Interested in going on Erasmus?

These pages have been designed to give anyone considering studying abroad with the Erasmus programme an understanding of NUI Galway's involvement in the student mobility element of the programme and the opportunities available to NUI Galway students for studying in Europe. Of course the information provided here may not answer all the questions that a student might have, but it will provide a good starting point and hopefully it will clarify the procedures involved in participating in Erasmus.

Study abroad opportunities for Non-Language BA students

There are study abroad opportunities for Second Year students on the BA (Omnibus), the BA in Public & Social Policy and the BA in History who are not taking a continental language. Interested students are invited to apply for a full academic year of study at a university in Europe (via the Erasmus Programme), North America (Boston College, Richmond University, University of Ottawa) or Shantou University, China. Please be aware that the number of available exchange places is limited, and success of applications will depend, to a considerable extent, on students’ academic record, but also on the availability of suitable exchange places that match particular subject combinations.

The various study abroad opportunities were outlined at an information session held on Wednesday, 25th January, 2017.  Application forms, for both Erasmus and study abroad in non-EU destinations, are now available from Catherine McCurry in the College of Arts Office, with a strict deadline of 6th February.  Candidates will be selected based on academic performance (results from First Year and Second Year Semester 1) and a statement of motivation, as well as, in some cases, an interview.  Another important factor will be the suitability of the student's preferred destination(s) in terms of what subjects are on offer there and whether the credit requirements of the BA International Year Abroad can be fulfilled there.  Handy web links to all the relevant Erasmus partner universities can be found in the Appendix to the Erasmus application form.  View the BA non-language Erasmus Opportunities presentation from 25th January.

Berlin gate panorama

The Erasmus Programme

The Erasmus Programme is designed to encourage students to expand their university education by doing part of their academic work in another European university. The following are the basic guidelines set out by the European Union to govern the Erasmus exchange programme:

  • The programme is open to students in the Member States of the European Union, the three countries of the European Economic Area (Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway), Switzerland and Turkey.
  • Students will not be required to pay tuition fees at the host institution; they will, however, be required to register with and pay the normal fee to their home institution during their period of study.
  • The period of study abroad may not last less than three months or more than one academic year.
  • Students in the first year of third level study are not eligible to participate.
  • Students will not normally be nominated to study in the country of their birth.

All third level students can participate in the programme, up to and including doctoral level. There are about 350 study places abroad available for NUI Galway students. NUI Galway has participated in the Erasmus Programme since its inception in 1987 and hundreds of students have availed of the opportunity to study abroad. Almost all of them have found it to be a most rewarding experience.

If you want to explore the possibilities further please talk to the relevant academic staff member, or visit the International Affairs Office.

Prague panorama

Can I go on Erasmus? Do I need to be studying a language?

If you are an Arts or Commerce student studying a continental language, you will generally be expected to spend a year attending a university abroad (one exception would be teaching assistantships, which are also now recognised as satisfying the BA International language requirements). Your language department coordinator will talk to you in Second Year about possible host universities, and, in the case of Arts students, the destination to which you are assigned may depend on your second degree subject and the availability of suitable modules in that subject at any given host institution.

If you are an Arts or Commerce student who isn't taking a continental language, it is also possible to take part in Erasmus. We have a number of partner universities that offer courses through the medium of English. In the case of Arts, participating students will spend a full year studying their two degree subjects abroad, and will be expected to secure 20 ECTS in approved courses in each of those subjects in order to pass the year and be eligible for a BA International. Arts students should take note that an information evening takes place each year in January, following which application forms are made available; deadline is in February, with offers made by mid-March. It is very important to note that Second Year Semester 1 results will play a crucial part in selection of candidates, along with a motivational statement and possibly a short interview in the case of some academic departments. Your particular subject combination, and the availability of suitable courses, will also determine which host universities you can be considered for. The current year's Information Brochure for Outgoing Erasmus students will give you an idea of what is involved in the programme, as well as a list of Erasmus links by Discipline or School.

Commerce students who aren't taking a language will be informed about study abroad opportunities (BComm International Experience) by the School of Business.

If you are studying Corporate Law with a language, you will have the opportunity to study abroad for a year; again, your language department coordinator will be able to advise you. There will also be some opportunities for non-language students, and the Law School will advise Second Years on these.

If you are a Science student taking Biochemistry or related biosciences, ideally with a good knowledge of languages, there is the possibility of spending one or two semesters attending courses at a partner university during third year. In addition, Biotechnology students have an opportunity to apply for an Erasmus traineeship for a placement involving project work in a laboratory abroad from April to June in semester 2.

If you are studying Medicine, you will have the possibility of carrying out a clinical placement at a partner university abroad for three months in Semester 2 of Third Year. As with Science above, there are some opportunities to do this through the medium of English, although most of our available study places in this particular subject area do require a knowledge of either French or German.

If you are an Engineering student, you will not be able to avail of an Erasmus study visit, but you may be able to take part in an Erasmus placement for your Professional Experience Programme in Third Year. You should look at the Placement Office website.