About Erasmus

In short

The ERASMUS programme was established in 1987 and forms a major part of the European Union Socrates II programme. It is the European Commission initiative for higher education.

In 1986-1987, the students’ association EGEE Europe, founded by Franck Biancheri (who’s today president of Newropeans, a trans-european political party) was one of the main promoters, and finally convinced French President François Mitterrand to support Erasmus.

ERASMUS is an abbreviation of “European Region Action Scheme for the Mobility of University Students”. It was incorporated into the Socrates programme when that programme was established in 1995. The Socrates programme ended on 31 December 1999 and was replaced with the Socrates II programme on 24 January 2000.

The aim of ERASMUS is to encourage and support academic mobility of higher education students and teachers within the European Union, the European Economic Area countries of Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein aswell as the candidate country Turkey. While Switzerland has not officially adopted the ERASMUS program, its universities also pursue inter-university collaboration with other European institutions through a system closely following ERASMUS.

There are currently 2,199 higher education institutions participating in ERASMUS across the 31 countries involved in the Socrates programme and 1.4 million students[1] have already taken part.

Read more on Wikipedia at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ERASMUS_programme

So there’s the Erasmus Credit Transfer System (ECTS).

Learn more by reading ECTS Key Features (PDF)

Or on Wikipedia at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/European_credit_transfer_system

And then there’s the “scholarship” or more exactly the financial help!

Before going into any details, check the Erasmus Official Website!


  1. Erasmus programme provides a framework (the credit system – ECTS)
  2. under which universities (following the given charter – EUC) allow
  3. students
    1. to go abroad, away from the home university, and take classes in a foreign country
    2. or to come from a foreign country and be part of the national education system
  4. while accepting their studies to be genuine and taking them as part of their usual education programme,
  5. optionally offering some financial support in order to cope with the new life abroad.

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