So you want to study in Europe on Scholarship?
Ever heard of Erasmus Mundus? Does it literally sound Greek to you?
Erasmus Mundus is one of the most successful cooperation and mobility programs of the European Commission (EC) – an institution of the European Union (EU) that proposes legislation, implements decisions, upholds EU treaties, and manages operations of the EU. It aims to enhance the quality of European higher education via scholarships and academic cooperation between EU and the rest of the world.
According to the site ec.europa.eu, “An Erasmus Mundus Joint Master Degree (EMJMD) is a prestigious, integrated, international study program jointly delivered by an international consortium of higher education institutions (HEIs).” The site added that “EMJMDs award EU-funded scholarships to the best student candidates applying under annual selection rounds.”
Students who are accepted into the program will study in at least two universities in two different countries. They will be awarded either with a joint degree – which is a “single degree certificate issued on behalf of at least 2 HEIs of the EMJMD consortium” – or multiple degrees – “at least 2 degree certificates issued by 2 HEIs of the consortium.”
Part of the studies may also take place in a partner country (say, in a Latin American country).
The EMJMD study program has 60, 90 or 120 European credit transfer system (ECTS) credits; and lasts from a minimum of 12 months to a maximum of 24 months.
To be eligible for selection to an EMJMD scholarship and receive financial support via Erasmus, an applicant must first be admitted into a course/program by any of the organizing consortia.
The scholarships cover participation costs, including: tuition fees, library and laboratory costs, full insurance coverage, contribution to travel and installation costs, and monthly subsistence allowance for the duration of the study program. The total amount of scholarship varies according to the duration of the course and the scholar’s nationality; non-EU students receive larger scholarships.
Students and potential scholars (including guest lecturers) must contact the institutions for inquiries on courses and procedures for application.
This link lists the Joint Master’s Degrees of Erasmus Mundus (EMJMDs) that offer scholarships funded by the EU. The consortia require submission for applications from October 2017 to January 2018 for courses/programs for academic year 2018-2019.
“The Philippines has had the most number of Erasmus scholars in Southeast Asia in the last 4 consecutive years,” said Kate Alyzon Ramil, president of the Erasmus Mundus Alumni Association – Southeast Asia Region (EMA SEA), in an exclusive interview with Rappler at Glorietta, Makati City. “The Erasmus Mundus Association Philippines vows to ensure that more deserving students and HEIs in the Philippines know more about the Erasmus+ opportunities,” she added.
Interested? What should I prepare and submit?
1. Motivational Letter
- 1-2 pages
- Addressed to the coordinator of a particular course/program
- State why you want to be in that course/program
§ Say what value you can add to the program; why they must choose you over other applicants; also determine already who your possible adviser could be
- “Write in passion, edit in cold blood”
- Make it personal
- Don’t flaunt yourself as the perfect applicant
- State your personal goals and plans
- Edit your draft, let someone read your draft and ask for feedback
- 3 pages
- More detailed
- Lists academic competencies and specific talents and skills
- Contents (according to KISS Manila teacher Ken Bayudan):
– Name, address, contact details
– Seminars/Workshops/Conferences/Symposia attended
– Presentations, Lectures, Projects
– Honors, Awards, Certificates
– Research Projects
– Works Published
Tip: Ideally only the most recent; and those that are related to the course/program
3. Transcript of Records
- Bachelor’s Degree
4. Certificate of English as medium of instruction
Tip: Ask for a possible exemption from this; cite reasons
Note: While most EMJMD courses only require English competency, a few universities require language competencies of a speaker in their language.
Where one could take exams and be issued language certificates:
- French: Alliance Francaise
- Spanish: Instituto Cervantes
- German: Goethe Institut
5. Recommendation letter
- Two to 3
- From an employer and former teachers (at least one professor) who could vouch for you academically or personally
Doctoral students can also receive EU support for periods of study abroad through the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions.
Ramil revealed that there is a plan to have Erasmus Mundus study tours in 2018. These are targeted to those who wish to study in European universities even without scholarships. One could join the two-week European study tour by shelling out only US $3500 – all in – save for food expenses. Those interested may contact her via firstname.lastname@example.org. – Rappler.com
Susan Claire Agbayani is a freelance writer who contributes to newspapers, magazine, and websites. She is finishing her thesis, an unauthorized biography of a Filipino band, for her MFA in Creative Writing at De La Salle University. She lives in Quezon City with her son Gide and their cats.