In the coming weeks this blog is going to take a decidedly European turn, and I hope to make it as informative as possible for English students who are interested in taking a year abroad. No nonsense. What format has the least nonsense? That’s right: the list. So here’s a list of things you’ll have to do before your year abroad, in order. Bam.
1) Contact your department’s Erasmus Coordinator during the first semester and tell them you’re interested. You don’t have to do this the very moment you start university, but listen out in lectures and check your emails to see when to start moving. Once you’ve discussed with your coordinator which country you want to study at, you’ll be added to the email list.
2) Attend the meetings that you’re told about by email. Obtain a Change of Degree form. Research the country and university that you’ll be attending.
3) If not a Modern Languages student or already fluent in your Erasmus university’s native language, then apply for a Languages at Leicester course for a basic grounding at the very least.
4) Obtain a Departmental Outgoing Notification form and Preliminary Learning Agreement form. Keep in contact with the Erasmus Office.
5) Apply to the host university via its website when application becomes possible. Application may only open during the summer before your year abroad. It may seem insanely late to you, but there’s no need for concern. They’re European.
6) Apply for Erasmus Intensive Language Courses if desired.
7) Obtain a Student Finance Letter in order to receive the correct loans and grants, pus a Bank Transfer form and Mobility Agreement form.
8) Look for accommodation in your Erasmus country, whether it be university halls, private companies, a family, or houseboat.
9) Contact the Leicester students currently having an Erasmus year to get the straight-up facts about your destination.
10) Settle your affairs.
Granted, I’ve simplified things a bit here, but this is the process that I’ve just been through so you know it’s authentic. The university will give you the full timeline with the list of what to do and exactly when in much more detail. I think it’s important to understand what you’ll be doing in advance. Things may change in the years to come, but if they do I can’t imagine they’ll get harder, so the list still stands. And what a list it is.