As written in the last article, I would like to list some points you should consider before leaving.
The first point is the kind of experience you are looking for. Obviously, an Erasmus for writing your thesis will be different from an Erasmus for study, as this latter will be different from the Erasmus Traineeship.
What I feel to suggest you is to consult, after choosing some possible destinations, the responsible people for each and the universities Internet pages. It is very useful to speak with whom is there as well, so as to have a global idea of the experience (I myself must thank who, before coming back from Paderborn, gave me some information and pieces of advice , which I would have hardly found without them). Your tutor’s help is also precious (and also in this I can say I was lucky, as I found a very available person).
It is important to respect some deadlines. If you, therefore, don’t want to arrive at the end of your rope, it would be appropriate to list what you should remember, so as to gradually be ready. Indicatively, you should think about: selection interview; acceptance of your mobility; planning your departure; preparation of the necessary documents.
3. SELECTION PROCESS
You can find youself, depending on the university, in different situations. However, the common point is a motivational interview in the reference language for the city you chose. Your preparation will also be evaluated, since in the selection ranking list your interview score and the average of your grades will be considered (so, though this might sound quite obvious, work hard if you want to have more chances to be chosen).
I also highlight that you might not be selected for your first choice, so do not look at the others universities you can choose as inferior. On the contrary, try to indicate three universities which are equally valid for you, so as to leave with the right motivation. Anyway, if you will not be assigned to one of them, keep in mind that it is still a destination for an Erasmus experience and that, considering there are some international agreements, it will have something to offer.
To be sure, go on the web page of your university, in the section dedicated to the outgoing Mobility. An important document is your Learning Agreement, that is a list where you will show the exams you will take abroad and the corresponding exams of your country. A concrete example: in order to get a recognition of 9 credits for the annual German course, I chose a three-credits-exam and one of six credits (because in Germany there was not a course giving me nine credits in one time).
Don’t give up if at the beginning choosing won’t be easy: take your time and remember that, as it generally happens, later it will still be possible to make any necessary changes.
For any information about the dorms or a private house (I personally already wrote what I chose and, if you want, we can go into details), insurance and visa (in case you are planning to leave for a non-European destination), follow what you’ll find in the acceptance email from the host university. If you have any doubts, don’t hesitate to contact your tutor, but especially the reference person of the host university.
Once there has been the acceptance, think about the departure, making a comparison among different options and booking in advance, too. In addition, try to decide the departure day in the right time, so as to communicate it to the Erasmus office to sign up the contract, where you’ll indicate the end of your stay, as well.
6. ERASMUS SCHOLARSHIP
Before the departure, you’ll receive part of the Erasmus scholarship, so as to cover the first costs. The second part will be transferred on your account only later, because you’ll need to prove that you actually respected the conditions of your contract. For an Erasmus for study, there is a minimum number of credits, so be careful. Moreover, since the scholarship is not that high (though still a valid help), consider the costs of the place where you’ll go and, if possible, to earn some money you could use at the beginning.
I know that working is not easy, but also a summer job could make the difference.
7. THINK OF YOURSELF
From personal experience, I can tell you there’ll be moments when you’ll be less sure about your decision. There’ll be, at the same time, somebody making you notice you’ll stay in another country for a lot of time or who will overwhelm you with negative thoughts.
If you are worried about leaving alone (and, of course, there can be different reasons), keep in mind that such an experience is rare and that, since the first days, you’ll find native speakers or other Erasmus students. In other words, you’ll find a second family.
As soon as possible, you’ll read more info about the city where I’m currently living.
By the way, I noticed that last time I posted the article there were more visitors, so I truly want to express my thankfulness to whom dedicated some time to my blog. If you want to receive updates about my new articles, you can also sign up (check the bar). It would be good to have a list of users who constanly follow me, because a blog is truly valid when there is sharing.
See you soon,