March 10, 2024

Difference between Erasmus and Freemover Semester Abroad

Difference between Erasmus and Freemover Semester Abroad
Deni Isic

Are you contemplating the enriching journey of a semester abroad as part of your education? If so, you've likely come across two popular options: Erasmus and Freemover.

Both offer unique opportunities to study at a university abroad, but they differ in several key aspects. Whether you're interested in an exchange abroad experience or seeking more freedom in your study abroad adventure, this comprehensive guide is here to help you navigate the ins and outs of Erasmus and Freemover semesters.

From eligibility criteria and financial grants to the application process, we've got you covered. So, let's dive in and make your dream of education abroad a reality with Uniclub!

What is Erasmus?

Erasmus stands for European Region Action Scheme for the Mobility of University Students. This European Union initiative has been a game-changer for students interested in education abroad. Here's what you need to know:

  • Origin: Established in 1987, Erasmus is a long-standing program with a focus on enhancing educational experiences across Europe.
  • Exchange Abroad: The program allows for a semester or a full academic year at a partner university within the EU.
  • Academic Credits: Courses taken during the Erasmus program can be credited back to your home university, making it an integral part of your education.
  • Financial Support: One of the major perks is the availability of the Erasmus grant to cover tuition fees and living expenses.
  • Cultural Immersion: If you're keen on experiencing a new culture while staying relatively close to home, Erasmus is a structured, financially supported option.

What is a Freemover Semester?

A Freemover Semester is an alternative to traditional exchange programs like Erasmus, offering more flexibility and choices for your study abroad experience. Here's what sets it apart:

  • Flexibility: Unlike Erasmus, which has specific partner universities, a Freemover Semester allows you to apply to any university abroad that accepts international students.
  • Global Reach: While Erasmus is confined to the EU, Freemover gives you the freedom to study in countries around the world, including the United States, Australia, and more.
  • Course Selection: Freemover semesters often allow you to tailor your course load, choosing subjects that align with your academic and personal interests.
  • Financial Aspect: Typically, Freemover semesters are not subsidized, meaning you'll need to cover tuition and living expenses yourself. However, various scholarships and grants to study abroad are available to offset these costs - Read more about that here.
  • Application Process: The "Apply to" process is generally more involved, requiring you to handle visa applications, course approvals, and other logistics independently. Luckily, we're here to help you with that.

Academic Experience

Erasmus typically provides a pre-set list of courses approved by your home university, ensuring a seamless credit transfer. Freemover, on the other hand, offers more flexibility in course selection, allowing you to tailor your semester abroad to your specific academic interests. Either way, both programs can be an enriching part of your education, offering valuable international exposure and academic growth.

If you're an international student planning to study abroad, the academic experience can vary significantly between Erasmus and Freemover programs.

For those eyeing Erasmus Mundus or other EU/EEA options, the European Commission has specific guidelines. These often include a study programme that lasts 5 months or more, primarily in Nordic countries or nearby countries, depending on the partnerships your university has. The application deadline is usually strict, so make sure to toggle the table of contents on the official websites or consult Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia to keep yourself up to date.

Freemover programs offer a more flexible academic year, if you plan to study at institutions that are specialised in your field. These higher education programmes often have  lenient application deadlines and offer better living costs if you wish to go far away.

Eligibility Criteria

While Erasmus has its hoops to jump through—like needing a thumbs-up from your home university and competing for limited spots—Freemover is your go-to for a hassle-free experience. No nominations needed, and guess what? Plus, the application deadlines are super flexible, so you can jet off when it suits you best.

Application Process

Embarking on a semester abroad is an exciting journey, but the application process can be a mixed bag. Let's break it down for you.

Erasmus Step-by-Step:

  1. Initial Consultation: Your first stop is your home university's international office. Here, you'll get an overview of available Erasmus options.
  2. Nomination Wait: After expressing interest, you'll need to wait to be nominated by your home university. This can take time and there are no guarantees.
  3. Application Submission: Once nominated, you'll fill out the Erasmus application form and gather a mountain of required documents.
  4. Approval Limbo: After submitting, brace yourself for a long waiting period. Approval can take weeks, (possibly months) depending on your faculty.
  5. Final Preparations: If you make it through the waiting game, you'll then need to sort out your visa, accommodation, and other logistics. Phew!

  1. Freemover with Uniclub:
  2. Explore Options: Browse through universities and courses on Uniclub's website to find your perfect match.
  3. Sign Up: Create an account on Uniclub's user-friendly application dashboard.
  4. Free Guidance: Benefit from personalized advice from our seasoned study abroad advisors. Zero hassle, zero cost.
  5. Submit Docs: Upload all your documents directly through the dashboard. Easy-peasy!
  6. Celebrate: Once you're accepted, all that's left is to sort out your visa and start packing. You're ready for your adventure!

Erasmus vs Freemover: Making the Right Choice for Your Study Abroad Journey

If you're considering a semester abroad and are torn between the Erasmus programme and a Freemover exchange, you're not alone. Many students wish to apply for these popular higher education options but are unsure about the nitty-gritty details like tuition fees, scholarship grants, and credit transfer.

Firstly, let's talk money. With Erasmus and Erasmus+, you're likely to receive an Erasmus scholarship to help cover some costs. Freemover options, on the other hand, may require you to 'betale studieafgift' or pay a tuition fee, although scholarship opportunities are also available.

When it comes to choosing where to study abroad, both options offer a plethora of university choices across the globe. The difference between Erasmus and Freemover often boils down to flexibility—both in terms of when to study abroad and the ease of the application process. Erasmus usually involves a more rigid timeline and limited slots, while Freemover gives you the liberty to pick your exchange semester abroad with more freedom.

So, whether you're looking at a study exchange through Erasmus or seeking a more flexible Freemover semester, weigh your options carefully to make the most of your study abroad experience.


So, you're at the crossroads of your academic journey, huh? Erasmus or Freemover semester abroad—each has its own flavor of adventure and learning. Erasmus is like that classic novel on your syllabus; it's structured, well-known, but might not let you pick your own ending.

Freemover, with Uniclub's wing beneath your sails, is more like a choose-your-own-adventure book. You get to decide the where, what, and how of your study abroad experience.

This isn't just a semester abroad; it's a life chapter waiting to be written. And guess what? Uniclub's savvy advisors are your co-authors, helping you pen a story worth telling.

Are you ready for the next study abroad step?

Feeling the wanderlust yet? Ready to turn your study abroad dreams into your next big chapter? Tap the link below to snag your free copy of "The Ultimate Study Abroad Handbook."

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