Please talk to me about Erasmus

(57 Posts)
tapdancingmum Sun 13-Nov-16 20:26:36

DD has been offered a place to study in Vienna next semester. Can anybody furnish me with any useful information that I can pass onto her to make it all go quite smoothly.

OP’s posts: |
VintagePerfumista Sun 13-Nov-16 20:28:38

If she's been offered a place, surely she's applied and you already know about it?

Do you mean Vienna itself?

Cake and ££££s!

They usually go erasmus-ing in fairly big groups, lots of welcome activities and events throughout their stay. <to be young again> grin

Hassled Sun 13-Nov-16 20:32:55

Can't advise re Vienna but one of my DSs did an Erasmus year (a year rather than a semester) in Berlin. The Erasmus students did all stick together probably more than they should have - I didn't gather there was much integration. And then (this was a good few years ago) we felt that information about what was happening and when wasn't especially forthcoming - DS really had to be proactive re sorting accommodation and knowing where he was meant to be. But that was probably very good for him - I think it was a great experience and it certainly taught him some resilience.

tapdancingmum Sun 13-Nov-16 21:24:30

Yes she has applied and got a place. There are two from her Uni going and she is sending off her application for student accommodation tomorrow but just wondered if there were any tips anybody had that didn't really come up in the whole application process.

I know she wants to do it herself but I am really feeling out of the loop as when I ask for info she doesn't seem to have it. One of her lecturers from last year is actually teaching at Vienna uni this year and has said she will look out for them (which is a bit of a relief).

OP’s posts: |
bojorojo Sun 13-Nov-16 21:42:20

They won't need anyone looking out for them. Vienna will be great. There are two places to look for information. Firstly at the university in Vienna. The host university often has details on its website for incoming Erasmus students. Secondly look at the website Third Year Abroad. This will probably have helpful tips from former Erasmus students who have been to this university. Definitely do both of these.

If a university offers accommodation, and she gets it, this is a massive bonus and almost certainly means she will meet Austrian students. When Erasmus students all live together, they are less likely to integrate.

We went with DD to first university on her year abroad - different uni for 2nd semester. Took luggage and helped her through the registration process for the accommodation although as it was conducted in French we were bystanders ! However it was a worthwhile weekend and her room was great. She is still friends with her flat mates. It is a great experience and some universities provide excellent courses. Language acquisition is usually rapid too. If thee is anything specific you want to know that is not on the websites , I will try and help.

CorkieD Sun 13-Nov-16 21:52:03

If a student goes on an Erasmus programme, the onus is mainly on the student themselves to sort out accommodation, etc. The university will give some advice but they won't have the same level of involvement as there is in some universities in the UK.
In Vienna, students can purchase an inexpensive travel card which allows them travel on excellent public transport system (trams, underground, train). The University of Vienna is in the centre of the city but the travel card gives students the possibility of living anywhere in Vienna.

toffee1000 Mon 14-Nov-16 02:05:06

As someone who has been on a year abroad the idea that they go in big groups is absolute rubbish. There are about 30-odd students in my year who do German, and of those who chose to study I can only think of four or five who studied, including me. We all went to separate places. She is lucky that someone else is going from her uni- I did not have this at all.
This may depend on the university, but there were no welcome events at my university whatsoever. There were no events throughout the year- if there were, they were poorly advertised.
Be aware also that there is far less of a campus culture in European countries than there is in Britain. Here, you're advised to join clubs and societies. There were barely any at my university. I also found talking to people very hard- there were almost no opportunities to. Although, this is coming from someone who finds it very difficult to make friends/talk to people in English let alone a foreign language so your DD may be OK.
I did not enjoy my year abroad, for several reasons, but most people I talked to upon returning for final year seemed to enjoy it so it depends on the person.
Apologies for not sounding very positive! This is mainly just based on my personal experience and the university I went to, and likely your DD will be fine and enjoy her time in Vienna. It didn't help that the place I went to had very little to do as in places to visit, so Vienna will be much better in this regard!


bojorojo Mon 14-Nov-16 02:27:12

Both my DDs host universities in Italy and Switzerland had welcome events and the Swiss university had lots of further events during the semester. She also went to things with the Swiss students! She travelled with new friends in Italy. Universities are all different so look at the host university web site. Some universities in Italy have hundreds, if not thousands of "Erasmus" or exchange students from all over the globe. My DD had a wonderful year. I think you need to be proactive, go out of your way to be friendly and choose somewhere that is larger! Vienna is. My DD was the only one from her university in Switzerland (she never saw anyone else) and a couple were nearby in Italy, but not studying at the university. Absolutely no problem. You make friends with other people.

Neither of the universities abroad were campus. She was not at a campus university here. Again, a city university is a good choice. Plenty going on. Good transport links and good food. If she is a self-starter it will be the best year ever for her.

bojorojo Mon 14-Nov-16 02:30:44

Get into accommodation with Austrian students, then there is an opportuity for friendship. Even if they are other Erasmus/exchange students, there are opportunities if your DD talks to them! DD did not join any clubs. She was not intending to. Far too busy with days out, lectures, parties, working, travelling, cooking, eating, shopping....................

Moominmammacat Mon 14-Nov-16 11:30:07

It's magnificent but expensive. Be prepared to fork out. I have one in Germany at the moment and she hasn't received a penny or even a Euro from Erasmus yet ... last year's people got it in July, according to her. Great thing to do but as ever easier for the rich.

bojorojo Mon 14-Nov-16 21:14:36

If others received the money in July, why is she still waiting? It is a scheme that is open to all and nothing to do with richer people being favoured! That is simply ridiculous. She should be checking up to see what has happened as clearly something has. My DD actually saved money as she had cheap accommodation. If I recall correctly, the grant is in Euros so if you budget effectively it covers everything but we still gave her the monthly allowance as if she was in the U.K. - so no change for us.

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Mon 14-Nov-16 21:15:59

Will Erasmus still be in place with Brexit?

bojorojo Mon 14-Nov-16 21:38:18

Who knows? Switzerland self-fund but have few students who exchange in comparison to us. It will be a huge expense if no arrangements are negotiated with the EU. Wanting our cake and eating it though!

Moominmammacat Tue 15-Nov-16 08:14:14

Bojo, Last year's people received their money in July, at the end of their year abroad. The delay is administrative, she has been told. The very fact that you give your daughter an allowance proves my point.

Moominmammacat Tue 15-Nov-16 08:18:27

And 300 euros a month if you are studying and 250 euros a month if you are working, along with a uk loan, is not exactly a fortune.

toffee1000 Tue 15-Nov-16 09:39:32

Moominmama, it's nothing to do with whether you're studying or working. It's to do with which country you're in. France is more expensive to live in, comparatively speaking, so if you go there you get €300 a month. Germany is cheaper, so you get €250.

Moominmammacat Tue 15-Nov-16 10:13:47

Not true ... different rates for studying or training ... see below

Lucked Tue 15-Nov-16 10:19:07

I had a friend do it and she was the only one from her uni and it was pretty tough she made some local friends but was on her own a lot of evenings and was struggling a bit. She eventually contacted another U.K. University, close to her own, and discovered they had a lot of students in her city which meant she got out and about more.

user7214743615 Tue 15-Nov-16 10:32:45

But the article also shows that there are two categories, higher cost of living countries and lower costs of living countries, as well as studying/training. France is in the high cost list and Germany is in the low cost list. A bit ridiculous that you get the same for Germany/Holland/Luxembourg (expensive in real terms) as for Estonia, Slovenia etc which are much cheaper in real terms.

Moominmammacat Tue 15-Nov-16 11:58:58

The funding niceties aside, my point is that it's not easy to do this without parental support.

user7214743615 Tue 15-Nov-16 12:02:51

250-300 Euros per month would be plenty in Southern/Eastern European countries, supplemented by part-time working in cafe etc once there.

Post Brexit it probably won't be an option at all except for those who can afford to fund all the costs.

toffee1000 Tue 15-Nov-16 12:29:37

Ok, I stand corrected on the funding issue!
While I did not really enjoy my year abroad, contact with my mother really helped. We were lucky in that Dad could help me out financially, and on top of that Mum regularly sent me a lot of DVDs, including entire box sets, copies of films I already loved and ones I hadn't seen before. These were all great ways to pass the time. My friend also received a couple of packages from home/her boyfriend's family.
Sending a package like this could be an idea, OP. It doesn't have to be DVDs. It could be as simple as some of her favourite sweets/chocolate, or a poster, or even just a silly mug. It seems obvious, but keep in contact in any way you can. Even if she is having the time of her life, it's always nice to keep up with what's going on back home. smile

VintagePerfumista Tue 15-Nov-16 12:30:15

250-300 a month wouldn't last very long in southern Italy, and I imagine Spain and Portugal to be the same.

With the massive unemployment rates among local people, the old myth of bar work (grape picking, babysitting etc etc) days are long gone I'm afraid.

user7214743615 Tue 15-Nov-16 12:36:40

Many students live on not much more than a few hundred Euros a month in Greece, Slovenia, Estonia etc. It was these countries I had in mind.

bojorojo Tue 15-Nov-16 16:42:55

We paid DD an allowance because we paid her an allowance in the UK. Thousands of parents have to do this! You pay as normal. It is nothing to do with being rich. Why can you not give parental support op? Could your DD not have worked in the summer to save up for her expenses on the year abroad?

Obviously in some countries, rents are more than €300 a month so lots of young people who cannot afford the university route, do the teaching assistant route via the British Council. This is paid. So is getting a job. Going to university is not the only route to language acquisition abroad.

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