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How to give ALL students the opportunity to go abroad for studies?

Going on Erasmus is an amazing opportunity to study abroad in a different country and encounter different cultures. You gain intercultural skills, improve your career chances for the future, build up an international network of friends and contacts, and improve your languages[1]. Unfortunately, not everyone has the opportunity to go on exchange. For example, only 7% of the Erasmus student population comes from a disadvantaged or underrepresented group.

Social inclusion is a focus point for the Erasmus programme and for VUB, but… there is a lack of hard data on the current programme’s accessibility and what measures could be put in place to improve this access and increase participation. At VUB we believe it is important to this vital data from across Europe to see how diverse the student population is and how we can support more students to go abroad. This is why VUB joined the SIEM project.

SIEM - Social Inclusion and Engagement in Mobility, is co-funded by the European Commission’s Erasmus+ programme, and is a collaborative partnership between the Erasmus Student Network (ESN), Universities UK International (UUKi) and the European University Foundation, YES Forum, Vrije Universiteit Brussel (BE), University of Vigo (ES), Masaryk University (CZ), University of Latvia (LV) and ESN Spain (ES) and ESN France (FR).

The project has three objectives:

Widening Participation: Increase the participation of underrepresented groups in the Erasmus programme in order to make the international student mobility more inclusive.
Community Engagement: Encourage Erasmus students and student organisations to organise volunteer initiatives in order to reach out to the local community in order to increase intercultural exchange.
Peer-to-Peer Interaction: Increase the interaction between international students and local communities of underrepresented groups and visibility of international student mobility.
The VUB International Relations office would like to appeal to all VUB students and staff to participate.

=>If you are a student, there’s even something in it for you: Tell us about your go abroad experiences by filling in the survey and be in with a chance to win 2 interrail tickets or ultimate ears speakers and/or become an Erasmus ambassador!


In order to obtain this much needed hard data, a SURVEY has been launched and we’d like to ask all students and staff to participate and share it as widely as possible.
The survey is open till 30 April 2020, and can be accessed on the SIEM website: https://siem-project.eu/

[1] https://ec.europa.eu/programmes/erasmus-plus/resources/documents/erasmus-impact-study_en