Getting the email to say you’ve been accepted to go on your Erasmus year can bring many emotions. The joy, the fear, the realisation that it is actually happening! One minute you might be beaming with joy thinking of the adventures ahead and the next you could be hiding under your blanket in your childhood room wishing time would slow down. Moving country can bring all these feelings at once – a mix of exhilarating and daunting.
Once you receive the email and tell your family and friends suddenly you find yourself thinking, do I have to do something, or do I just wait? No fear! Here is an Erasmus veteran’s list of tips for making those first few months of planning a little bit easier.
DO – Scroll through every inch of your new university’s international students page
Now this may seem dramatic but preparing in advance is one of the best things you can do when you find out that you will be going on Erasmus. Most universities have a section on their website discussing things like housing and insurance for incoming students. These are best to read through asap so that you can gauge when you need to action them. Each university is different so if a friend is telling you that they can wait until September to choose their modules, it doesn’t necessarily mean that yours is the same.
DON’T- Worry if you did not get your #1 choice of partner university
It can be disheartening when you have your heart set on a certain city or country and you do not receive a place there, but don’t worry! Erasmus is what you make it and although the city helps, the main driving force of your year will be you and the people around you. Spend some time researching reviews of the university from past Erasmus students, or some tourist attractions nearby. Enter the year with an open mind and a good attitude!
DO- Pay attention to the housing policy of the university
Housing is – as always – every student’s nightmare. Each university will have a different policy depending on whether they offer on campus accommodation or if you have to find your own accommodation. Prices can fluctuate depending on the location and distance from the campus with the best or cheapest rooms always being snatched up first. The university that I am in sold out of all accommodation 3 minutes after the rooms went on sale so make sure you know how your university operates!
DON’T- Think it is too early to join group chats/Facebook pages
I know I know Facebook is ancient history at this stage BUT it is perfect for finding fellow students going to the same university as you. Search up “X University 2022/23 Incoming Erasmus” and hopefully there will be a page already made, if not, make one yourself!! From this there will be many WhatsApp chats formed. These group chats can help to calm your nerves by speaking to people feeling the same as you are. Having a name and a face that you recognise to grab a coffee with when you arrive can make all the difference!
DO – Attend any workshops hosted by your home/partner university
Erasmus is known for being fun but equally known for needing A LOT of paperwork. The words ‘learning agreement’ could make any past Erasmus student shiver. Although they can be boring, the information sessions provide a lot of useful information about paperwork, insurance, grants and dates you need to have these tasks completed by. Take notes of these dates because believe me trying to sort them after the deadline is so much harder then doing it on time!
Overall, get excited and enjoy the thought of what is yet to come. Preparing for Erasmus is such an exciting time, although you may have some wobbles, if you follow the steps above hopefully it will be a stress-free journey to the airport.
Read our piece on Picking your International Study Placement.