Erasmus is one of the best experiences you can live as a student. But what about before Erasmus? The journey starts back home! You begin to feel it as soon as you start preparing everything required. In fact, it can take quite a bit of time to get it all ready.
We figured a soon-to-be Erasmus student faces around eight problems — and we’re offering you some pro tips to ensure everything goes smoothly so you can make the best of your Erasmus.
1. Choosing the destination
So many opportunities, so many possibilities! Choosing your destination can be as exciting as it is stressful. After all, the place you choose will be your new home for the next few months. Don’t forget to enjoy every minute of this task; it’s the very first step of your Erasmus adventure!
Pro tip: Rate the importance you attribute to living costs, weather, education quality, and geographic location. Keep all of these facts in mind when looking for your destination. To start you off, check out our 10 Best European cities to be a Student according to their best value.
2. Picking up your courses
Even though the main core of your time will be spent partying and travelling around, you will still have to attend classes. Take this chance to take some courses that aren’t available in your home university and discover some different fields of knowledge.
Pro tip: Instead of trying to choose the equivalences to your degree’s main subjects, try to choose the optional classes while on Erasmus. This way you’ll have more flexibility to choose subjects you’re more interested in.
3. Taking care of all the documents
After you make a list of every needed document for your Erasmus, you might freak out a little, but don’t worry. Most of the papers ask for repeated information, so it’s a simple copy-paste process. Take care of the documents as soon as you can to allow you to focus on other important tasks.
Pro tip: If you need documents from a foreign embassy, do it asap and always keep a photo of them on your smartphone.
4. Planning your budget
Even though it’s not possible to know the exact amount of money you’ll be spending, you should make an estimate. Remember that you should break your budget into 3 sections: money for transportation and accommodation, everyday costs (such as food and parties), and money to travel.
Pro tip: Ask your bank for an international card without commissions or figure out the fastest way to open an account in one of your destination’s banks. This way you’ll avoid paying extra taxes and fees.
5. Finding accommodation
Finding accommodation can be a hard task, especially in a country you don’t know. You keep asking yourself what’s the best way to do it, what the best neighbourhoods are, and where you can start looking. Having a room before arriving will save you a lot of money that would otherwise be spent on a temporary hotel and a lot of worries.
Pro tip: Nowadays it’s very easy to get a room before you arrive at the destination. Online platforms help you find the perfect room, and they give you all the information you need. If you’re going on Erasmus and don’t know where to look for accommodation, check out Uniplaces.
6. Booking your flight
Everything is settled! You finally know when D Day is and it’s time to book your flights. Look for them in advance to guarantee the best price and no surprises.
Pro tip: Low cost companies may not offer direct flights to your destination. Consider a few layovers! What better way to start your Erasmus adventure than with a 3-day trip in a city on the way?
7. Get to know your new home
How’s the weather? What will you need to get medical assistance? Which phone carriers are available? By finding the answers to these questions, you will start to discover the reality of your new home. Live it!
Pro tip: If you have the chance, enrol in a buddy programme and try to reach people who’ve already done Erasmus in your destination. Plus, check out your roaming options with your carrier (it might be worth it during the first week).
8. Packing everything
How are you going to take everything you need? Don’t stress. After all, you won’t need that much stuff. You should focus on enjoying the experience, and to do so you don’t need to take all your clothes with you. However, remember to take all your chargers and choose clothes according to the weather you will face.
Pro tip: Buy some vacuum bags; they’ll save you space and make it a lot easier to pack.
Thanks for reading this post!
Did you face different challenges getting ready for your Erasmus? Let us know in the comments. And remember: if you’re studying abroad and need student accommodation, you’ll find the perfect student home on Uniplaces.