If you’re not from Europe, you need to know one thing – Erasmus+ Programme is a big deal over here for many reasons. In this article I’m going to point out absolute must know Erasmus+ is a good idea. Especially in Poland. Let’s get going!
Quick recap: what Erasmus actually is?
Erasmus+ is an international exchange students programme financed by the European Union. University students can study abroad or do an internship in another country. The Programme can be used twice during the bachelor’s and master’s studies. An exchange can take up to 12 months during one cycle of studies.
If you are interested in the places offered by your home university, you can choose your own country and the university you want to go to. Student mobility is supervised by the National Agency for the Erasmus+ Programme, which in Poland is the FRSE (Fundacja Rozwoju Systemu Edukacji). The choice of destination is vast, as the program involves as many as 28 EU Member States, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Turkey and Macedonia.
Until 2014, the Erasmus+ Programme existed under different names, but the assumptions of the current project were planned until the end of 2020. The Programme promotes cooperation and mobility in all areas of education, professional preparation and also supports initiatives related to sport. The benefits of participating in the Programme can be calculated for a very long time. Starting with international learning opportunities, through experiences from other cultures or lifestyles, as well as personal development.
But is it worth it? Erasmus+ is an excellent opportunity to learn and practice in many fields, broaden your horizons and open your mind. It possesses and improve your language skills, increases your chances on the job market. But above all, it’s an incredible adventure and a fantastic experience. Also compared to other EU countries, the tuition fees in Poland are highly competitive. The costs of living are a fraction of what a foreign student would have to spend in other European cities.
If you are thinking about studying full time in Poland, Erasmus+ is an excellent idea for scouting
You will get to know the secrets of the local culture, pass exams, try regional dishes and travel with them. You will see the easiest, cheapest and fastest way to move around the country and only then will you start planning all your trips yourself. During the first days at the university and integration events, you meet plenty of people. Strictly from and surrounding institution. That allows you to “infiltrate” the system, get to know who-is-who and where-is where. It’s excellent heads-up for your later application, as a full-time student!
The Polish higher education system is well developed. The quality of the education provided is monitored and regularly evaluated, together with over 5,000 courses available. Poland also holds fourth place in Europe (after the United Kingdom, Germany and France) in terms of the number of people enrolled in higher education. The Polish university-level schools offer over 200 high-quality types of study as an integral part of the European Higher Education Area. Most schools offer courses in foreign languages.
The ESN (Erasmus Students Network) sections of the universities provide excellent support for international students. They are a signpost for them, someone who will explain, help or translate. All this starts before the beginning of the academic year when the sections organize the so-called Orientation Week, the main aim of which is to integrate and show the city and universities to Erasmus students.
Participation in Erasmus+ as a Polish student has many advantages but one truly unique
Since you’ve decided to study in Poland and you’ve become a polish university student, I strongly recommend you considering participating in Erasmus+ exchange programme. Poland plays an active part in the Bologna Process. Both Polish students and foreigners studying in Poland stay fully mobile and can continue their education elsewhere in the European Union without any problems.
If you are a full-time student at a Polish university, that means you will be treated as a polish student. It may sound obvious, but it’s more valuable than you think! For you to go study in Paris or London, your alma mater needs to have signed an individual contract of cooperation with a particular university. And this is not as common as you might think.
Let’s assume that you are a citizen of a non-EU Member State or from outside Europe. Except for a visa, you will have to provide some other documents. When you are a student of Polish university, this institution, in a way, is “vouching” for you. And this is a strong ally to have in your corner.
How to apply?
The procedure for applying for a scholarship trip is set individually by each university. Sometimes even by each faculty separately. All information about how, where and when to apply for a scholarship, what are the recruitment criteria or the amount of scholarship paid in a given year can be found at their universities. Remember that they organize the recruitment of candidates for trips, fund scholarships, provide information on the practical side of trips.
Recruitment of candidates is conducted centrally by the university or at individual faculties. Get acquainted with the recruitment rules in force at your university/faculty in a given academic year. All required information about the Erasmus+ are usually published on the website of the university and faculties. Submit the documents required by the university/faculty within the deadline. At some universities, the next step is an interview. After qualifying for the trip, follow the instructions given by the university or faculty coordinator.
Recruitment for the trips takes place in the academic year preceding the trip. There is no single, national deadline for students who intend to apply for an Erasmus+ scholarship to register. Recruitment usually takes place in the early spring and in the autumn, for the following semesters. It is best to contact the Erasmus+ university unit at the beginning of the academic year. Then you will obtain information about the date of recruitment and the form of assessment of candidates.
The essential criteria are: average grades and knowledge of the foreign language in which the classes will be conducted abroad. These are the criteria set out in the Erasmus+ programme rules. To apply for a trip, you must have good grades and a good command of a foreign language. You have to actively participate in classes and take exams at an international university. Detailed rules of recruitment and standards of candidates’ assessment are determined and announced by individual universities. The best way is to look for pieces of information at the university coordinator of the Programme.