Ana Balica

Hi, I'm Ana.

I'm a software developer. I mostly do Python. This blog is about my adventures with code, travel experiences and relevant life events.

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Occasionally I give talks.

Please don't take my words for granted, because Internet is full of bad advice, and I might be part of it inadvertently.

Erasmus for Moldova

I will not tell you what is Erasmus Mundus in official terms, history background or program conditions. What I want to share is opportunities that exist for Moldovan students to enter an exchange program in one of the EU countries.

This article might be interesting for Undergraduate, Master, Doctorate, Post-doctorate and Staff levels. Though I can give more insight for Bachelor and Masters students.

Erasmus Mundus

Republic of Moldova is not part of the EU, so it is participating in a special project within Erasmus Mundus, called EWENT. And now starts the interesting part…

So, what is EWENT?

Seriously, do you want me to copy-paste from their official website? Generally most of the information can be found there, read it carefully. The information is in English, though there is also some in Russian. FYI if you have difficulties understanding the English version, you need to think twice before enrolling to exchange programs, which are held in English obviously.

On the Courses page you have a list of faculties available from EU partner universities. Don’t rush into decisions, if you didn’t find your faculty. Many courses are shared among faculties. For example, if you study Industrial Design, you might find a lot of courses from Construction Engineering, Civil Engineering, Product Design. I can tell from my experience that even thought I picked up Information Technology, half of my courses are not from FIT (Faculty of Information Technology). That’s somehow frustrating that Faculty of Mechanical Engineering has Artificial Intelligence and Neural Networks, Python for Computational Sciences, Java, C# programming and many other IT related courses.

Also it is a good idea to contact the local coordinator from the university you are interested in, if you have questions.

Take a look at the scholarships and what other costs the program covers (insurance, plane tickets). And if it says 1000€, then you will get monthly this exact amount of money. Usually for normal Erasmus, students get paid much less, so you can consider yourself lucky.

Who is eligible?

You must be a student or an employee to a high education institution (like a university) and not necessarily from UTM. Of course you need to have a Moldovan citizenship and must have not resided nor carried out some main activity (study, work) for more than a total of 12 months over the last five years in one of the European countries. I thought this last statement might be important for those who already have been to some exchange programs. Also you can conclude that a double citizenship is not a problem, as long as your “main” country is Moldova.

Don’t hesitate even if you are in your last year, it’s totally fine to come to Erasmus and write your thesis here (actually will experience that in my next semester :D).

Motivation

That might be not exactly obvious to everybody, why go to Erasmus at all. So I say Erasmus is awesome, because:

  • it’s a fresh look at studies

    It’s a new university, new professors, different courses, classes, cafeteria, dorms.

  • it’s a new country to get to know

    I am pretty sure that during a semester or two you will know where best food is served or where do I borrow a bike for the weekend.

  • you travel around the world (or EU at least)

    Everything is much closer and accessible than it is from Moldova.

  • you make new friends

    There are 500 international student here at CVUT in Prague.

  • you are cared about

    Local coordinator, students, student organizations will guide you through the most important steps to provide some accommodation, necessary documents, transport pass, etc.

Also any of those points can be extended with lots of cool moments that are awaiting for you.

How can I apply?

The official application is on EWENT. Mind the deadlines and watch for the opening of the registration. As for the Erasmus period 2013/2014 the application was open until the start of January 2013.

Until then start preparing all the documents and contact our local coordinator Mariana Vrîncean (her email is on the website too). She can prepare some university documents for you and give you feedback on your application. Keep in touch with Mariana, because she can provide a lot of useful information. Moreover she participates in the decision making process, so it is good if she got to know you.

What can I do to be selected?

For short:

  • meet the application deadline
  • be sure all the documents are uploaded and in order
  • pay attention to the Motivational Letter, talk about our interests (in studies, research, development), list your strong parts, mention what would you like to do during Erasmus and what impact will it have on your future career
  • have a decent CV. It totally depends on your personal achievements, but usually it is important to prove that you are a proactive persona.
  • your marks - no, you shouldn’t be a genius from the top 5 university students. I even doubt that grades have any serious weight.

In reality there’s is no general recipe of how students get selected. We can only guess what is appreciated more and what is skipped from the grading.

I am an Erasmus student

Happy news! You were selected.

The organizers of EWENT from Poland will be responsible for your Learning Agreement, which you need to sign. Also after you will get your visa, they will send you your Erasmus insurance and round-trip plane tickets.

From now on much of the activity depends on the hosting university. They must send you necessary documents to get a visa. They can ask you to pick up courses. There might be lots of other details. In my case I was contacted also by the student organization ISC. They kindly provided a contact person that picks you up at the airport and helps you with accommodation.

P.S. the website layout or some details might be outdated to the moment you are reading, so be sure to make yourself familiar with the latest news from EWENT.