Erasmus is the European Union's flagship educational exchange programme for Higher Education students, teachers and institutions. It was introduced with the aim of increasing student mobility within Europe. Erasmus forms part of the EU Lifelong Learning Programme (2007-2013)

Erasmus, named after a Dutch humanist and theologian, Erasmus of Rotterdam (1466 - 1536), is the European Commission's programme for Higher Education and HE/FE students, teachers and institutions.

It encourages student and staff mobility for work and study, and promotes trans-national co-operation projects among universities across Europe. The scheme currently involves nine out of every ten European higher education establishments and supports co-operation between the universities of 33 countries.

In 1995 Erasmus was incorporated into the Socrates programme which supported the European dimension in education from school, to university, and through adult life.

In 2006 the Socrates, Leonardo da Vinci and eLearning programmes came to a close. Erasmus is now one of the four sectoral programmes supported under the EU Lifelong Learning Programme which will run until the end of 2013. A new Programme will then start from 2014-2020.

Erasmus has developed beyond an educational programme - it has acquired the status of a social and cultural phenomenon. It gives many European university students their first chance to live and thrive abroad. Over two and a half million students have benefited from Erasmus since its introduction in 1987.


Top 10 Reasons to Take part

  • Stand out in the job market – a great addition to your CV
  • Return more motivated, independent and confident
  • Get a grant and receive tuition fee support
  • It counts towards your degree –it’s not a gap year
  • Learn a range of life-skills not taught in the lecture theatre
  • Access a wider range of subject areas than in your current country  
  • See and learn from a completely new culture
  • Gain an international network of friends
  • Discover a different culture, gain an international perspective and travel
  • It’s really good fun!