What is OLS Erasmus?

Published by Manuel Herrero on

If you have thought about joinning the Erasmus+ programme, you might have heard of OLS Erasmus, but, do you really know what it is?

Objective of the Erasmus programme

Every year thousands of students have the opportunity to study abroad at a University in the European Union for up to a full year due to Erasmus+ grants. The motivations of each student can be very different from each other, from meeting new people, living abroad, to discovering new cultures or doing tourism.

For the European Union, one of the priority objectives of the programme is to promote multilingualism and help students to learn or improve a foreign language, considered a cornerstone of their project. Multilingualism is a clear symbol of the aspiration for diversity.

The main barrier to participation in mobility programmes is the lack of language skills. In a continent in which almost every country speaks a different language, this makes multilingualism one of the main challenges of the programme to promote international student mobility.

Online Linguistic Support

OLS stands for Online Linguistic Support and is the EU's solution to help participants to improve the language skills they will be using in their host country over the coming months. Let's see what OLS Erasmus is:

Once the students choose a destination, they will have to carry out, in addition to the study agreement, a mandatory evaluation to know which their level is. The test lasts approximately one hour, with multiple choice questions in the following areas:

  • Written comprehension
  • Listening comprehension
  • Grammar
  • Use of language

What if it goes wrong?

Don't worry, OLS Erasmus aims to encourage students to learn the language and improve. This evaluation will not exclude you from the program. At the end of your stay at your grant, you will have to take a second test to check whether you have improved or not. The results are for statistical use, however, from Erasmus Play we wish you all the luck in it!

Courses to improve

Living in a foreign country is the best opportunity for you to learn its language however, the Erasmus+ programme includes online courses both before and during your stay. Online support includes:

  • Language courses from A1 to C1
  • Tutorials
  • Online Classes
  • MOOCs (Mass Open Online Course)
  • Forums
  • And much more!

In this table you can check the resources available for each language:

Tips to learn the host language

In addition to the courses and initiatives proposed by the European Union, the best way to learn a language is to practice it and, there is nothing better than living in a native country. Here is a list of tasks you must-do if you want to speak like a true native:

Socialize with native students

Although it is easier for an international student to meet other international students, try to meet native students as well. You will get to know their culture, the way they work and above all, you will be able to have a conversation with native speakers. In big cities, you will also have the opportunity to work with students from different parts of the country and listen to different accents.

Go to the cinema or to the theatre

Who doesn't like to go to the cinema from time to time, or go to the theatre and see original plays that help you get to understand the country's culture. It is a perfect plan to socialize and improve your ability to learn how the natives talk to each other in different situations.

Study every day

Sometimes it is difficult to spend time every day studying all the subjects, reading the notes and reviewing the classes every day will help you learn technical vocabulary that is more difficult to practice daily. Besides, everything you study will help you to go more relaxed for the exams.

Going out

Surely an Erasmus doesn't need to be told to go out and party. Parties are great opportunities to meet new people. People lose their shame to talk and, you're sure to have a great time.

Now, you know what OLS Erasmus is. A platform that allows members of Erasmus+ mobility programmes to evaluate and extend their knowledge of the language of the host country. Also, you know our tips to improve, but you surely know more - tell us in the comments section down below how you would improve your language during Erasmus!


Manuel Herrero

Former Erasmus+ student, now ErasmusPlay CTO and Co-founder.

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