The Erasmus program has been one of the great success stories of the European Union. Since 1987, the program has promoted cross-border mobility and exchange between European higher education institutions. In the current period from 2014-2020, the program is called “Erasmus+. Since the start of the Erasmus program over 30 years ago, 3.6 million students have taken part in mobilities across Europe – 650,000 of those from Germany. The main funding objectives of the Erasmus program include training and teaching periods for higher education staff and teaching staff.
Erasmus+ is the EU program for education, training, youth and sports. Erasmus+ combines the previous EU programs for lifelong learning, youth and sports, as well as the European collaborative programs in higher education. The program entails three key actions:
Erasmus+ has a budget of about EUR 14.8 billion. Until 2020, it will have provided opportunities for more than 4 million people. The seven-year program aims to improve competencies and skills required for the labor market as well as to promote the modernization of systems of general and vocational education, and children and youth welfare. You can find more information on Erasmus+ on the website of the European Commission.
Funding mainly aims at promoting mobility in Europe. Since 2015, mobility to other parts of the world is funded as well, albeit on a smaller scale. By the year 2020, about two million students are expected to have benefited from Erasmus+, among them about 250,000 students from Germany. Students at all stages of studying up to and including the doctorate who want to spend time studying or doing an internship abroad can receive funding. For the first time, students can be funded for up to 12 months in their bachelor's, master’s and doctoral programs. In order to increase the financial incentive to go abroad, the monthly mobility grant is being raised, especially for host countries with high costs of living. Internships abroad will now be possible even after graduation. Last but not least, Erasmus+ is giving students who want to obtain a master’s degree abroad the opportunity to take out a low-interest student loan. The excellence initiative Erasmus Mundus that supports the entire degree program of outstanding students in selected programs with joint master’s degrees, will be continued as part of Erasmus+.
Through grants for short-term teaching positions and training periods for teaching and administrative staff, Erasmus+ also contributes to the internationalization of higher education. In addition, higher education institutions can invite staff from foreign enterprises for teaching assignments. Together with academic and non-academic European partners, they can also take part in transnational Strategic Partnerships and develop innovative projects, for example on developing curricula or matters across all areas of education. To promote collaboration with businesses, Erasmus+ is offering support in form of the new Knowledge Alliances. Higher education institutions wanting to participate in capacity-building projects in partner countries can do so through transnational cooperation projects.
Funding for most mobilities and strategic partnerships is granted by the national agencies in the 33 program countries (28 EU member countries plus Iceland, Liechtenstein, FYR Macedonia, Norway, Turkey). In Germany, the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) will remain in this position.
Erasmus+ promotes the following types of mobilities:
Erasmus Charter for Higher Education
Every higher education institution that wants to take part in or apply for the EU program for general and vocational training, youth and sports 2014–2020 needs to have a valid Erasmus Charter for Higher Education (ECHE).
The ECHE is awarded by the European Commission. It confirms that the institution fulfills all requirements for a successful participation in the Erasmus+ program.
The University of Mannheim was awarded the Erasmus+ university charter for the current period from 2014–2020 and is thus entitled to participate in the program. Another requirement is the commitment to an Erasmus policy statement.
Further information on Erasmus+ mobilities is available from the
German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD)
Nationale Agentur für EU-Hochschulzusammenarbeit
This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This publication reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.
At present, all 28 EU member states as well as Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Turkey, and North Macedonia participate in the program. The database of partner universities gives an overview of those European universities that have already concluded an exchange agreement with the University of Mannheim. Yet, stays abroad in countries participating in the ERASMUS program can also be funded if you decide to go to an institution other than the partner universities; this applies, in particular, for staff members going abroad with ERASMUS.
Though, at present, Switzerland does not take part in the ERASMUS program, funding terms for stays abroad in Switzerland are similar to the ERASMUS exchange program as the country finances a similar program with national funds.
Current Information on exchange programs with the United Kingdom (as of 28.12.2020):
The news published on 24 December 2020 that the UK will no longer participate in the ERASMUS program will affect exchanges from 2022/23 only, as we will be able to use existing funds from the “old” porgram first.
This means that exchanges with universities in the UK in 2020/21 and 2021/22 will continue to be funded by the ERASMUS program.
It will certainly still be possible to go to the UK for a tuition-free exchange stay in the future (from 2022/23), independent of the participation in the Erasmus program. Due to the uncertainties regarding future exchanges from 2022/23, from that year onwards students should make sure that they can finance their stay in the UK without financial grants in case the UK does not continue to participate in any scholarship program.
The University of Mannheim supports employees and researchers in gaining international experience. There are several funding options, depending on the type and duration of the stay abroad. Learn more on the stays abroad for researchers and employees at the University of Mannheim page.
By undertaking an ERASMUS+ teaching or training placement, researchers from the University of Mannheim can, for example, gain experience at a European partner university, share approaches and content with international colleagues, and take good ideas back home with them. Find out more on the teaching abroad with ERASMUS+ page.
Erasmus+ supports several types of mobilities:
The Erasmus+ program strives to promote equal opportunity and inclusion. This is why students who are a single parent and take their child or children with them during their stay abroad are eligible for higher amounts of funding. If this applies to you, please let us know as soon as you start planning your stay abroad. We are happy to assist you in planning your stay abroad.
Students, doctoral candidates, and university staff members with a degree of disability (GdB) of at least 30 respectively 50 are eligible to apply for additional funding for an Erasmus stays abroad. If this applies to you, please let us know as soon as you start planning your stay abroad. We are happy to assist students and university staff members in planning their stay abroad.
The Erasmus mobility grant does not include insurance coverage. Neither the University of Mannheim nor the European Commission nor the National Agency for Erasmus of the DAAD are liable for damages caused by illness, death, accident or injury of a person and the loss or damage of belongings during the course of stays abroad through the Erasmus program (studies, internships, teaching staff mobility, or training events). Every scholarship holder is responsible for arranging for his or her own insurance coverage.
The participant's national health insurance usually covers basic insurance needs during stays in EU countries by means of the European Health Insurance Card. However, insurance coverage of the European Health Insurance Card may not be sufficient, especially in case of complex medical needs or medical repatriation. The University of Mannheim therefore strongly recommends taking out additional private insurance. Participants have the option to take part in the group insurance offered by the DAAD to all students and researchers who are funded as part of the ERASMUS program.
After completing the first year of their program, students in bachelor's, master’s and doctoral programs can study at a European higher education institution in one of the participating countries through Erasmus. The program promotes the development of social and cultural skills and has a positive effect on career prospects. You will get to know the academic system of a foreign higher education institution as well as its teaching and learning methods.
Generally, all students and doctoral candidates who have been admitted to one of the Erasmus exchange programs at the partner universities of the University of Mannheim are eligible for funding through Erasmus. This also applies to participants of the European double degree programs. However, funding depends on the annual Erasmus budget of the University of Mannheim. So far, it has always been possible to grant a scholarship to every eligible student each year.
Students must be enrolled at their home institution and must have completed at least one year of (bachelor) studies. All full-time students enrolled at the University of Mannheim can apply for the Erasmus+ program regardless of their nationality.
All funding recipients participating in an Erasmus program have to submit the documents required for funding in due time. The International Office will inform you on the requirements in due time. After completing their stay abroad, students also have to write a report describing their experiences.
If you are interested in an Erasmus stay abroad, we recommend visiting the Introductory Study Abroad Meetings organized by the International Office. Here, you will be provided information on exchange programs, application processes and possible funding options. The staff of the International Office is happy to answer your questions.
As soon as you have received confirmation of your placement at a European partner university, you automatically enter the pool of potential Erasmus scholarship recipients. This also applies for participants of the European double degree programs.
You will receive information on all Erasmus documents and the deadline for submission of the Erasmus grant agreement, the basis for an Erasmus grant, via e-mail
All necessary Erasmus forms will be provided in the Mobility Online portal in the download section as soon as they are available.
Generally, all students who have been admitted into the selection process for exchange programs of the University of Mannheim are eligible for funding through Erasmus+. Should the university’s budget for the Erasmus scholarship not cover funding for all students, there will be another selection process among the applicants according to the same criteria.
The grants for Erasmus+ stays are based on the differing subsistence costs in the receiving countries (program countries) and may change every year. In addition, every higher education institution can determine a maximum funding period depending on their budget. That means that, depending on the respective university’s financial resources, in some cases, only part of the stay abroad can be funded. For example, in the academic year 2017/18, the maximum funding period was 102 days per semester abroad.
In the academic year 2020/2021, the following amounts of funding apply for three groups of countries in Germany:
An Erasmus scholarship is not a full-ride scholarship, but a grant meant to balance out the additional costs of staying abroad. Erasmus students therefore have to secure funding from other sources to cover the basic costs of their stay abroad.
BAföG recipients will receive the same amounts of funding as other students. As soon as the amount of Erasmus+ funding exceeds EUR 300 it will be deducted from the amount of BAföG the respective student receives. For further information please contact your BAföG office.
With Erasmus+, students can receive funding for studying and internships abroad during every phase of their studies (bachelor’s, master’s, doctoral program) for up to twelve months. If you are studying in a long-cycle degree program (for example a state examination program), you can receive funding for up to 24 months.
Like all other exchange programs offered by the University of Mannheim, stays abroad with Erasmus include:
In addition, the Erasmus+ program offers:
The Online Linguistic Support (OLS) aims to support students in acquiring the language skills they need for an Erasmus stay abroad. Part of the OLS are language tests that are mandatory for all students receiving Erasmus+ funding. Afterwards, students have the opportunity to use interactive online courses to improve their language skills. OLS is available for 18 languages.
The language test has to be completed by all funding recipients before and after the end of their stay abroad. However, it is not a selection criterion for Erasmus+ funding and is not mandatory for native speakers. Taking the language test before and after the stay abroad serves to document the respective current level of language proficiency and the possible progress made abroad. This systematic assessment of the development of individual language skills across Europe provides data on the effectiveness of the Erasmus+ program.
Agreements between partner universities on certain levels of language proficiency are therefore not the same as the OLS test. That is why students need to supply other proofs of their foreign language skills throughout the selection process.
The Erasmus+ Student Charter contains the rights and duties of students as well as information about what can be expected of the sending and receiving home or host universities and/
Erasmus funding helps a lot during a semester abroad, not only financially. I also really enjoyed the feeling of community among the Erasmus students at my host university. In addition, the Erasmus program gives you the opportunity to participate in a free online language course. The team of the International Office was very helpful and supported me well in all the formalities and paperwork necessary for the Erasmus grant.
If you have any questions regarding your stay abroad, here you can find the respective competent contact person at your school. They will advise you on any study-related aspects of your stay abroad, including the question of when a stay abroad can be best integrated in your degree program.