2,972 Irish students have already participated in the EU’s new study abroad programme, Erasmus+ over the 2013-2014 year, a 7 percent increase on the previous year, according to new figures released by the European Commission.
The Erasmus+ programme is the EU’s new funding programme for education, training, youth and sport. It combines seven previous programmes into one bigger programme, funded to the value of €14.7 billion for 7 years.
Most Irish students favour studying abroad as a means of improving their language skills and gaining valuable life experience living in a different country, while others prefer to take up a job placement. France, Spain, Germany, the Netherlands and Sweden are the preferred destination for Irish students.
Overall, a record number of people benefited from an Erasmus grant, with 272,497 students, including more than 60,000 trainees, and 57,488 higher education staff receiving funding for studies, training, job placements and teaching or training abroad. Spain, Germany and France sent the most students abroad, at over 30,000 each.
Erasmus+ also provided funding opportunities for over 1,700 cooperation projects across the education, training and youth sectors, in order to address challenges such as early school leaving, and to better equip young people with tech and digital skills. The programme also promotes intercultural diversity and understanding through experience.
Up to 50,000 Irish students could benefit from the educational scheme by 2020 at one of the 4,000 participating higher educational institutions across Europe or through a work traineeship placement for up to 12 months.
Anyone interested in learning more about the Erasmus+ opportunities should visit the following website: http://www.eurireland.ie/lifelong-learning-programme/erasmus-for-students.180.html