The Erasmus programme is, without doubt, one of the best experiences you can have during your studies. However, choosing an Erasmus destination is not always easy. Therefore, in this post we advise you on how to choose an Erasmus destination, explaining the most important aspects to consider before choosing a destination.
Cost of living
This is one of the most significant factors when you choose an Erasmus destination. It is very important to be clear about whether or not you can afford the required expenses. Therefore, the most practical thing to do would be to make a small list of general expenses to know how much money you will need each month.
You should be aware that there will be several grants that you can apply for, but even so, they are usually scarce and insufficient to pay for the whole Erasmus experience. We recommend you analyse the cost of accommodation, transport, shopping, leisure and travel that you can do during your Erasmus, and determine how much money you will be able to spend. From there, check which destinations can fit your budget. If your budget is tight, you can check our post where we talk about cheap Erasmus destinations.
The weather is a relevant facet for some students. If, for example, you can't stand the cold or the few hours of daylight, you'd better avoid Nordic countries such as Finland, Norway or Sweden.
Therefore, we recommend you check the average temperature of a destination, as it will determine to a large extent the activities you can do in your day-to-day life.
University and quality of education at the Erasmus destination
Erasmus is an enriching period in a student's life, with a view to a professional future. Studying abroad says a lot about you, in Europe, you will find some of the most prestigious universities in the world, so it is a great opportunity to learn other methodologies and improve your CV.
The best way to learn or improve a language is to live immersed in the country where that language is spoken. Although in most Erasmus destinations you will get to study and learn English, if your main priority is to improve your English, we recommend that you go to study in an English-speaking country, such as Ireland or the United Kingdom.
However, if you are studying a third language or want to learn a new language, you should consider other options, as you will probably finish your Erasmus being able to speak one of these languages more or less fluently. Germany, Italy, Portugal... There are many countries where you can learn or perfect another language!
In general, most universities and faculties offer language courses, such as OLS (Online Linguistic Support) courses, so you can take advantage of Erasmus to learn and improve a language.
This part is closely related to the cost of living. Before applying for one destination or another, it is advisable to analyse the average cost of accommodation in a given city.
Not only is it important to look at the average cost of rent, but you should also check out the accommodation options available in the city. Are there public halls of residence, and is it difficult to find accommodation? You can always glance experiences of other students or ask Erasmus students from previous years.
If you like to party, this will probably be one more characteristic to consider. Although in almost all Erasmus destinations you will find a great student atmosphere, it is well known that there are cities where you can find more student parties. Bologna, Prague, Budapest, Kraków... Normally, the destinations that receive more students are also those where there is more student and nightlife atmosphere.
Location of the Erasmus destination
The location of a country and, in particular, of an Erasmus destination will influence the experience you will live during your stay. It is well known that the Erasmus experience should be complete and, among other things, you should take advantage of it to travel and get to know the continent.
Therefore, if one of your priorities is to take advantage of Erasmus to travel and get to know other countries, it is convenient to evaluate the connections that a city has with other possible points of interest. Find out if there are airports in the vicinity or if there is a good network of other transport, such as trains or buses. This will be information to take into consideration for those who have some trips in mind.
The location and distance from your home country is also important, as it will affect you more or less depending on how often you plan to return home.
Culture of the country
Although there is a basic cultural root in almost all of Europe, there are certain cultural differences between countries. To avoid culture shock, it is a good idea to do a little research beforehand. Nevertheless, above all to go with an open mind, to understand and appreciate other ways of life.
These are the main points to consider when you choose an Erasmus destination. From Erasmus Play, we hope you found this useful! Let us know in the comments where you would like to go for Erasmus.