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Erasmus Mundus Scholarship: An Application Guide

An Erasmus Mundus Scholarship application guide with samples.

Overview

An Erasmus Mundus Scholarship also know as Erasmus Mundus Joint Master Degree (EMJMD), is a prestigious, integrated, international study programme, jointly delivered by an international consortium of higher education institutions. EMJMDs award EU-funded scholarships to the best student candidates applying under annual selection rounds.

An Erasmus Mundus Joint Master Degree (EMJMD), is a prestigious, integrated, international study programme, jointly delivered by an international group of higher education institutions.

EMJMDs award EU-funded scholarships to the best student candidates applying under annual selection rounds.

Study must take place in at least two of the Programme countries (European Countries). Part of the studies can also take place in a Partner countries (generally all other countries other than Europe from which students can apply to this program) if there is a partner-country institution involved.

Duration

An EMJMD is a study programme of 60 (roughly equals to 1 year Master), 90 or 120 ECTS (Roughly 2 years) credits. This means that it lasts from a minimum of 12 months, to a maximum of 24 months.

Conditions for Erasmus Mundus Scholarship

Students at Master’s level worldwide can apply.

You must have obtained a first higher education degree or demonstrate a recognized equivalent level of learning, according to national legislation and practices, in the degree awarding countries. (All students with 16 years of Education in Pakistan are eligible to apply).

If you have already received an EMJMD or an Erasmus Mundus Master Course (old name of EMJMD)/Joint Doctorate scholarship (Erasmus special name for PhD scholarships), you are not eligible for an additional EMJMD scholarship. You cannot benefit from another EU-funded scholarship scheme while you are receiving an EMJMD scholarship.

Academic outcome

The successful completion of the study programme will lead to the award of either a joint degree (i.e. one single degree certificate issued on behalf of at least two higher education institutions of the EMJMD consortium) or multiple degrees (i.e. at least two degree certificates issued by two higher education institutions of the consortium).

Financial support in Erasmus Mundus Scholarship

To receive Erasmus+ financial support, you must first be admitted onto the course by the organizing consortium and then be selected for an EMJMD scholarship. In EMJMD not all selected students get Erasmus+ scholarship. Such students who are not awarded a grant can study if they can bear expense of the program. Those who are selected to one or more (max 3, as in one year you can apply to max 3 Master programs) Master courses can get admission in anyone with scholarship (if received) or without scholarship.

The EMJMD scholarship covers your participation costs (including the tuition fees, library and laboratory costs, full insurance coverage and any other mandatory costs related to your participation in the Master); it represents a contribution to your travel and installation costs and includes a monthly subsistence allowance for the entire duration of the study programme.

The total amount of the scholarship varies according to the duration of your course and your nationality (non-EU students receive larger scholarships). The exact amounts may vary for the upcoming batches that is 2020-2022 and onwards so I am not mentioning any such detail here. However, the stipend is sufficient enough to study in any countries of Europe and live a normal life. The stipend and scholarship is received once you reach your first university for first semester in the “Home country” (where you study mainly, generally at least 2 semesters of your Master course).

Before leaving Pakistan, you have to arrange your air ticket and some related Visa expenses, however you can easily cover those costs with substantial stipend that you will receive when you will reach there. Host University is name given to the university amongst the group of universities for any particular MS program where you generally go to another program country and study in that university. Some programs have non-European partner universities as well, where you can study/do internship/undertake research for some months in 3rd or 4th semester depending upon approval of your program heads.

A minimum of 75% of the scholarships are awarded to candidates from Partner countries.

How to Apply for Erasmus Mundus Scholarship

First Step to Apply

Students should consult the online EMJMD Catalogue (https://eacea.ec.europa.eu/erasmusplus/library/emjmdcatalogue_en) and contact the consortium (coordinators’ contacts are given on website of each program) offering the Master Course for more information on courses and application procedures

Above link lists all the Erasmus Mundus Joint Master Degrees (EMJMDs) that will be offering EUfunded scholarships for courses taking place in the academic year 2020. Most Master programs will open applications around late October and require applications to be submitted at maximum between Dec and January or sometimes may be until February/March (Opening and closing dates vary from program to program), for courses starting the following academic year.

Some new MS programs are added to the list of offered MS programs each summer and some may be removed as well. So while checking the link above keep in mind it is for applicants of 2020-22. Those who are reading for coming call in October 2020 for 2021 starting degrees should bookmark/save above link and check back later. Some new MS degrees have been included in the existing catalogue recently for this batch that is 2020-2022. Some project details’ websites of programs given in above link will have website links in them and some will include soon as some programs are offered for first time. Contact coordinators of each program for specific queries. 

Most consortia require applications to be submitted between October and January, for courses starting the following academic year.

Students can apply to a maximum of three different programs. Students should contact directly the relevant master degree coordinators for more information on courses and application procedures. 

Clicking on the acronyms (on the link given above) will open the websites of the respective master courses. Clicking on the title of the master courses will bring you to the Erasmus+ Project Results Platform. The platform describes the EMJMDs in detail and is constantly updated by the universities.

General Eligibility Requirements of Erasmus Mundus Scholarship

  1. 16 Years of Education (Last semester/year students can apply to many programs if they expect their undergraduate degrees to be completed around June/July, 2020, though you need to check websites of specific programs and email the coordinators to confirm this)
  2. Proficiency in English Language is a compulsory requirement (Some programs will accept English Proficiency Letter from your University but most want IELTS/TOEFL as compulsory to apply). To be on the safer side, take IELTS/TOEFL latest by October/November. Most programs require 6.5 and some need 7 score in IELTS or equivalent in TOEFL. Some programs also require that no individual score within IELTS is below 6 (or equivalent for TOEFL).
  3. You need Passport as an Identity Document to apply, so apply for it and keep it ready around September/October. Most programs’ applications open in October and end variably around January, February or even March (rarely). Opening of applications and deadlines to apply vary from program to program.

Second Step to Apply

Required Documents to Apply for Erasmus Mundus Scholarship

All programs have different requirements. All programs mostly provide a grid of weightages or general idea of the components of application that they will consider in determining your merit.

For example, ACADEMIC QUALIFICATION 20%, Experience in the same field 15%, Subject Knowledge 10% etc.

  1. DEGREE and TRANSCRIPT (Available or should be available around June, July, 2020)
  2. 2 Letters of Recommendation (Generally, again you need to check program requirements). The formats vary from program to program, your online application will contain guidelines.
  3. Motivation Letter (Word lengths will vary a lot from program to program). Some don’t give any limit, others may give only one paragraph.
  4. IELTS/TOEFL (6.5 is safe for most on IELTS or TOEFL Equivalent/English Proficiency Letter if they take it), however 7.0 is needed for some more competitive programs so try to get a 7.0. Make sure you take standard test early as slots are sometimes booked around deadlines of Erasmus. The results availability of such tests also take time.
  5. CV in Europass Format (https://europass.cedefop.europa.eu/editors/en/cv/compose) 6. Passport 
  6. Certificate of Residence that you have not been living in Europe for 1 or more years within last 5 years (if you want to apply as partner country student). Otherwise, even being Pakistani you will be considered program country applicant. It can be taken as a letter from university/workplace/municipal office etc. and get it attested ideally from notary public lawyer. A sample certificate of residence is given below for your reference.

Sample Certificate of Residence for Erasmus Scholarship

To Whom It May Concern

12th April, 2020

CERTIFICATE OF RESIDENCE

It is certified that <Mr./Ms. Your Name> (Registration # xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx) is a bona fide student of BS (Hons.) <degree name> program at <Your University>, Pakistan since September, 2017.

It is further certified that he has been living in Lahore, Punjab, Pakistan for more than 14 years and has never gone for any kind of visit to any country outside Pakistan during this period.

He holds a valid Pakistani passport and his above residence status can also be confirmed from all of his educational transcripts that belong to Pakistani institutions.

In case any further clarification is required or any other supporting document is needed, please feel free to let <Your Name> know and he’ll be pleased to provide the same.

Yours faithfully

Dr. Muhammad Tahir Khalily

Signature and Stamp

Note for Erasmus+ Residence Certificate

Ideally include your passport number as well in the above residence certificate and it should be on the letter head of your institute if possible with sign/stamp from the authorized person and attested by notary public (a special kind of lawyer stamp in Katcheri etc), also change the details as per your own scenario. For instance if you have never been abroad, you can write as, “<Your name> has been living in Rawalpindi, Punjab, Pakistan since birth…”

The only thing they are checking through this letter is that you shouldn’t have lived for 12 months or more in Europe in the last 5 years. Otherwise you are considered program country students (like European nationals) and not partner country students (like Pak/India and all non-Europeans etc. with higher scholarships because we are not from Europe so our cost of attendance would be high) 

  • Any other documents you deem as important for your selection like experience certificates, projects, GRE scores may be if they are high, certificates, seminars/conferences/workshops attended, honors and awards etc.

Third Step (After Application Submission)

In case you are shortlisted after initial screening of applications (complete/valid information plus merit based selection on the basis of your documents, qualification etc.), you will be informed about your online interview through email (some programs don’t have an interview so don’t worry if there isn’t one for your program). Skype interviews are the last step if you are shortlisted for it and if there is an interview for your program, after that you either get selected with/without scholarship and are informed via mail to confirm your admission by completing their required formalities. The dates of acceptance/rejection too vary according to deadlines. Programs

with early deadlines announce results a bit earlier than others. But after selection all the students fly to Europe generally around SEPTEMBER each year. If you apply in September call of 2020 and get selected, you will go to your Home Country University in September, 2021.

Key points for increasing your chances of selection

In 2019 Pakistan’s selection ratio was quite high i.e. 50+% out of all applicants of Pakistan from all programs. Brazil, India etc. topped the list. In 2029, we worked hard to get approx. 80+ students with Erasmus award (2nd in the world). Though in 2019 maximum number of applications were sent from Pakistan so make sure you are up to the task. This is highly competitive and therefore highly prestigious scholarship.

Some key areas I have identified that impact a lot on your selection chances (Note: It is not a rule that these points work as I am writing or you can’t get selected if you don’t fulfill any of these criteria), it is merely for guidance purpose.

  1. CGPA matters a lot in Erasmus scholarships (GRE is not required so CGPA sometimes is the most important factor that can win you the race or compensate for your other below average areas)
  2. English Proficiency (95% Master programs are taught in English so no take it easy job here), however few programs require proficiency in some European languages too as one or some semesters are offered in local languages so check individual websites before applying to any specific program.
  3. Relevance of the field in which you are applying and your past academic and professional background
  4. Knowledge of the field in which you are applying (interviews are sometimes technical and lengthy, a kind of test too)

They asked me to interpret statistical results of a publication as well along with many tougher questions.

  • Experience in the same field demonstrated through internships/job experience etc.
  • Your intent and ability to study/work in highly diverse and cross-cultural contexts

(Demonstrate it in your interview too if you have taken any trips/projects/job etc. with some foreigners)

  • Your Motivation Letter MATTERS A LOT more than you may dedicate time for it, it can make or break the deal irrespective of your CGPA etc. (My sample is attached at the end of document). Google as well how to write effective SOP/Motivation letter.
  • Letters of Recommendation (My samples are attached at the end of document)
  • Your co-curricular and extra-curricular activities
  • Your passion and intent to study in the field you applied to, demonstrated through motivation letter and interview plus by taking relevant courses/internships etc.)

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Muhammad Sarwar

Muhammad Sarwar is an Electrical Engineer by profession and a blogger by passion. He loves to teach and share knowledge. He's a Fulbright scholarship awardee. He reads books, play games, blogs and program in his spare time.

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