Among the top destinations for French students: European countries. A process often facilitated by the Erasmus+ program. What are the advantages, disadvantages and why simply go to Europe? Here are some avenues to explore.
Europe is popular: almost seven out of ten students choose a country in the region to be part of their study abroad. In the lead, Belgium, which seems to meet all the criteria such as geographical proximity and the French-speaking world. Among the European destinations that are also popular: UK, Germany, Spain and Romania. Countries easily accessible for students, in particular thanks to the Erasmus+ programme.
The preferred destinations of students in Europe
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Source: Campus France 2019 showcases the outgoing mobility of French students. Only the European destinations included in the Erasmus program were maintained (28 countries of the European Union + Republic of North Macedonia, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Serbia and Turkey).
Erasmus: a financial gain
“Why go with Erasmus+? Because it costs less!” exclaims Valérie Montembault, project manager for Europe at CIDJ (youth information and documentation centre). This is actually one of the many benefits of the program. You only pay the French tuition and you can keep your scholarships. “If you decide to go alone to a British establishment, you will have to pay around €9,000, which is not the case with Erasmus+.”
Also, if you are going to study abroad for 3 to 12 months, the program gives you the possibility of obtaining a mobility grant. The amount varies from €170 to €370 per month, depending on the destination. Note that the Erasmus+ scholarship is not automatic, it depends on social criteria. But there is another help such as those of the Council of Europe, CROUS, your region or the Fund for Solidarity and Development of Student Initiatives (FSDIE) at your institution.
A guaranteed structure
Another advantage: the simplification of procedures. “Students have nothing to do, assures Valérie Montembault. The establishment takes care of everything.“Or almost. Once your study abroad application has been accepted, you must register with your French institution as well as your host institution. As far as your health is concerned, it is up to you to apply for the European Health Insurance Card. The same goes for round-trip airline tickets and all travel-related costs.
However, when it comes to your studies, the process is much simpler. Your diploma is recognized in France thanks to the validation of credits, called ECTS. Erasmus+ also gives you access to an online platform (OLS – Online linguistic support) to familiarize yourself with the language of your host country.
Stand out with less popular destinations
Perhaps the United States, Canada or Australia will make you dream more than the 34 European countries offered by the program, but getting closer can also allow you to earn points. 🇧🇷Today, countries like Slovenia, Poland, the Czech Republic or the Netherlands tend to emerge. On the one hand, because English is spoken there, and on the other hand, because the cost of living is much more affordable than in the Nordic countries, for example.”
According to Valérie Montembault, these destinations can be a plus in your curriculum, as they also allow you to get to know another culture. “Careful, we are not saying that we should favor these countries. The most important thing is to first choose a course that matches your study project before thinking about the destination. You have to ask yourself what is relevant and what can bring us in particular.”
Therefore, inquire as far in advance as possible at the international relations office to find out more about the Erasmus program and agreements with foreign establishments.