Studying abroad: Erasmus

If you’ve considered studying abroad you may have heard of Erasmus, the EU-funded student exchange programme.

Erasmus (which stands for European Region Action Scheme for the Mobility of University Students) offers students valuable international experience with the chance to study overseas as part of their degree or undertake a work placement.

Since the programme started in 1987, more than three million students have taken part. At any one time, more than 4,000 students are involved.


Here are some of the things you should know about Erasmus:

  • The current version of the programme, called Erasmus+, runs from 2014-2020 and combines Erasmus with several other EU programmes for training, youth and sport.
  • To be eligible for the student exchange element, you must be registered at a higher education provider that is part of the programme and enrolled on a course leading to a recognised degree or other qualification of the same level.
  • Your time abroad must be relevant to your degree and benefit your personal development.
  • Placements usually take place in the second or third year of a degree and can last for up to 12 months.
  • You will pay no additional tuition fees as part of the programme, and there are grants available to help towards accommodation and living expenses.
  • More than 1,000 institutions are part of Erasmus, so there are plenty of options.
  • By studying abroad with Erasmus+, you can improve your communication, language and inter-cultural skills and gain the sort of soft skills that will be highly valued by future employers.
  • If you are interested in taking part you should contact your academic adviser or your chosen university’s Erasmus office.


The UK’s exit from the European Union, also known as Brexit, could affect the future of EU-funded programmes like Erasmus. The UK Government has confirmed it is committed to continuing full participation in Erasmus+ until 2020, though anything beyond that is uncertain. For up-to-date information, visit the Erasmus+ UK National Agency website.

More information and resources

For information on Erasmus+ in the UK, visit the Erasmus+ UK National Agency website (In Welsh).

For inspiring examples of Welsh involvement in Erasmus+, visit the Erasmus stories page and click the ‘Wales’ filter.

UCAS and the European Commission websites also have more information on the programme.

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