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We asked Keith Lynch from Defence Forces to give some advice for people considering this job:


Keith Lynch

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Defence Forces

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  Keith Lynch
Only enter the Defence Forces if you are willing to commit to it 100% as it is a long tough road which can be extremely rewarding if you fully engage it. Like everything in this life, you get out what you put in.

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Make Study Abroad part of your College Experience with ERASMUS

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Make Study Abroad part of your College Experience with ERASMUS

Monday, July 06, 2015 

Make Study Abroad part of your College Experience with ERASMUS

ERASMUS+ is the current EU programme that allows students to spend time studying or on work placement in another EU country.

Why consider ERASMUS?

Many studies show that a period spent abroad not only enriches students' lives in the academic and professional fields, but can also improve language learning, intercultural skills, self-reliance and self-awareness.

The experiences give students a better sense of what it means to be a European citizen. In addition, many employers highly value such a period abroad, which increases the students' employability and job prospects. Staff exchanges have similar beneficial effects, both for the people participating and for the home and host institutions.

Students can either study abroad, or undertake a work experience placement:

1. Study: The academic, cultural, social and personal benefits of participating in an Erasmus study period are enormous. Feeback from returned students shows that the intellectual challenge of studying/working in a European environment is exceptionally rewarding and that language skills improve dramatically.

Employers, in our increasingly internationalised job market, are increasingly on the lookout for graduates who have a demonstrated ability to succeed in an international environment. What better way to demonstrate your global credentials than study abroad in one of Europe's top universities?

Students taking part in Erasmus+ study mobility will have the option to study abroad in Europe at another higher education institution for a period of 3 to 13 months. Where you can study abroad is entirely dependent on the partners that your college or institution currently has. Students seeking to take part in an Erasmus+ study exchange should contact the international officer at their college and see what options are available at their particular institution.

Courses undertaken are recognised within the student's final degree award under the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS).

2. Trainseeships are designed to foster a skilled and dynamic work force within the European Union. Erasmus+ supports European work and study mobility throughout 33 participating European countries.

As the graduate job market increasingly focussed on those who possess prior work experience, Erasmus+ traineeships are intended to provide students with the experience they need to thrive in today's job market.

Work aboard can help students to improve their language skills and enhance their CV by providing international employment experience. Traineeships can also, and have previously, led to employment opportunities for some students.

The Erasmus+ Traineeship programme is designed to enable students to do a traineeship in an organisation in another European country which participates in the Erasmus Programme. These traineeships can last anywhere between 2 to 12 months and trainees are eligible for support by an Erasmus+ Traineeship grant. Students seeking to take part in an Erasmus+ traineeship must be enrolled in a Higher Education Institution which possesses an Erasmus Charter. Recent graduates may also participate in a traineeship, subject to certain conditions.

There are several ways a student can source an Erasmus+ traineeship:

  • The first is to ask about the options at the international office at your institution. Many institution have bilateral agreements with European companies and will send a set number of students to them every year.
  • The second option available to students is to check out the positions currently being offered by on the Erasmus Student Network Traineeship Search Platform.
  • The third option is to directly contact a company you are interested in doing a traineeship at. Many companies have internship programmes which are easily adapted to the Erasmus+ traineeship scheme.

It is important to note that a student should always seek the permission of their international officer before applying for any position. Many institutions require that the traineeships be relevant to your degree programme. All institutions are required to verify the credentials of the host organisation via a training agreement. Consequently, your international officer must be involved in the process from the beginning.

View ERASMUS VIDEO GUIDES and Student Testimonials here.

The Selection and Application Process

ERASMUS students are selected by their home higher education institution in a fair and transparent way.


The level of support offered for an Erasmus+ exchange is dependent on the country a person visits. The Programme Countries are divided into three groups as follows:

Group 1: Denmark, Ireland, Italy, Austria, Finland, Sweden, United Kingdom Liechtenstein, Norway

  • Support: Study €250 per month, Traineeship € 350 per month

Group 2: Belgium, Czech Repiblic, Germany, Greece, Spain, Croatia, Cyprus, Luxembourg, netherlands, Poland, Slovenia, Iceland, Turkey

  • Support: Study €200 per month, Traineeship € 300 per month

Group 3: Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Hungary, Malta, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia

  • Support: Study €200 per month, Traineeship €300 per month

Additional support is available to students from under-represent scoio-economic groups subject to certain conditions. Students already entitled to a higher educationg grant may maintain that grant during their time abroad.

Students are also free to locate funding other than an Erasmus grant to support their mobility -Click Here for details of international scholarships.

While a student is on Erasmus+ they will be exempt from paying tuition fees at the host institution. They will, however, continue having to pay their tuition fees to their home institution.

Note: Students and staff with special needs can receive additional funding to participate in Erasmus.

How to Apply

Interested 2nd or 3rd Year college students apply to the ERASMUS office of their home higher education institution/college.

Below are links to just some of the many Irish colleges offering Erasmus Exchange opportunities:

  • CIT ERASMUS Exchange Programme - Available here [Closing Date for Applications for Study Exchanges/Traineeships for Spring Semester 2016: Friday, 30th October 2015]

When to apply

There are typically two application deadlines for Erasmus exchange programmes:

For Autumn Semester Exchanges : preceeding 31 March 

For Spring Semester Exchanges : preceeding 31 October

Always check specific dates with your college.

Full details of Erasmus for Students are available here

Have you considered a career in the EU?

Check out Irish Voices: EU Careers

to hear about the experiences of real Irish people

working in the EU today.


ERASMUS is the most successful student exchange programme in the world. It is now 28 years in existence. Each year, more than 230 000 students study abroad thanks to the Erasmus programme. It also offers the opportunity for student placements in enterprises, university staff teaching and training, and it funds co-operation projects between higher education institutions across Europe. Close to 3 million students have participated since it started in 1987, as well as over 300 000 higher education teachers and other staff since 1997.

Detailed information on all aspects of the ERASMUS+ Programme is available here

The CareersPortal Team