Five reasons you should consider ERASMUS+!

IARS had the pleasure to host some very bright and talented work experience students from De Salis Studio College this week. As this week marks the celebration of #ErasmusDays, Desiree, Tanmeet, Kaira and Zion looked into the programme, and here is what they had to say: 

It has been a pleasure to be a part of the IARS-Virtual Work Experience programme during the past week. Where my fellow classmates and myself had the privilege to learn about and take part in the ERASMUS+ week, which is celebrated on the 15thto the 17th of October.

Based on our research, the ERASMUS+ programme is an EU programme that organises student exchanges, training, youth programmes and sporting and educational opportunities in Europe. It has been running successfully for years thanks to the EU who fund the programme each year for life-changing activities. The scheme has opportunities for people of all ages, helping them to develop their skills and share their knowledge and experiences of institutions and organisations across Europe.

In our three days of exploration through websites and campaigns conducted by IARS, we realised that ERASMUS+ has various opportunities for a wide range of organisations. Including universities, education and training providers, think-tanks, research organisations, and private businesses. ERASMUS+ also holds an honourable cause as it stands for The European Community Action Scheme, perfectly conveying its objectives. It offers many opportunities for the young people it intends to help. This includes, but is not limited to:

  • Allowing young people to study, volunteer, and of course gain work experience whilst abroad.
  • Providing more job opportunities for them to make use to their advantage.
  • Gaining new skills and qualifications that are vital for new job opportunities elsewhere.

However, the grants given are not limited to those they help, but rather for the fortunate several that work for ERASMUS+ Staff that can teach or train overseas, to develop their professional practice, build relationships with international peers, and gain fresh ideas. UK organisations can collaborate with international partners to drive innovation, share the best practices and offer new opportunities for young people. Its funding is immense too with around €1 billion reserved specifically for ERASMUS+ projects led by UK-based organisations. In 2020, €213.8 million remains proposed for UK organisations (https://www.erasmusplus.org.uk/about-erasmus).

Communities in Europe are considerably co-operative with the Erasmus cause, but what goes on inside of Europe? Europe has many values and benefits, including respect for human dignity and human rights, freedom democracy, and equality, which justifies the cause of Erasmus. As Europe is home to the most remarkable landmarks, culture and art, it holds endless possibilities for students to explore. Young people will not only experience new cultures and communities, but also benefit from the wide variety of job opportunities created by the Erasmus+ programme.

Along with the research carried out, we all have personal experiences from visiting Europe ourselves. Overall, Europe has a stunning environment depending on where you visit. We noticed that there is a wide inequality between regions like in Paris where one of us visited Bretagne, and it makes complete sense for there to be a disadvantage for some people when finding employment. The UK itself has an extensive range of inequality, for instance the difference in wealth between places like Nottingham and London. This is why we are so attracted to the idea of Erasmus prompting job opportunities that are accessible to young people.

As a group, we discussed whether we would take part in the scheme if we had the opportunity. To create a wider understanding of different countries and cultures, we each shared our experiences and opinions to gather a more in-depth and informed decision.

The main points we discussed were the mobility opportunities Erasmus+ offer that successfully aids students in the long term and the master’s degree loan guarantee scheme that aids 200, 00 students that especially appealed to Zion. As well as the difficulties of language barriers despite the language lessons and online help.

Since we could not come to a conclusion due to our lack of experience out of the UK. We asked our classmate, Sinthuja, about her experience in Europe and what she thought about ERASMUS+. She shared her brief experience of Denmark and made comparisons to other European countries, but was particularly interested in Erasmus+ as she values the fact that it would enable her to gain volunteering experience as well pick up a new language.

We then went onto discuss our eligibility to be a part of the programme, we learnt that you must be registered with a higher training provider that is part of the programme and be enlisted on a course leading to a recognised degree or tertiary-level qualification. The period of time studying  abroad must be relevant for your degree, your personal development needs and be part of the study programme you are following. ERASMUS+ exchange students do not have to pay fees for their overseas studies and there are grants available to help with living costs. In addition, funding support for students with physical, mental, or health-related conditions is provided. You will need to apply for this programme through your university’s ERASMUS+ or international office.

This research has proved to us that ERASMUS+ has the ability to unite people across the globe without any judgement, allowing passionate individuals to collaborate doing what they love as well as making a difference for the youth and communities across Europe. Bill Gates once said:

‘’I think all students start off with incredible ability and curiosity, and if they’re given the opportunity to pursue that, if they’re given a chance to see the neat things about the world in terms that they can appreciate and enjoy, that their abilities will be reinforced and that we’ll really achieve so much more …’’.

While keeping that in mind we hope that we can be a part of ERASMUS+ in the future and hope it continues to grow stronger.

Helpful Website:

https://www.whatuni.com/advice/guides/ultimate-guide-to-studying-abroad-with-erasmus/76472/

Written by Kaira Simpson, Tanmeet Sachdeva, Desiree Pereira and Zion Lindsay