Erasmus Mundus: What You Need to Know

Please read this thoroughly before posting a question about the application process.

The ERASMUS (European Community Action Scheme for the Mobility of University Students) program began in 1987 to support the mobility of higher education students and teachers within Europe. For European students, this means studying in another European country for a semester as part of their course. ERASMUS+ is the umbrella programme for education, youth and sport in the European Union.

What is Erasmus Mundus?
Erasmus Mundus, an expansion of the original ERASMUS program, began in 2004 to promote European higher education to non-European Union nationals through scholarships. Third-country (meaning outside EU/EEA/accession states) students who have not studied or worked in Europe for more than 12 months over the last five years may receive a full scholarship.

There are hundreds of Masters and Doctorate degree courses in various fields, all of which must undertaken in least two European countries (usually three; four is rare). Most courses (programs) take two years, but some take 18 months or even just a year. In addition, there are External Cooperation Windows in association with Third-country higher education institutions.

How does it work?
Each program is facilitated by a consortium of universities in different countries. The consortium oversees the program on behalf of the European Commission. Among the universities in the consortium, there is a coordinating university which takes care of the administrative side, including releasing funds.

How much is the scholarship worth?
The total amount varies according to the length of the program. The student receives a stipend to cover expenses. The student will have to spend his own money in the beginning to pay for visa applications (may be waived), flight tickets, accommodation deposit (where applicable) and personal items needed for study.

Do I apply for the scholarship at the same time as the program or after I get into the program?
The scholarship application is generally simultaneous with the program application. You will be informed whether or not you are accepted and if so, whether or not you receive the scholarship. You may be informed that you are on the Reserve List, which means that you will receive the scholarship only if slots are freed up on the Main List (that is, someone backed out and will not continue with the scholarship). If on Reserve, you may opt to continue the programme self-funded.

Where can students go?
It depends on the partner universities in the consortium. You can choose your mobility (where you want to study at a particular semester) in some programs; it is fixed in others.

How do I apply?
Application processes, requirements and deadlines vary from program to program, but generally you will need letters of recommendation, a personal statement of intent (motivation), transcript of records of your bachelor’s degree, and language test results (TOEFL or IELTS). Some programs ask for a research proposal. There are no work experience requirements or application fees (unless otherwise stated). There may be interviews conducted online or via Skype.

Do I have to be living or working in the country of my citizenship when I apply?
No, you may apply from anywhere in the world for as long as your nationality is among those being accepted for the programme.

Am I required to take a language exam for English (i.e. TOEFL, IELTS) since English was the medium of instruction at my institution?
It may be possible to argue your case and get a certification that English was the medium of instruction at your university, but it is best to take a language exam when it is asked for so that the consortium can gauge your competence in the language.

How many Erasmus Mundus programmes am I allowed to apply to?

Up to three per selection year.

What languages do I need?

Most programs are conducted completely in English, but some require other European languages, for which you may need certifications. There are a few programs that use no English at all.

How competitive are the scholarships?

It can be quite competitive, though nowhere close to the level of Fulbright or Chevening. The statistics as of 2015 are here: [url]
When is the deadline for application and when are the results released?
Usually between December and January for the September intake. The results are usually announced between February and March.

I’m in my last year of my degree. Can I apply for a Master’s course even if I’m just about to graduate?
Yes, you can, if you can get a document from your university stating that you are about to graduate. Between you and me, it would be better to get some work experience first (it just might bolster your chances), but historically, scholarships have been awarded to fresh graduates.

Where can I find more information about a program?

For information specific to each course, check our Links page.

Are the same programs offered every year?
Generally, yes, with new additions every year. However, some programs may be discontinued.

Do they ask for anything in return during or after the program?

You may be asked to return to your country of citizenship. This requirement varies from programme to programme.

Can I work while studying?
Yes, if the law of the country where you are studying permits international students to work. There are usually limits to the number of work hours per week.

Can I bring my spouse and children with me to Europe when I study there?
Your spouse must be able to support himself/herself and your children without your help, as your allowance can only support you. It also depends on the labor laws and visa regulations of the countries you will be living in.

I’m an applicant. When can I get word on my application?

We cannot advise you on application decisions. You will likely hear of decisions between March and June.

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