This year marks the 10th anniversary of the ESNsurvey and the focus of this year’s edition is on the accompanying measures for Erasmus, the local integration of students in their host university, the economic impact of Erasmus in society and the satisfaction of the international students with student associations. The survey “local integration, economic impact and accompanying measures in international mobility” is very inclusive as we gathered responses from all type of mobile students: credit mobility students, degree mobility students and traineeships. Erasmus+ is becoming bigger and bigger and it is englobing.

 

Key Findings

Measures prior to the Erasmus period

  • Although the Erasmus Charter for Higher Education (ECHE) states that sending institutions should ensure that students received sufficient preparation for their mobility periods, 45% of respondents did not receive any.
  • 65% of students who received some type of preparation for Erasmus claim that this was useful or very useful.
  • Only 32% of students had access to language preparation but one third of those students had to pay for it.
  • Only half of the students received information on their host university, city and country; 46% received information on the Erasmus Students’ Rights and Obligations and only 31% received information on courses or health and safety.

Measures after the Erasmus period

  • Only 17% of students received some type of counselling after their exchange but 58% of those students found it useful.
  • Students who did not receive any type of counselling thought that after their period abroad career advice was missing.

Local integration of mobile students

  • 35% of mobile students lived with international students only while 38% lived with both local and international students. In 43% of the cases, accommodation with only international students was provided by the university.
  • Mixed accommodation has a significant beneficial influence on the adaption of international students into the local communities.
  • 45% of mobile students hang out with international students only while 39% prefer to socialize with both international and local students.
  • More than half of respondents followed language courses but these were free for only 77% of students. Around 7% did not take any language course because these were too expensive.

Economic impact of international mobility

  • More than 25% of mobile students visited more than 10 cities in their host country and an average of 3.2 countries during their period abroad; they normally stayed in paid accommodations (68%).
  • Exchange students received an average of 4.1 visits during their exchange and more than 40% of these visits stayed in paid accommodations for an average of four days.
  • During their period abroad, exchange students joined cultural activities, music events and ate out more often than in their home countries. 
  • 21% of students returned to their host country to continue their studies or start working.

Finances

  • The grants students receive do not cover the surplus of the period abroad, especially when students were not paying for accommodations in their home countries.
  • Funding for mobile students comes from personal sources (40%) and EU grants (41%) mainly. Other sources of funding are national grants (7%) or home universities (5%).
  • 46% of students need to put up funds themselves because grant payments arrive only after their mobility period.

Role of student associations

  • 60% of students agree that ESN activities helped them integrate into their host environment.

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ESNsurvey 2015
Local Integration, Economic Impact and Accompanying Measures in International Mobility
Authors - Jesús Escrivá (ed.), Benjamin Helm, Adriana Pérez Encinas, Jurgita Stasiukaitytė, Bojana Zimonjić

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The Project

ESNSurvey is the biggest regular European research project planned and carried out entirely by students for students. It is conducted annually and surveys students at higher education institutions. ESN shares the results with the main stakeholders in higher education and mobility programmes.

ESNSurvey aims at:

  • Exploring current issues connected to academic and non-academic mobility and education.
  • Getting a better insight into student issues in order to represent their real needs.

To view previous reports of ESNsurvey, visit esn.org/esnsurvey