find a contact of the person responsible for foreign students at the International Relations Office of your university. Probably he is one of your professors. His duty is to help you out choosing the perfect place for Erasmus and make sure that your study programme abroad will be coherent with to one at your Alma Mater.
Check out our list of the Best Universities for your Erasmus!
Once you’ve narrowed your options little bit, time to do it even more. Think of the language spoken in the country you will choose as your Erasmus destination. At the same time, keep in mind that probably you will be studying in this English anyway. If you want to improve your skills in French, Spanish, Portuguese or any other – the majority of universities are offering free local language courses. Also, if you are confident enough, you can mix classes taken in the local language with the ones taken in English. That will be a great opportunity to make friends not only from the same “Erasmus boat”, but also natives. If you are not sure about your skills – consider taking language classes before you take off for your exchange programme.
May seem like a materialistic approach, but you should take into account that the financial factor should also be one of your interests. Choose the country wisely. Grants from the European Union are a huge help, but sometimes they don’t cover the expenses for the whole stay. Depending on the country you are going to and coming from, the amount of monthly scholarship differs. You can compare the cost of living in different countries by searching for the average price of products, cost of renting a flat and other basic services. Obviously, the grant is adjusted to the buying power in every given country. This means that you will get more money for your exchange in the UK, than in Poland. However, the cost of living in London won’t be covered completely by the grant, while the cost of living in Warsaw will most likely be covered.
Apart from the educational and financial factors, your perfect Erasmus destination is the place you’re going to live in. Facing cultural differences can be really challenging, but, at the same time, it will most likely change your worldview. The perfect Erasmus should be in a place you are fascinated about and seek to explore. You are most likely to find yourself when trying to fit into a completely different lifestyle and adjust to different habits.
The thing you should also think about is the size of the city you want to study in. Your perfect Erasmus destination should be a capital city or a small town? Big cities are more foreigner-friendly, offering a lot of activities and social life. Small towns, on the other hand, are more organized when it comes to receiving international students. The student community is smaller and you will have a bigger chance to adapt to the local environment. Also, keep in mind that you will probably do a lot of traveling. Check the available connections, both domestic and international.
Last but not least, think if you are more of a summer or winter person. Again, you are going to live in this place. Weather will definitely influence your mood during the stay. Do you mind rainy days or foggy mornings? Is your perfect Erasmus destination in the North of Finland or some beachy Spanish island? On this one, you have to decide for yourself.
In the end – all the Erasmus destinations are the perfect ones. Some things may not be as you were expecting. It may be too rainy, too snowy, to sunny. Courses may be too hard, you can have problems with communicating with locals or with living on a budget. However, remember that everything can be solved. People whom you will meet and spend your time are the most precious factor of the Erasmus programme – they are making the place perfect!
Last modified: August 21, 2018