If you are attracted by the country of Shakespeare, you may be dreaming only of one thing: to go to explore England? The good news is that it is very easy to go to the UK to study English, by joining the Erasmus program.
The United Kingdom welcomes 4,500 French students each year. This is a boon to develop your language skills without being totally lost!
In this article, we look at the ways to go to England with Erasmus, the steps to follow and the formalities to complete.
What Is The Erasmus Program?
Living in England is fascinating because this multicultural land exports its culture - thanks to the globalization of the world - in all English-speaking countries and the English language is spoken almost everywhere on the planet.
Becoming an English speaker, studying abroad and having an unforgettable time will definitely give you the taste for learning and provoke your excitement.
During the university course, learning English as a second language outside the French education system is a rewarding experience that you will never forget.
Therefore, do not hesitate: the Erasmus system allows you to do all this!
So what is Erasmus?
It is an acronym for EuRopean Action Scheme for the Mobility of University Students, the Erasmus program was implemented in 1987 to promote the international mobility of teachers and students around the world, through an international exchange program.
It is a program supported by the European Union that aims to support the departure of students abroad as part of their language and professional training.
The main objective of the program is simple: the student chooses a curriculum of study corresponding to their French university, allowing him to obtain an equivalence outside the French borders.
A contract of study is then signed, which sets the subjects to be followed as well as the number of credits to be acquired during its gap year.
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The name of the program comes from the Dutch philosopher and theologian Erasmus (1465-1536), who travelled through many European countries to learn about the different languages and cultures of Europe, and to develop his humanism.
It is more commonly a grant awarded to pursue training in an institution in Europe.
The Erasmus program is essentially an exchange of students from 28 Member States of the European Union, as well as those from Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway (the States of the European Economic Area ( EEA) and the European Free Trade Association (EFTA).
On average, students spend about 6.5 months abroad as part of the Erasmus program.
This program allows:
- To leave a part of the school year, during a semester generally, within the framework of a university exchange,
- To leave for a complete year, in one to two universities,
- To do a professional internship, in a partner country,
- To perfect oneself and to return with a good level of English language,
- To have a first experience in a flat or house share abroad, etc.
However, like most European educational programs, there is a selection and indeed, the competition between the candidates is tough, the number of spots being lower than the demand for departures, and this is especially true for a departure in England.
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Briefly summed up here are the different steps to follow to make get a spot at an Erasmus bursary:
- Find out about host institutions participating in the Erasmus program,
- Look for the best English universities,
- Learn about available training,
- Contact or meet with the International Relations Officer at their current university,
- Request a complete Erasmus file and submit it in due time,
- Wait for the answer.
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Why Choose The UK For Your Erasmus Studies?
That's right, why the British Isles- its gloomy climate, its greyness and its terrible gastronomy - instead of studying in Canada, going to study in Australia or an American university? Want to improve your language proficiency, linguistics, literacy, vocabulary grammar and reading and writing skills outside the classroom?
It is often said that going abroad to Erasmus is an opportunity for an English learner to validate a year of instruction in higher education while partying, raving and doing minimum actual studying.
When you go to England learning English at the pub, at a music festival or on the rare occasions its hot enough, at the park with natives is part of the experience.
The most popular courses in the context of an Erasmus stay are business studies, languages and social sciences.
What could be better than opening yourself to the teaching of Anglo-Saxon history, to political science, economics or sociology taught in English?
If there is one country where to learn business, economics, history and the English language, it is the United Kingdom.
Indeed, many world famous authors are English: T. Hobbes, A. Smith, D. Ricardo, A. Marshall, J. Locke, C. Dickens, W. Shakespeare, O. Wilde, R. L. Stevenson, G. Orwell, L. Carroll, A. Huxley, J.R.R. Tolkien, A. Christie, etc.
English literature and philosophy, British music - Pink Floyd, Rolling Stones, The Beatles, E. Clapton, Radiohead, Queen, The Cure, etc. - are known around the world and are a great way to learn English while enriching your general culture.
Canterbury, Leeds, Oxford, Cambridge, Edinburgh, Birmingham, Manchester, Glasgow, London are all major university cities and towns with some of the best schools in the world!
Whether in Northern Ireland, Wales, Scotland, England or Central London, the UK is a fascinating country.
But a stay in England is also a great place to live as an expat and above all, to develop your English proficiency and language acquisition and become bilingual!
Today, English represents 82% of the world's trade, and as a universal language, it is one of the most widely spoken foreign languages with about 360 million native speakers and 1 billion second language speakers.
Thus, each year, tens of thousands of young people choose a language school near Westminster or prefer a language immersion stay with a host family.
Moreover, to learn English in England, what's more obvious?
Going abroad to work
In addition to the linguistic dimension, it is easier to find a job or study in England than in the United States or in the rest of Europe, while one will live the same linguistic experience.
For other students, going to England represents an internship opportunity abroad, and an ideal time to develop their business English.
Whatever the situation, the Erasmus program is a must for going abroad and experiencing new experiences.
Especially since wages are in principle higher than in France, the pound sterling being stronger than the euro, as well as inflation.
Beware, however, the job market is very liberal and very flexible: know the market, the rate of the income tax, the valuation of the wage at its fair value.
London is one of the most expensive cities in the world, so housing promises to be very expensive.
It will certainly be necessary to find work if one does not come from an affluent social environment because even with a scholarship, it will be less easy to pay for all your expenses.
So, want to try the adventure? Discover how to go to England in Erasmus!
Apply to Join The Erasmus Program
Want to improve your language level, and give a boost to your CV? Going to study in England is perhaps the best choice to make, for several reasons:
- Procedures are relatively easy to access in the United Kingdom,
- The maritime (with ferries) and plane connections (via London airport in particular) are very regular and allow easy repatriation in case of difficulty,
- Life in the UK is certainly different some night say exotic, even if you choose to live in London.
- Choosing to leave to do your third year after baccalaureate in England, will get a break during your graduate studies.
It is easy to return to France, but the change of scenery, thanks to a very rich English culture, is guaranteed.
Let it be known: only applicants in their second year of higher education or higher can apply, and it is possible to make several applications for Erasmus (different cities or different countries).
Once accepted, the student will receive a form to sign and to get completed by his university in order to be valid.
Indeed, Erasmus takes place within the framework of a university course in the school of origin.
And now, what are we doing?
Formalities to Study In The UK
Obviously, an Erasmus registration can not fill itself, a certain amount of steps have to be taken to go abroad.
Here is what you need to do:
First, do not hesitate to send an e-mail to the head of the international relations of your university. They will give students a presentation of the Erasmus program and will explain all the documents that need to be prepared.
Teachers, lecturers and tutors that teach you in English will also be able to comment on the chances of success of such a language study project in London or elsewhere in England.
They can support the application in a meaningful way by writing a letter of recommendation.
The documents to be attached to the application are:
- An Erasmus cover letter,
- Copies of the report cards of the first two academic years,
- Application letter for the scholarship,
- Letter of recommendation from 2 professors.
And yes, we forgot: it is absolutely necessary to have validated your first year, to be at least registered in the 2nd year. This explains why departures are often at the start of the third year of undergraduate studies.
To improve your chances to be selected, you can do an English language test to prove your skills and show your worth over other candidates.
Now accepted in Erasmus UK? Congratulations!
After getting the desired city, be it Bristol, Liverpool or Bath, you will be able to look into the preparation of this year abroad.
We must now move on to additional administrative procedures.
First, you need a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC).
Being linked to student social security, you can get this famous card that will cover the health costs during the stay abroad.
Let's not forget some other steps that we quickly overlook, such as:
- Changing money, the euro against the pound sterling, the local currency in the UK,
- The purchase of some practical tools, such as an adapter (yes, English electrical sockets are different from French sockets),
- A folder containing all the administrative documents (passport, identity card, driving license, assignment), in case of control or difficulty.
- And then, do not forget your plane or train ticket to your destination, make sure to buy those well before the start of your term abroad!
Use Skyscanner to find the cheapest flight corresponding to your dates!
Last step: register at the university and find some accommodation on site!
60% of French people living abroad live in the London area. Yet it is the most expensive part of the UK for housing.
Flat or house share is the most common living situation for most young French students abroad and it is a great way to stay in London. It is the cheapest way to stay in the capital - while sharing your daily life with other young people, English or international.
London is one of the most cosmopolitan cities in the world and there are expatriates from all over the planet, from India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Japan, South Korea, Singapore, etc. -, Australia, Canada, United States, United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Europe, African countries and from the Latin American continent.
Erasmus Financial Support For UK Stays
The Erasmus program also consists of giving scholarships and bursaries to study in England or in other European countries.
Noted that students only pay the registration fees in their home institution, which is great news for French students: the French university system usually has registration fees between € 5 and 290 € the year.
Even if after adding about 250 € to pay for the student social security contribution, it is generally more affordable than the British school system, which requires £ 4,500 or £ 5,000, sometimes for a single semester, knowing that enrollment fees in England may continue to increase in the coming years ...
Paying £ 5,000 or € 5,686 for one semester, or € 11,372 a year is unaffordable for many French students.
Taking into account that banks do not lend so easily and that starting your career with debts spread over 10 or 15 years of more than € 10,000 is far from comfortable, Erasmus is a great way to escape this system.
For a French student, the fees are therefore exempt and he will only have to find a student accommodation - a single room or a room share- which drastically reduces the steps to be taken.
The amount of Erasmus scholarships varies according to:
- The destination and the country where the Erasmus takes place: the scholarships are then divided according to the standard of living of the country in question,
- The nature of the stay abroad (internship, studies, training),
- Financial resources of the candidate.
On average, a scholarship for studies in England amounts to 200-250 euros per month.
This amount can be up to 400 euros if the Erasmus student is doing an internship in the UK.
Additional scholarships may be awarded in the following cases:
- For candidates from disadvantaged backgrounds or with specific needs (between 100 and 200 euros extra per month),
- For candidates doing an Erasmus far from their home country (a mileage can be calculated).
Do not hesitate to inquire with your host institution which can also, under certain conditions, grant additional scholarships.
The only difficulty is to anticipate your departure and to motivate your project of studies or professional training.
It is also important to be well informed in advance about the classes within your university or school.
To illustrate this in figures, know that the UK welcomes 4,500 French students each year as part of this program ... You will meet a lot of people during your stay!
Even if international news mention Brexit every day, know that the impact of the Erasmus program remains unchanged, at least for the moment.
We quickly forget that going to England is also going to a European neighbour...
Erasmus in England: Feedbacks!
Before leaving to study abroad one can, of course, take English language courses to improve their skills and leave serenely. Here are some feedbacks, to strengthen your motivation to leave.
Yacine, 22, a business school student in the north of France. Enrolled in a degree in business and international management, he went to London for a 3 months internship.
He started lookings around December and for a departure in May. He found his internship after only a couple of weeks searching.
His paid internship of £ 250 a month was not enough to cover his expenses - a rent of £ 500, more than £ 200 to get around and eat - barely covered by his scholarship or internship.
Sometimes, for students to find a job in England whose employer wants to recruit them on permanent contracts later the Erasmus year is a perfect choice, it is a real networking tool!
For others, the adventure is so beautiful, that returning home is complicated. This is the case of Damien, who went to London for his third year.
Testimonies of students collected in an article of a national French newspaper corroborate this bitter acknowledgement of the return.
For Fabien, "Erasmus is a Pandora's box, once opened wide the damage is done because those eager for freedom have rushed and do not wish to return to their lives in France. "
For Laurianne, 25 years old, the return was difficult because she felt like going backwards.
Leaving for a long time certainly changes every student, and beware of the return! It feels like suddenly a beautiful chapter of your life is over, but this sensation does not last long!
The application file to leave for Erasmus has been refused? Do not panic! You can still consider a work holiday visa, internship or international volunteering!