Where Does the ERASMUS+ Name Come From?

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Perhaps you’ve heard the word Erasmus+ many times? Maybe you’ve already actually experienced Erasmus+ and you’ve completed an internship abroad with the help of the special funding programme associated with it. Have you ever wondered what the name means and where it comes from?

The name Erasmus comes from Ancient Greece. However, it’s also associated with Desiderius Erasmus of Rotterdam, a Renaissance humanist. During the 15th century Desiderius was an important scholar of humanism. Born in the Netherlands, he was also a theologian priest, an Augustinian choirmaster, a philologist and an author of numerous books. Obviously a very clever man, he was a worthy supporter of a specialist funding programme for students that has grown into today’s largest funding programme in the world for stays abroad.

Strictly speaking, the name of the programme originated as an acronym for the European Community Action Scheme for the Mobility of University Students. It was founded under an initiative devised by the Italian educational scientist Sofia Corradi following the decision of the Council of the European Union on 15 June 1987.

Today, the programme is attended by all EU member states and five other European countries (Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Switzerland, Turkey).

Erasmus+ is the EU's programme to promote education, training, youth and sport in Europe. It enables more than four million Europeans to study, train, gain work experience or volunteer abroad.

The directors of the two National Agencies for Erasmus+ (OeAD/Erasmus+ Education) and (IZ/Erasmus+ Youth in Action) are delighted with what it’s achieved so far, "We strongly support the ambition to invest significantly in a new programme for education, youth and sport. The new approach of opening the doors to the programme to people, regardless of their personal and social background, is in line with our joint efforts of recent years".

Among other things, the new programme facilitates access to education, youth and sport programmes and it is important that people, regardless of their social background, are given the opportunity to participate. A special focus will shortly be placed on the mobility of schoolgirls and even more short learning stays abroad will be made available. There are also plans to enable participation in the Erasmus programme through e-learning.

The key objective of Erasmus+ is to reduce unemployment, in particular youth unemployment and to reduce early school leaving. Furthermore, adult education will be strengthened, with a focus on new skills needed in the labour market. It is also particularly important to promote cooperation and mobility in exchange with the EU's partner countries.

Erasmus+ is now regarded as one of the great achievements for European citizens. Thanks to Erasmus+, "Europe" has become a natural and achievable dimension in the lives of students and trainees.

The opportunity shouldn’t be missed! A well-organised Erasmus+ internship is a great asset, not only for your CV, but also for personal development. If you need help with your application, you can read our Guide or our Handbook.

If you are from the UK, you might be interested in the Turing Scheme. Read our blog Alan Who? to find out where the name of the new funding program comes from.