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ERASMUS programme

What is ERASMUS+?

What is ERASMUS+?

If you are thinking of doing a work placement, have you thought about doing it in Europe?

The University of Leeds is a participant in a European placement scheme called ERASMUS+. Administered by the British Council and ECORYS UK, and co-funded by the European Union, ERASMUS+ supports activities in education, training, youth and sport across all sectors of lifelong learning including Higher Education. The ERASMUS+ scheme supports you in undertaking study or work abroad placements, by providing a grant. We look after the work placement ('traineeship') part of the ERASMUS+ grant.

In 2018/19, the scheme offers a grant of either 400 or 450 Euros per month for work placements, depending on which European country you choose to work in. For more information on funding see our downloads section and the FAQs.

Due to high student demand, absolute funding levels for Erasmus+ are not guaranteed. All students will receive 70% of their maximum possible grant when they start work and the remainder will be determined once total student demand, and the extent of the annual Erasmus+ funding from the European Union, is known. 

It is crucial that students arrange their work placements in good time and apply for Erasmus+ funding as early as possible, so that the appropriate paperwork is put in place before the work placement activity commences. As a very rough guideline, this usually means that students arrange their work placements from January to June before starting the work placement in September.

Placements can last from 2 to 12 months and many students use the ERASMUS+ programme as part of their Year in Industry placement.

Students who have graduated are not currently eligible for the Erasmus+ work placement grant at the University of Leeds. 

Students who are undertaking a postgraduate programme may be eligible, if the work placement activity is a recognised part of their course, for instance via a work placement module. 

If you would rather study than work abroad, then you should check out the study abroad website.

Where can you do a placement?

Currently, the ERASMUS+ scheme includes all of the European Union member countries and a few additional affiliated countries. For a full list of destinations see the British Council website (the Programme Countries only). In 2018/2019, Switzerland is not included in Erasmus+.

What kind of work can you do?

The ERASMUS+ scheme covers almost every type of work in Europe, as long as it is recognised as part of your degree. For more information on this, talk to the linked tutor for your course. There are a few exceptions and you should check out our eligibility guide in the downloads section for more details.

Why should you take part in the ERASMUS+ scheme?

There are many reasons why you should consider taking part in the ERASMUS+ scheme and many of them will be personal to you. Here are a few reasons that might also boost your employability:

  • You will learn a new language or improve your existing language skills.
  • You will get recognised, and often accredited, work experience.
  • You will gain and improve a range of skills that are desirable to employers.
  • You will develop a global and cultural outlook which many employers are looking for.
  • You will build up a network of valuable contacts.

Additional Erasmus+ funding

Each higher education institution involved in Erasmus+ signs the Erasmus Charter for Higher Education; this shows a commitment to ensuring equal access and opportunities to participants from all backgrounds. 

If you are a student with a physical, mental or health-related condition that would make your participation in Erasmus+ impossible without extra financial support, you can apply for an additional 'Erasmus+ special needs support grant' to help finance these extra costs. This grant is intended to help you take full advantage of an Erasmus+ mobility experience.  You should indicate your needs and foreseen extra costs on the Erasmus+ traineeship grant application form. Examples of areas eligible for support include (but are not limited to): adapted accommodation, travel assistance, medical attendance, supportive equipment, adaption of learning materials, an accompanying person, etc.

A further, small supplementary Erasmus+ grant is available to students from a disadvantaged background undertaking a work placement.

What should you do next?

  • First, talk to your School work placement tutor about undertaking a work placement in Europe, which will qualify for the ERASMUS+ grant.
  • Next, arrange a placement lasting between 2 and 12 months. We have a list of previous placements in our downloads section and your placement tutor may have some contacts.
  • Check that your placement is eligible by looking at the eligibility download or come and talk to us.
  • Once your placement is arranged, your tutor will send your details to us and we will send you the application form and Erasmus+ agreement that you need.
  • Deadline: The University wants to include all eligible students who apply for the grant. You must apply for your Erasmus+ work placement grant as early as possible in the preceding academic year (from March), at least 4 weeks before your placement is about to begin. This is so that there is ample time to prepare your Erasmus+ agreement, which must be signed before you start work. It is best to plan and apply as early as possible.
  • The ErasmusPlus website can offer you advice about making all the necessary arrangements for your work placement in Europe.

What about Brexit?

Following sector-wide concern about the result of the EU referendum on Membership of the European Union and how this would impact the Erasmus+ programme, the Department of Business, Innovation & Skills (BIS) has advised UK universities to continue promoting and marketing Erasmus+ in the usual way for the academic year 2018/2019. In the longer term, as the Minister for Universities and Science has stated, the UK’s future access to the Erasmus+ programme will be determined as a part of wider discussions with the EU. However the University of Leeds is keen to maintain partnerships with European universities and will continue to actively promote study and work abroad placements in Europe. There is further information on the University website.

How we can help you.

We can help you with lots of things, especially understanding eligibility and filling in the forms. You may need help finding a placement, making applications or writing a CV. For this support you should use our fantastic drop-in service which is available at the Careers Centre or book an appointment.