Foreign exchange programmes are intended to encourage students to study a part of their degree at an overseas university. The Erasmus programme encompasses exchanges between UIC and European universities, and bilateral exchanges encompass exchanges between UIC and non-European institutions. In accordance with the framework set out by these programmes, each home university previously arranges a validation of credits for each participating student.
The Erasmus programme allows students enrolled at any European university participating in the programme to study part of their course at a partner institution. The duration of the programme can range from three months to a full academic year (corresponding to the academic year of the host university). The courses studied overseas are subsequently recognized by the student’s home university.
This recognition process depends on a transfer of academic credits which must be fulfilled by each participant and must also meet the approval of the academic coordinator of the department responsible for the exchange.
Aquest programa Erasmus comporta molts avantatges per als participants, tant econòmics com acadèmics. Per exemple, cada universitat que participa en el programa Erasmus imparteix un curs intensiu de l'idioma en qüestió, gratuït per a alumnes d'intercanvi, normalment al principi del curs acadèmic.
In addition, participants of the programme have the same entitlement to the services and facilities provided by their host university to full-time students (including, among others, information on academic places and university accommodation, access to library services, the university cafeteria and sports facilities) under the same terms and conditions. Logically, these services and facilities vary significantly at each university.
Bilateral exchange agreements are signed by the UIC and universities outside Europe. They provide guidelines for student exchanges and the subsequent recognition of the courses studied abroad.
However, participants of these exchange programmes are not always exempted from the payment of tuition fees at the host university. In addition, some agreements do not enable exchange students to access certain financial assistance programmes. To find out more, it is necessary to check the separate terms and conditions of each of these exchange programmes.
There are also many other issues which students should take into consideration before committing to a particular programme. These include the cost of living in the country of destination, the requirements for student visas and residence permits for that country, the vaccinations that are required and the means of obtaining medical assistance. These conditions vary significantly outside the European Union.