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Mobility in Europe: the best countries to go on Erasmus+

INFOGRAPHICS. Health crisis or not, Europe is popular with students. If many take the direction of Spain, other countries may well seduce you. Cost of living, environment, education, employment, culture… A look at the strengths and weaknesses of the 31 Erasmus+ program countries.

Each year, nearly 100,000 students decide to continue their studies abroad by favoring the Erasmus+ program. But the choice of destinations is vast!

If it is now possible to carry out an Erasmus stay outside Europe, most mobility is still concentrated on the Old Continent. In particular around the countries of the program, which brings together the 27 countries of the European Union (the United Kingdom less since 2021) as well as Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Turkey, North Macedonia and Serbia.

The Student therefore offers you a summary of strengths but also weaknesses of 31 Erasmus+ program countries (without France and Liechtenstein) through the cost of living, quality of life, culture, educational attractiveness or employment.

The list of Erasmus+ countries where it is good to study in 2022

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Northern Europe, many qualities and few faults

Well known for the quality of their teachings, the countries of northern Europe appear to be direct competitors of the United Kingdom since Brexit.

Norway, Finland, Sweden, the Netherlands and even Denmark score points on their command of English and the number of languages ​​spoken. Cosmopolitan countries that also welcome many international students. In Luxembourg, for example, almost half of the students come from abroad.

According to the European Commission, all these countries are also renowned for their quality of life. If we find the Scandinavian countries on the podium, it is good ireland which obtains the best mark on this criterion (8.1/10). And if the sunshine is not really there, the environment is still very favorable. Whether on greenhouse gas emissions or exposure to particulate air pollution, the Nordic countries, in particular Estonia and Finland, stand out as good students.

Other advantages : particularly high employment rates among 15–29 year olds, as in Iceland (72%) or the Netherlands (70%). Unemployment rates are more disparate: Germany recorded the lowest rate in 2020 (7.4%), Iceland and the Netherlands are also ranked among the top four. On the other hand, the Baltic and Scandinavian countries saw their unemployment rate hover around 17% on average in 2020.

Pay attention also to the cost of living in all these countries. Count around 500 euros on average for a rent of 20 m² in Ireland, Iceland or Luxembourg. In Norway, drinking a beer can cost up to 10 euros.

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Central Europe, assets not to be overlooked

Conversely, it is precisely by its low cost of living that central Europe stands out. Rents for a 20 m² studio are around 200 to 250 euros per month. Subscription to public transport also remains reasonable (up to 50 euros per month maximum).

Special mention also for higher education establishments. Poland, the Czech Republic or even the Romania are acclaimed for their quality pedagogy. Moreover, the proportion of foreign students is increasing from year to year.

Regarding quality of life and employment, Croatia, Serbia, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia are ranked lower.

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Sunny countries are also doing well

It’s not for nothing that Spain remains the favorite Erasmus+ destination for French students. The country is full of assets whether in terms of the cost of living, sunshine, culture or its establishments.

Next door, Turkey has nothing to be ashamed of. The country has the lowest average rent (72 euros per month), and has the most higher education establishments in international rankings such as Shanghai, THE (Times Higher Education) or QS.

Italy, on the other hand, offers you the opportunity to fill up on culture with 58 monuments classified as World Heritage by UNESCO. North Macedonia, Bulgaria and Malta highlight their low cost of living and their sunshine.

However, in terms of foreign languages ​​and proficiency in English, the latter lag behind. As the sun is not everything, the quality of life as a whole is not convincing on all points. In particular students who would like to stay living in their Erasmus country: the unemployment rate remained very high in 2020 (38% in Spain, 35% in Greece or North Macedonia). Sunny countries, which are particularly touristic, were the first to be impacted by the health crisis.

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