Best Erasmus destinations in Europe

Best Erasmus Destinations in Europe

Choosing where to go on Erasmus is one of the most important decisions for every student who embarks on such a journey. With hundreds of destinations worldwide, the program is recognized as a great opportunity to discover new horizons and develop both personally and professionally. Choosing a perfect city to study abroad in is not easy. However, it usually comes down to finding a perfect balance between location, culture, entertainment, university programs, and budget. Therefore, we made a detailed guide about the most popular Erasmus cities and countries in Europe.

About Erasmus

If you’re a European student, then you’re probably familiar with the program. Students mostly know it as a program that allows them to study abroad, at different universities in participant countries for a set period

The program was established in 1987 and was named after Erasmus of Rotterdam, one of the greatest scholars of the Renaissance. However, the program evolved through the years and changed its volume and goals. The current version of the program is called Erasmus Plus. It is an all-inclusive EU exchange program for education, training, youth, and sport, managed by the European Commission. While Erasmus Plus is oriented towards European citizens, its equivalent Erasmus Mundus focuses on non-European citizens.

According to the latest available data from 2019, a little less than a million people studied, trained, or volunteered abroad. They were part of more than 111 000 organizations included in about 25 000 projects during a year as a part of Erasmus Plus. The total number of students and trainees who participated in the program is 351 682.

The overall estimated budget for the program exceeds 26 billion euros. 

The further text will focus on the Erasmus Plus program for European students who want to experience studying opportunities in one of the European destinations.

Who can participate in the Erasmus program?

European students can choose to study in one of 54 countries involved in the program. The most popular ones include Spain, Germany, France, and Italy. Although the eligibility varies, for European students who want to study abroad through Erasmus, the initial preconditions are studying an official diploma or degree in higher education and successful completion of the first year.

Students studying

Where can students go on Erasmus? 

Students in Europe can choose between numerous countries within Europe and worldwide. However, countries differ in terms of programs and possibilities. Student exchanges are possible within Erasmus Plus Programme countries and Partner countries, below is a list of all countries:

  • EU member countries
  • Non-EU countries:
North MacedoniaIceland Liechtenstein
Norway Serbia Turkey
  • Other countries:
AlbaniaBosnia and Herzegovina Kosovo
Montenegro Armenia Azerbaijan
Belarus Georgia Moldova
Ukraine Algeria Egypt
Israel Tunisia Jordan
Lebanon Libya Morocco
Palestine Syria Russia
NOTE: In 2021, the UK has withdrawn from the Erasmus program and is no longer a country participant.

Most popular Erasmus countries

In order to help students decide between numerous cities to study in Europe, we made a list of the most popular countries as chosen by students providing detailed guides for each one of them separately. 

Spain

Not only it is one of the most visited European countries, but Spain is also a favorite destination among students. Spain has it all, from a perfect blend of Mediterranean and continental climate to authentic Spanish culture. That is why 52 830 students came to take part in some of the 1000 projects in higher education in 2019 only. From buzzing Madrid and Barcelona to sunny Palma de Mallorca and historic Cordoba, find out all you need to know about the Erasmus cities in Spain.

Magic Fountain in Barcelona.

Magic Fountain in Barcelona

Germany

Whether it is for beers and sausages or the outstanding academic programs, Germany is one of the most visited Erasmus countries among students. In 2019, it received 34 750 students who experienced studying in some of the most prominent German universities such as the Technical University of Munchen or Humboldt University of Berlin. However, Erasmus cities in Germany differ in opportunities and atmosphere, read our guide and pick your favorite. 

France

As the most visited country in Europe, no wonder it is one of the most attractive ones among students as well. Besides the enchanting Paris, cities such as Lyon, Toulouse and Bordeaux are true student hubs. According to 2019 data, 31 063 students came to enjoy this romantic and historically rich country. Discover all you need to know about Erasmus cities in France and choose your destination.

Italy

The country of art, history, fashion, and the most popular cuisine in the world is a place every student is guaranteed a good time. Italy received 29 516 students in 2019 and the number is constantly increasing. While most students come to explore the magnificent Rome and the student hub Bologna, others choose Naples, Pisa, or Verona for the ultimate Italian experience. Find out which Erasmus cities in Italy welcome foreign students to their universities.

Best Erasmus Destinations in Europe: Bologna

Bologna

Poland

With the combination of picturesque cities, beautiful nature, and warm people, Poland is a great destination for youth. In 2019, 18 124 students recognized Poland as their perfect country. The most popular universities are in Warsaw, Wroclaw, and Krakow. However, charming small towns such as Katowice or Lublin also offer a range of possibilities. Discover all Erasmus cities in Poland and choose your favorite.

Portugal

A blend of sunny coast, iconic landmarks, and laid-back atmosphere in Portugal attract numerous visitors, therefore students as well. According to 2019 data, 16 210 students came to experience excellent Portuguese universities and admire the unique cultural heritage. From the capital Lisbon and lovely Porto to historical Coimbra and easy-going Faro, find out more about Erasmus cities in Portugal.

Netherlands

The birth country of Erasmus of Rotterdam, after which the program got its name, is deservedly one of the most popular among students. The Netherlands is known for its prominent universities such as those in Rotterdam, Maastricht, and Groningen which received 15 634 students in 2019. Besides being a Land of Tulips and Windmills, the Netherlands and the unique Dutch culture offer an unforgettable student life off-campus. Find out more about where to go on Erasmus in the Netherlands.

Best Erasmus Destinations in Europe: Cubic houses Rotterdam

Cubic houses of Rotterdam

Belgium

With 12 821 incoming students in 2019 only, Belgium is a quite popular destination. The capital of Europe, with all its opportunities, is good enough reason, but studying in Belgium is much more than Brussels. Cities such as Leuven, Antwerp, or Ghent offer their charm and authentic Belgian experience. Find out where else you can go on Erasmus in Belgium.

Czech Republic

Czechia as a popular student country comes as no surprise. In 2019, 11 058 students came to enjoy the unique, welcoming Czech culture and the impressive Gothic architecture. Besides the high-quality educational system, Czechia offers a low cost of living, rich heritage, and unforgettable nightlife. Discover Czech cities and pick one for your adventure.

Best Erasmus Destinations in Europe: Prague, Czech Republic

Prague

Sweden

The Swedish education system is often referred to as an example to follow, so it doesn’t surprise that a good number of students want to be a part of it. In 2019, 10 622 students chose Sweden as their temporary home and experienced unique Swedish culture. Don’t let the northern winter stop you from discovering the expansive Swedish forests, historical cities and magical Northern Lights. Learn about Erasmus cities in Sweden and pick your destination.

Erasmus program FAQ

What is Erasmus?

Erasmus is the EU’s program to support education, training, youth and sport in Europe, managed by the European Commission.

What does Erasmus stand for?

Erasmus stands for “European Community Action Scheme for the Mobility of University Students”. It was also named after one of the biggest scholars, Erasmus of Rotterdam.

What is the difference between Erasmus and Erasmus+?

Erasmus Plus refers to the current version of the Erasmus program valid for the period 2021-2027.

Is Erasmus only for students?

No, the program is open to all young people including staff, trainees, teachers, volunteers, and many more who want to take part in different projects.

Is there an age limit for Erasmus?

No, there is no age limit to participate in the project or activity.

How many countries are participating in Erasmus?

As of now, students can go to 54 different countries, including both EU and non-EU countries.

Is the Erasmus program available only for European countries?

No, other countries from parts of the Middle East and Northern Africa are also available for participation.

Can students from the UK participate in Erasmus?

In 2021, the UK has officially withdrawn from the program, but some students will still be able to use the funds from 2020 in the academic year 2021-2022.

Do you need a visa for the Erasmus program?

This depends on where you’re coming from, and to which country you are going. We recommend checking the requirements at the official website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the desired country.

Can you participate in Erasmus twice?

Yes, you can apply for the program more than once, i.e. for up to 12 months at the Bachelor level, for up to 12 months at the Master level, and for up to 12 months at the Doctoral level. 

Is the Erasmus program canceled because of the COVID-19?

No, but the European Commission’s main objective is the safety and protection of all participants and they respond to the situation according to the measures taken at the national level.

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