What if I told you that you could study in two European countries: start in one of them, and then go away on an exchange to the other one for a year? It’s all thanks to the Erasmus+, a very popular exchange programme for universities within the European Union. I took advantage of this and studied for a while in London. Today, I would like to show you how to study in two different countries and get extra money from the European Union in order to do so.
When should you think about Erasmus?
If you come to Poland to obtain a bachelor’s degree, I would recommend that you apply for the scholarship during the second year of your studies and go abroad for the third year. But if you come here to do a master’s degree, you need to apply for the scholarship during the first year in order to go abroad for the second year.
Erasmus in Poland: read first
If Erasmus is one of the main reasons you come to Poland, you should know what it is all about. So:
1. You can learn a little bit about the history of the programme (just to grasp the idea of it) on the Wikipedia page.
As you can see, the current edition will last only until 2020. I can’t promise you that you’ll be able to use this scholarship after that. It’s possible, but not certain. Please consider this when planning your studies in the future.
2. Then please read the text written by the organization of students who help to maintain the programme: Erasmus Student Network global.
By the way, I highly recommend that you contact these people. They should help you with all this stuff, especially with Erasmus’ procedures. They know almost everything about the programme, as they have taken advantage of it before. You should be able to find members of the Erasmus Student Network at your university. But you can contact them even earlier by going to this website ESN Poland and using the contact form.
3. And now the longest part. If you still feel strong enough to read a lot of info, check this very good guidebook.
Everything depends on your future faculty
Now you know a lot. The most important thing that you know is that everything depends on your future faculty. You can go study for example in Germany only if your faculty signed an agreement with some German university. It’s also important to note how many places are available for exchange students and how many people are usually interested in the programme.
To make things worse: some faculties have signed the agreements, but there are some extra conditions. For example you may be required to speak German to be qualified, as the host university offers courses only in German. Another possible obstacle: maybe you have very difficult studies (for example you study medicine or engineering), and your lecturers don’t like when their students go abroad for a year.
In a nutshell: you want to know if it will be easy to get a scholarship at your future faculty, what you should do to qualify, and if there will be any obstacles to going abroad. There is only one person who will be able to help you with that: an Erasmus coordinator at the faculty.
Erasmus in Poland: apply for the scholarship
The first information meetings should be organized in December. As the meetings will probably be held in Polish, contact your Erasmus coordinator directly and ask him what you should do and when. You’ll have several months to prepar all the paperwork.
You need to find a lecturer who will agree to take care of your individual programme of study. If you’re not a native English speaker, you’ll also have to prove your language skills. When you come to study in Poland contact Erasmus Student Network members to ask for help with this.
There are many things to deal with during the period of preparation. For example you should look for accomodation, get in touch with a host university, open a currency bank account for euro, and fill out many, many forms. ESN volunteers will help you with that. Also, it’s likely that if you’re not from the European Union and you want to spend a year in another EU member state, you’ll need to apply for a temporary residence permit there as well.
Remember to deliver the documents after you come back
When you come back to Poland you’ll need to deliver key documents to the administration of your Polish university. They will check if everything is alright and if you have met all the requirements during your stay abroad. After that your German grades will be included with the grades from your Polish studies, you will get the rest of the money from your scholarship, and the whole process will be finished.
If you wish to read more about studies in Poland, check out my Study in Poland section.