There has been a rise in Dublin third-level students taking part in the Erasmus+ programme, statistics obtained via Freedom of Information act have found
Over the last five years, four Dublin colleges (UCD, DIT, Trinity and DCU) have seen an increase in students studying abroad at partner European universities. DIT however, has the highest number of participants. In the 2017/18 academic year alone, DIT sent 549 students to partner universities.
Peter Dalton, Erasmus coordinator at DIT, said: “The significance of the Erasmus programme is life changing for students, it allows students to broaden their horizons, both academically and personally.”
Mr Dalton explained how beneficial the programme is for students and their future careers. He said: “Any student who undertakes an Erasmus abroad, from an employability point of view, in the years ahead will stand out amongst the rest. It shows an employer that a student can adapt to change and learn new cultures.
“The Erasmus programme is an academic and personal journey in life that should be experienced by all students.”
UCD have sent over 2,000 students abroad over the past five years. UCD student, Jane Moloney, took part in the Erasmus programme in the 2017/18 academic year. Jane said: “I originally chose to go on Erasmus because I was not overly happy with the course I was doing in UCD. I decided that if I went away for a year it would really stand to me in my future career and set me aside from my peers when applying for jobs and graduate programmes.”
Jane, who studied at Utrecht University in the Netherlands, said a year away from Dublin did her the world of good as she had the opportunity to experience a new lifestyle and culture. She said: “It is so important for students to take part in the Erasmus programme because there are so many different countries right on our doorstep in Europe.”
Jane said her time abroad allowed her to become more confident and independent. She said: “As someone from Dublin, who goes to university in Dublin, I never actually got the chance to move out of my family home, so it was good to be able to get the chance to do that in such a cool country. I gained, not only an international degree and international experience, but also international friends and connections that will last a lifetime.”
Erasmus+ is a European Union programme which gives students the opportunity to study abroad and develop their educational and social skills. It also allows students to live and study in another European country for up to a year and experience a new way of life.