2017 is set to be a pretty interesting year for Europe: we celebrated the 60th anniversary of the Treaties of Rome on 25 March and the Erasmus program will be 30 on 14 May! A small chink of light in the darkness of recent times. But let’s not discuss politics, not here at least. Eurosceptics and EU supporters will both agree that Erasmus has been (one of) the European Union’s greatest achievement(s). Have you ever wondered just how successful the program is? Here are some figures to give you an idea.
It was officially launched in 1987. Its creator, Sofia Corradi, is an Italian teacher who came up with the idea of giving students the opportunity to study at all European universities in 1969. This was already happening even before the Berlin Wall came down and Europe was united once again.
However, it wasn’t until 1986 that the program received support from the French President François Mitterand, who named it after the famous Erasmus of Rotterdam, a great fountain of knowledge and a famous traveler.
Almost every student dreams of studying abroad and it can still be hard to achieve today, despite European funding. We’re sure the European Commission is doing its best though, and this will improve even more in the future.
Over 3.5 million students have taken part in the exchange program since 1987, and this number looks set to increase: every year, studying abroad is becoming more and more appealing to students. But why? Something to add to your CV? The need to get away from it all? To learn a new language? There is no single answer to this question.
According to the European Commission, Erasmus is normally undertaken by undergraduates rather than individuals studying for postgraduate degrees: 70% of students take part in the program during the first 3 years of their degree compared to 28% of those studying for a master’s degree. As far as internships are concerned, 56% of undergraduate students completed one abroad compared to just 30% of MA students.
The typical Erasmus student is female: around 61% of female students take part in the Erasmus program or complete an internship.
So, who are the top sending countries? Well done Spain, Germany, France, Italy and Turkey! The top receiving countries are: Spain, France, Germany, Italy and the United Kingdom. (Congratulations to Spain, which is the top sending and receiving country)
Some academic fields are more willing than others to go on such an adventure: the biggest share of the Erasmus “market” goes to Social Sciences, Business and Law (around 35%) and then to Humanities (around 19%).
Erasmus is probably the most effective out of an increasing number of successful programs within European borders and beyond, including language programs, research, cooperation, charity work and partnerships, among others.
The success of the Erasmus exchange program is naturally more complicated than just a few facts and figures. If you are interested in the topic or just want to be aware of all the incredible opportunities and find out about new projects, you should visit the European Commission website and read their reports.
We hope these facts and figures will encourage you to take up this amazing and enriching opportunity: the Erasmus program never fails to live up to students’ expectations. We also hope that you will fully immerse yourself in the experience and adopt a truly international perspective, which is what makes the program so stunning. Room4talk will help you get a 360° international view, even when you are tempted to speak your own language. You’ll fall asleep in your new bed speaking to your new housemate in a foreign language, and get up to see everything you’ve ever wanted is still there: you just need to open the door.