©Ronald van den Heerik

Record number of Flemish students going abroad on Erasmus

The number of Flemish students at university or schools of advanced learning studying abroad as part of the EU’s Erasmus programme has set a new record.  Last year 6,008 Flemings studied abroad as part of the programme.

The figure is double what it was a decade ago.  Spain, France and the Netherlands remain the hot destinations. 900 students opted for Spain, 854 for France and 704 for the Netherlands. Flemish students are eager to learn more about literature, company management, law and linguistics abroad.

Under the Erasmus programme students can study or do an internship in another EU state. The average student spends 4.6 months studying abroad or 3.4 months doing an internship. Grants are available. The Flemish government has earmarked a half a million euros for the project.

Flemish education minister Crevits says: “Studies or an internship abroad are an experience for life. You learn how to cope for yourself and you often learn a new language.  These are all trump cards on the labour market.”

The European commission is eager to double Erasmus funding in coming years and triple the number of students taking part. Hilde Crevits: “That would be excellent for Flanders.  We would have to invest more, but the more Flemings that get experience abroad the better.”