Erasmus+ is the European Union program that supports education, training, youth and sport. However, even though the program is one of the most popular initiatives, there are nine things you probably didn’t know about it.
1. Erasmus started with a small number of students
According to the European Commission, the Erasmus program has been one of the most popular education and training programs since its inception, which took place in 1987. The program started with only 3,244 students, and then the number increased over the over time.
Initially, the program only included eleven countries – Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Greece, France, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain and the United Kingdom. – meaning that participants could only travel to one of these countries for study purposes.
2. The program now has millions of participants
Today, the program has more than 10 million total participants. This suggests that over 300,000 students have the chance to study or train under the program each year.
In addition, the program now includes dozens of countries, part of which are also countries outside the European Union, reports SchengenVisaInfo.com.
3. What does Erasmus represent?
According to the Commission, Erasmus stands for European Region Action Scheme for the Mobility of University Students. However, since only his backronym is used, many are unaware of this fact.
4. Erasmus helps participants improve quality of life and prospects
The European Commission explains that studies have shown that Erasmus+ improves quality of life as well as life prospects. Moreover, the program has also proven to stimulate innovation and social inclusion in higher education while helping students make career choices.
Commission data shows that more than 80% of Erasmus+ graduates are employed within three months of graduation.
5. Erasmus has no age limit
What makes the Erasmus+ program even more special is that it offers opportunities for everyone, regardless of age. This means that not only young people but also their parents can benefit from the programme.
6. From Erasmus to Erasmus+
Previously, the main focus of Erasmus was student mobility. However, now Erasmus+ ensures that everyone – students, staff, trainees, teachers and volunteers, among others – takes advantage of the opportunities. Thus, it indicates that the Erasmus+ program is not just for Europe or Europeans, but is for people all over the world.
7. Erasmus graduates succeed in different fields
Erasmus alumni have different professions. Even though everyone was part of the same program, they were able to create career prospects and work in different fields.
Samantha Cristoforetti is one of the former Erasmus who is now an astronaut at ESA. She holds several spaceflight records and is the first person to brew coffee in space. Former European Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, Carlos Moedas, was also part of the programme.
8. 33% of former Erasmus students have a partner of a different nationality
Commission data shows that former Erasmus students are more likely to have a transnational relationship.
Additionally, the same study found that around 33% of former students have a partner of a different nationality, compared to 13% of those studying in their home country.
Given these figures, the Commission estimated that around one billion babies are likely to have been born since 1987.
9. Erasmus had a budget of over 26 billion euros for 2021
The program had an estimated budget of €26.2 billion for 2021, offering more than 4 million participants the opportunity to study, train, gain real-world experience and volunteer at the stranger.
10. The current program focuses on inclusion and green transitions
The current program, which will run for seven years, 2021-2027, has a strong focus on social inclusion, green and digital transitions, and promoting youth participation in democratic life.
In addition to offering scholarships, Erasmus+ also supports research, teaching, networking and political debate on European topics.
>> Erasmus+ funded over 640,000 learning opportunities for students this year despite pandemic restrictions