From begetting philosophical thoughts to innovative scientific ideas, Europe always has reserved a central position. Getting a scholarship to study at a European university sounds enchanting to any student. Very few prestigious scholarship programmes come with such enticing opportunities.
Erasmus Mundus is a joint master's programme that is designed by educational institutions from different nations. It is an initiative taken by the European Union to increase academic co-operation and to provide a learning opportunity for the students from the rest of the world. However, this programme doesn't require any application fee.
Arif Bhuiyan, an Erasmus scholarship awardee of 2013, currently an adjunct faculty of the Trinity College, Dublin and also working as a financial accountant at the Bank of Ireland shared a few tips and lucrative features of this scholarship.
"Getting acquainted with various languages, cultures as well as different European academic environments during the programme period makes it so special than any other opportunities," said Arif.
The most distinct part is that many programmes under the Erasmus Mundus joint master's programme take place within two to three countries, depending on the programme outline. So, besides academic activities, it enables the students to explore within the European boundaries.
As Europe is renowned for its predilection towards arts, culture, and thoughts, the programme reserves exclusive opportunities for students from social science backgrounds. "While one needs a high CGPA for studying in the business field, a social science student can crack with a comparatively low CGPA," added Arif.
The awardees for the master's programme get a minimum of 1,000 euros as a monthly stipend, which may vary from country to country. The stipend is quite enough to cover the living expenses for the students. The scholarship also covers the airfare, health insurance, and settlement costs. Moreover, one can work up to 20 hours a week during the period.
Like any other higher study application procedure, this programme requires a curriculum vitae (CV), statement of purpose (SOP), and recommendation letter is required for the application procedure. However, there are also a few certain differences in preparing these.
CV and SOP can be determined as the deal-breaker for the prestigious programme. "CV needs to be precise where relevant academic, extra-curricular, and working experience should be portrayed in a lucrative manner," said Arif.
"SOP carries the utmost significance which is evaluated rigorously and distinguishes one applicant from others by the application committee," he said. "Depicting the passion and interest for the programme and the contribution you are going to make during the period and after the completion of the programme to your community makes the best SOP," he added. If anyone has a publication it will create more value.
Like other scholarship programmes, recommendation letters play a pivotal role in the applicant's portfolio. At least two recommendation letters need to be submitted on the application portal. Here one of them must be from the academic institution where the recommender will certify the applicant's potential and the ability for the programme.
"It's not necessary to take a recommendation from a highly ranked official. Rather one should approach his or her employer who can truly write a few words for them," Arif shared his insights. According to him, getting a recommendation from the person who knows your competency outlines the best of your qualities.
Proficiency in English is a must before applying to the programme. "Taking IELTS is mandatory because a high score in a language test will exhibit your English proficiency which will keep you ahead of any applicants," expressed Arif. Although IELTS is widely recognised yet TOEFL score is also accepted by the applicants.
Erasmus Mundus provides a community where the awardees are guided in each step. Tours and get-togethers have been arranged between the community to promote and exchange views and culture. An awardee becomes a part of the Erasmus network. More details can be found on the official website of Erasmus Mundus.
Last year 139 Bangladeshi students were selected for the Erasmus Mundus master's programme. This year the application portal has been already opened, which will be closed on January 31, 2022. Hopefully, this year many of them are going to put their feet on European soil to obtain a quality education.