All UL students are invited to participate in the EU Erasmus programme. The University’s links with 275 partner institutions in 26 EU countries ensures that students can choose from a wide range of possibilities. Most humanities degrees include an integrated Erasmus academic placement. Other degrees offer an Erasmus exchange in place of a Cooperative Education placement. A grant is paid for study within Europe. This grant does not affect any other grant funding, for example, a local County Council grant.
Benefits of ERASMUS
The ERASMUS+ programme, which stands for EuRopean community Action Scheme for the Mobility of University Students, was originally established as the SOCRATES programme in 1987. It has proved to be one of the most successful projects of the European Union and now offers a wider range of opportunities under the new ERASMUS+ programme. The main aim of the ERASMUS+ programme is to improve students' skills and ultimately their employability as well as to support the modernisation of education and training systems across Europe.
The University of Limerick has participated in the programme since 1988 and has the largest outgoing ERASMUS programme in Ireland. UL has received recognition from the EU for the excellence of the programme by receiving the accolade “ERASMUS Success Story” in 2009 and 2010.
Each year, over 400 UL students study abroad at European partner institutions. UL students may study at a partner university for one academic semester on approved and academically recognised exchanges in a wide range of countries.
The benefits of the ERASMUS exchange programme can be:
- academic: students have the opportunity to improve language competence, follow courses that are not available in UL or conduct research in a specific field.
- linguistic: progress can be spectacular, but is not automatic. Less proficient learners tend to advance faster. More proficient speakers can often return sounding more like native speakers but with grammar and written skills hardly changed.
- personal: students usually gain confidence and independence while living abroad.
- intercultural: students learn to be more open-minded and objective, to appreciate other cultural values without judging everything against their own values, and to develop interpersonal skills to adapt to new ways and situations.
- professional: students often acquire skills that are sought after by employers such as problem-solving skills, flexibility, ability to adapt to new environments.
ERASMUS provides a unique opportunity to study at another European institution for a semester or full year. Taking part in an ERASMUS exchange can be one of the greatest experiences in a student’s academic career. The academic, social, personal and cultural benefits of participating in the ERASMUS programme are enormous. While living away from home and studying in another country in a different educational system can be challenging, it can also offer a unique opportunity to travel, discover and explore new cultures, meet new friends and study modules that may not be offered in UL.
Many UL graduates have chosen to work or study abroad after graduating on the basis of their positive experiences on ERASMUS.
The programme is also highly rated by employers. A recent ERASMUS Impact Study shows that the programme enhances students’ employability abroad, improves transferrable skills and enhances career development.
Find out more
Information sessions on the Erasmus programme are held each semester. Each degree programme has an Erasmus Academic Coordinator, who can arrange information sessions and provide individual advice. UL students who would wish to participate in the Erasmus programme can contact IED (EO-020) for further information. Printed material and student reports are available online and can be sent to your e-mail address, on request.