Erasmus Mundus Scholarship for Higher Education in Europe

The topic of education abroad on Habré has been covered more than once, but it is precisely on this scholarship that there are almost no references. Its unique feature is that study is not limited to one university, but it will be possible to study at 2 - 3 universities in different EU countries, to receive a full diploma, and the amount of the scholarship covers all needs. Those who are interested in studying for a master's or PhD degree will find my personal experience and recommendations under the cut.

Erasmus Mundus General Information

So, the Erasmus Mundus scholarship has existed since 2004 and is allocated by the European Union for:
  1. Master's degree in 2 years. In order to avoid the Habra effect, I copied a list of specialties of the category "Science, Mathematics and Computing"
    1. ALGANT — International integrated Master course in Algebra, Geometry and Number Theory
    2. ASTROMUNDUS — Astrophysics
    3. ATOSIM — Atomic Scale Modelling of Physical, Chemical and Bio-molecular Systems
    4. bhealth — BioHealth Computing EM
    5. ChIR — Erasmus Mundus Master in Chemical Innovation and Regulation
    6. COSSE — Computer Simulation For Science and engineering
    7. CSSM — Complex Systems Science
    8. DESEM — Erasmus Mundus MSc in Dependable Software Systems
    9. DMKM — Data Mining & Knowledge Management
    10. EM3E — Erasmus mundus Master in Membrane Engineering
    11. EMCL — European Master's Program in Computational Logic
    12. EMECS — European Master Embedded Computing Systems
    13. EMDC — European Master in Distributed Computing
    14. EMM-Nano — Erasmus Mundus Master in Nanoscience and Nanotechnology
    15. EMQAL — Erasmus Mundus Master in Quality in Analytical Laboratories
    16. EUCOMOR — European Master in Comparative Morphology
    17. EUROAQUAE — Euro Hydroinformatics and Water Management
    18. EUROPHOTONICS — Master in Photonics Engineering, Nanophotonics and Biophotonics
    19. euSYSBIO — erasmus Mundus Master's Course in euSYSBIO Systems Biology
    20. FloodR — Flood Risk Management (FloodRisk)
    21. FUSION-EP — European Master in Nuclear Fusion Science and Engineering Physics
    22. GEM — Master of Science course in Geo-Information Science and Earth Observation for Environmental Modelling and Management
    23. IMACS — International Master in Advanced Clay Science
    24. IMAE — International Master in Applied Ecology
    25. IMSE — International Master in Service Engineering
    26. IT4BI — Information Technologies for Business Intelligence
    27. M.E.S.C. — Master in Materials for Energy Storage and Conversion
    28. MATHMODS — Mathematical Modelling in Engineering: Theory, Numerics, Applications
    29. MCM — Master of Science in Computational Mechanics
    30. ME3 — European Joint Masters in Management and Engineering of Environment and Energy
    31. MEME — Erasmus Mundus Master Programme in Evolutionary Biology
    33. MERIT — Master of Science in Research on Information and Communication Technologies
    34. MFSc — Master in Forensic Science
    35. MONABIP — Molecular Nano- and Biophotonics
    36. NEURASMUS — A European Master in Neuroscience: Advanced Courses and Research Training
    37. NORDSECMOB — Master's programme in Security and Mobile Computing
    38. PERCCOM — PERvasive Computing & COMmunications for sustainable development
    39. QEM — Models and Methods of Quantitative Economics
    40. SERP-Chem — International Master in Surface, Electro, Radiation, Photo — Chemistry
    41. SPACEMASTER — EMMC in Space Science and Technology
    42. SSI — Joint International Master in Smart Systems Integration
    43. TCCM — Euromaster on Theoretical Chemistry and Computational Modelling
    44. TROPIMUNDO — Erasmus Mundus Masters Course in Tropical Biodiversity and Ecosystems
    45. VIBOT — Erasmus Mundus Masters in VIsion and roBOTics
    46. WACOMA — Erasmus Mundus Master in Water and Coastal Management
    47. WOP-P — Master in Work, Organizational and Personnel Psychology

    A complete list of programs is here .
  2. Receiving PhD. The list of programs here

Personally, I am studying for a master's degree (in the third semester), because the whole subsequent article will be devoted to this.
The requirements and terms for each program are different, but here's what unites all Erasmus Mundus programs (specific numbers may vary slightly from program to program):
  • The principle of mobility - you will study in at least two different EU countries.
  • There are students of categories A and B. Category B are EU citizens, as well as those who have studied or worked in the EU for more than 1 year over the past 5 years. Category A - everyone else.
  • Category A fellows receive 1000 Euro / month + 4000 Euro once at the beginning of the year + insurance. About ten such scholarships are allocated per year for each specialty.
  • Category B fellows receive 500 euros / month + 1,500 euros once at the beginning of the year + insurance. About seven such scholarships are allocated per year for each specialty.
  • If you have not passed the scholarship competition, you can study at your own expense. For students of category A, this costs 8,000 euros / year, for students of category B - 4,000 euros / year.
  • Each university will have a program coordinator who will help with all administrative issues and, if necessary, with the search for housing. They will really take care of you more than other international students (at least I got the impression).
  • Upon completion, you receive a joint master degree from the program as a whole and / or separate diplomas from each university where you studied.
  • You can apply at the same time for a maximum of 3 Erasmus Mundus programs.
  • Training in almost all programs is completely in English. Language courses of the country where you live are free and optional.
  • Each consortium has one coordinating university, which accepts applications from candidates.
  • The selection consists of two stages. First, they evaluate the package of documents, and if the candidate is interesting, an interview is scheduled via Skype.
  • The application deadlines for different programs range from December to February, the beginning of training - from August or September. Those who do not apply for a scholarship can send their documents a few months later.
  • If you have passed the selection, then a couple of months before the start of your studies you will be invited to a one-day Pre-departure orientation meeting in the nearest major capital (in my case, students from Ukraine, Moldova and Belarus were gathered in Kiev), where first representatives of different European countries will answer your questions about getting visas and daily life, and then Erasmus Mundus graduates will share their personal experiences.
  • The program cannot be funded by Erasmus Mundus for more than five years. In other words, the program can issue 5 student enrollments with Erasmus Mundus scholarships. If after this the program continues to exist, then new students will study either at their own expense, or perhaps there will be other scholarships, but far from as generous as Erasmus Mundus ( example ). But these are already details, because such programs, of course, are no longer mentioned in the links above.

If you have a feeling that this is all too cool, and somewhere there should be a catch, I assure you - there is no catch. At the end of the program, no obligations are assigned to you (unlike, for example, the Fulbright program, which requires a return to your home country for 2 years). But if you interrupt your training halfway, you may have to pay a penalty. This item is spelled out in the scholarship contract, but I have never heard of cases of its application in practice.
A typical set of documents for admission:
  • Translated bachelor's degree. If at the time of submission of documents you are studying in the last year of the bachelor's program, then you can simply academic extract.
  • TOEFL or IELTS. If your past studies were in English, then no.
  • Motivation letter.
  • 2 letters of recommendation.
  • CV
  • Often GRE or GMAT is still required.

Some programs accept all of these documents electronically, others need to be mailed.

Personal entry experience

In October 2010, I finished my master's program at a small Ukrainian university, slowly wrote my diploma work on wireless sensor networks, which I had to protect in six months, and at the same time worked in a large outsourcing company (C ++ / Qt). After three years of work there, I already felt that I was gradually covered with moss, and I had to look for something new. Shortly before, they didn’t take me to Fulbright, but I was not really upset about this because it was my first experience in finding scholarships to study abroad. Now, looking back, I am very glad that they did not take me there, because, for me, the Erasmus Mundus is incomparably better. And one evening, having driven into Google something like “scholarships in Europe” I discovered Erasmus Mundus. Until that time, I had no idea that you can study in turn at different universities. After reviewing the list of programs, I decided to go on three:
  1. International master in management of IT (IMMIT). The first semester - in France, the second - in Finland, the third - in the Netherlands, the fourth - internship and writing a diploma.
  2. International master in service engineering (IMSE). The first semester - in Germany, the second - in Greece, the third - in the Netherlands, the fourth - internship and writing a diploma.
  3. Data mining and knowledge management (DMKM). The first 2 semesters - in France, the third and fourth semesters - in Spain, Italy or Romania, depending on specialization.

The first two have the same coordinating university (University of Tilburg), so it was possible to submit one package of documents to both programs at once, only with different motivation letters. And the programs themselves are very similar in their structure and requirements. A very important feature - the group of students in all three countries is the same. A year and a half of study and travel together give a good chance to build a strong friendship. For the fourth semester, alas, will have to go to different places, depending on the internship. Not all Erasmus Mundus programs are built that way. For example, in DMKM this will not work.
All three programs required TOEFL, and IMMIT and IMSE still GRE or GMAT. There are enough books on the Internet how to take these tests, so I won’t dwell on this in detail. I can only say that in choosing between very similar GRE and GMAT tests, I settled on GMAT. Although it is a little more expensive than GRE, but, as I understand it, there is more emphasis on mathematics (in which I feel more comfortable than in English), and in GRE you need to memorize some very complex words. I used the Europass website to write my CV . How to write a CV and motivation letter is a separate big story, and I never asked my professors why they chose me, so I will share only some personal considerations.
  • According to TOEFL IBT, it is enough to have 90 points (out of 120 maximum) - this assessment confirms that you will not have problems with the language. Everything above 90 does not particularly affect the selection result.
  • GRE / GMAT are heavy. If you pass this test 90%, you can assume that you have a good chance of passing.
  • The rating of your previous university does not matter, and as for the grades, it’s hard for me to say, because I graduated with honors.
  • Information in letters of recommendation, CV and motivation letter should be consistent and complement each other. Work experience is not necessary at all, but if you already have one, then let one of the letters of recommendation be from the manager, the other from the professor. My motivation letter consisted of three parts: academic experience, professional experience and study objectives. This letter should reflect the fact that you are well acquainted with the curriculum, you are interested in the subjects that will be taught there, and that you have sufficient experience to master them. You can still show your interest in the culture of those countries where you are going to go, that you are open to cultural exchange and are ready to accept your future classmates as they are.

Documents had to be submitted before mid-January, so I sent my package at the end of December by courier. In such a case, you can’t pull to the last - late, so late. The only person in my group who studies at his own expense did not receive a scholarship just because his documents were delayed on the road and arrived too late. In addition, if the secretary does not like something in your documents, you will have a margin of time for correction.

Keep in mind that TOEFL, GRE, and GMAT reserve a fairly wide time frame for testing your tests. For example, my TOEFL was checked quickly (after 4 days I saw my result on the site), but the document from TOEFL to the University of Tilburg lasted 2 weeks. In extreme cases, the consortium may take a screenshot of the site with your rating, but only temporarily.

For all three programs, I went to the second stage of selection, and Skype interviews were scheduled on different days in early February. Usually the interview lasts 15-20 minutes. Think in advance what questions you may be asked, and memorize the answers. You need to show that you are fluent in English, and that you understand where you are asking. The main question that is always asked is: “why do you want to study with us”? Obviously, the main reason is the scholarship, so this is not worth talking about. Retell briefly your motivation letter, focusing on some event or impression that prompted you to study in Europe and this particular specialty. Show that you are interested in this subject, and you have some idea of ​​what you will do after graduation. The only question in three interviews that was unexpected for me, it is “what can be your cultural contribution to the multinational group that you have to study in?” I replied that I would treat classmates with national Ukrainian dishes. The professor liked this option.

About a week later, I received two polite refusals from IMMIT and DMKM and one congratulation from IMSE. This is where I wanted to get the most, so I was immensely happy. It was yet to receive final confirmation from Brussels in April, but this is a purely bureaucratic procedure, and at this stage there should be no problems.

Later I realized: it happened because IMSE is a younger program (I ended up in the second set), and accordingly they know less about it, and there was less competition. It is much easier to choose 10 fellows from 50 applications for IMSE than from 800 applications for DMKM. Therefore, if you are hesitating between several programs that are equally interesting to you, my advice is: do not choose the program that just appeared, because the first set of Erasmus Mundus is always a pancake and a lot of administrative and curriculum problems. By the second set, this will all be fixed. And do not choose programs that make the fourth or fifth set already - most likely, the competition is much higher there. Although you can ask the secretary accepting the applications, what was the competition last year. Some programs (like DMKM) openly publish statistics on their sites,

Studying in Europe

Then there was still a German visa, and on August 1 I arrived in Stuttgart. You need to buy an air ticket yourself, and on arrival you need to live at your own expense for about a month before the first scholarship arrives. And after that, there were no problems with the financial plan. Paying 250 euros / month for the hostel, for the remaining 750 euros I felt like Rockefeller despite the fact that Stuttgart is the most expensive city in Germany. In addition, in mid-September, “lifting” 4,000 euros were transferred. The second semester I spent in Crete. There, prices are significantly higher, because everything needs to be brought from the mainland. Finally, Tilburg is about halfway between Stuttgart and Crete in terms of cost of living. But never once did I have a special need to save money, I could afford to travel around the neighborhood and neighboring countries, and for every vacation I returned home.

One more pleasant moment: upon arrival you receive a residence permit, on the basis of which you can issue an official invitation (for example, for your mother), which is then submitted for a Schengen visa. Arranging a guest for a week or two in your dorm room is usually not a problem.

I was extremely lucky with classmates. They turned out to be open, sociable people with very different characters and life experiences, and I learned from them no less than from professors. We have people from China, India, Brazil, Moldova, Albania and Pakistan, aged 22 to 29 years, and the biggest “intercultural conflict” over the past year and a half was that one day we could not agree on how to play “ Believe-not-believe. " Together we traveled to Oktoberfest, visited the Collider, climbed mountains and volcanoes, fed rabbits, drank hot tea with a cold, took offense and put up, and a lot of things that I can’t write here. And I already foresee how hard it will be for me to part with them in December.

Actually, the study turned out to be incomparably more interesting than in Ukraine. But it doesn’t matter here whether Erasmus Mundus or not, because in each country we studied together with local students. Not a complete list of my most vivid impressions:
  • Lectures on the projector, which means that there is no need to write multi-page notes.
  • Very cool teachers. The professor, who taught SOAP web services and Workflow management courses, was at the forefront of these technologies and is a co-author of relevant standards. The professor, who taught Cloud computing, works as a General Manager at IBM and is responsible for all (!) Cloud computing developments at IBM. And Harvard's PhD is generally taken for granted.
  • In addition to the study itself, there was also a five-day international scientific conference on Service-oriented computing, at the end of which we had to prepare publications for IBM Research.
  • Excursions to the offices of large IT companies, with meetings, presentations and dinners.
  • Very close ties with the industry. I am now in the third semester, and for one of the subjects we have to deal with the business processes of the largest medical research center in Holland and develop a list of recommendations for them.

And in parallel, we need to look for a company for an internship in the last, fourth, semester. Based on this internship, a thesis will be written. So if someone has a vacant intern position in any EU country for 3-6 months to work in the field of business process reengineering, BPEL, BPMN, service-oriented architecture, cloud & large-scale computing or business intelligence - I ask in PM or email: p kazmirchuk dot snail tilburguniversity dot edu.
I hope my description is colorful enough to convince any of you to apply for next year. Do not put it aside - documents for some specialties must be sent by the end of December. And even if you graduated 5 years ago, you are still young enough for Erasmus Mundus!

If I didn’t tell you any aspects in detail, ask in the comments, I will be happy to answer. Also write if someone will be interested in articles on BPEL and / or BPMN, or simply have short questions. The rest of the knowledge that I have is less specific, and there seem to be enough articles on Habré.

PS Remember that studying at a foreign university (if I understand Ukrainian law correctly) formally does not give you a deferment from the army, so be sure to clarify this question for yourself.
UPDATE: in the comments they suggest that under Russian law there will be a delay.

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