Thursday, 19 September 2013

Erasmus Diary Entry 2 (How to apply for Erasmus)

My apologies for the massive delay in posting, unfortunately I managed to burn out the fuse on my laptop plug. But thankfully I have now fixed it, I have had a frantic couple of weeks since the last post. I have finally begun my classes at Universidad Rey Juan Carlos.



For those of you unfamiliar with the Erasmus process I will give you a brief summary. The process begins months before you actually arrive at your intended University. For me it began mid-way through my previous semester in Tralee. You must contact the international relations officer in your college and they will explain to you what universities you can attend, how long for and how much of a grant you can get, depending on the university you are going to.

 Once this is done, it is then time to begin researching various colleges with which yours is affiliated. It is important to chose one that has courses similar to what you are studying so you can choose classes which (roughly, they don't have to be exact) tie in with your course. Once you have put in the research and found relevant classes from your desired college, you must then have said classes approved by your department head and year tutor.

Then once all this is completed, you will get a forma called a "learning agreement" where you fill out your class details, amount of credits and all other relevant information. (Yes it sounds like a lot of hassle but it's easier than I make it sound, I promise you!) Once this is completed, the international officer in your college will forward your nomination to your desired University.



Then once you arrive for the Erasmus programme, you will receive an enrolment certificate along with a few more documents to fill out, most of these are just registration forms for the classes and are easy to take care of, just make sure they are done in the specified time-frame.

Unfortunately for Andrew and I, our paperwork is not quite finished. We are enjoying the majority of our classes, they are not overly difficult thank god, and our classmates have been amazingly friendly and welcoming. But one our classes which was supposed to be taught in English is, in fact, being taught in Spanish. So rather than risk failing we are filling out the "changes to learning agreement" form. Which does exactly as the title would suggest, it is a change of classes from the original agreement, again this must be approved by the home institution (your college) before it can proceed.

As well as starting classes, we have begun to join in some of the Erasmus/Munde student events in Madrid city, these events range from club nights to picnics to trips to Morocco and Ibiza! We are making friends from all over the world and they are all genuinely nice people and easy to get on with. So far, only three weeks in, this is already proving to be a once in a lifetime experience.