Erasmus Mundus: Belarus

Article published on Feb. 3, 2009
Article published on Feb. 3, 2009
© 00ZE, Minsk Cafe Babel Local Team What does Erasmus Mundus mean for Belarus? At best a common Belarusian can answer the question in the following way: ‘Erasmus Mundus is an educational programme in Oslo for graduates of Belarusian Universities. In order to enroll there, one needs to “pass exams” via the internet. The most successful students can be granted with scholarships.
‘ Such stereotypical definition can be heard from a mother whose daughter left for Oslo to study at Erasmus Mundus programme.

It is a programme under the auspices of European Commission which annually allocates money in the form of full scholarship for the best students in the world to afford studying in Europe. The list of qualifications under the Erasmus Mundus Scholarship is very broad and practically does not change from year to year. The list is the first step on the way of applying to the programme. Then each link of the list will lead you to some descriptions and requirements which you should fulfill to be enrolled into the University.

Certainly, it is students – active and speaking foreign languages – who are mostly aware of the programme. Hundreds or possibly thousands of Belarusians apply to the Erasmus Mundus Scholarship. Some of them are lucky enough to plunge into the life of students who have possibility to study at least in two European Universities. Over five previous years the biggest number of Belarusian students (9 persons) enrolled into Erasmus Mundus Programme was in 2008. It is quite many as in 2006 only 2 persons were accepted. We hope this number would grow in the future. And there is a reason for this: the programme budget for the nest five years was quadrupled and now it accounts for more than 950 million euro.

As it is well-known Cafebabel Magazine was founded by former Erasmus Mundus students. It can be explained in the following way. One of so-called exams which “is passed via the internet” is an essay, mini work where a student tells why s/he needs this or that qualification. Simultaneously, a student can apply to three different qualifications so s/he writes essay for each of them gleaning each word, perfecting each thought, tailoring the idea of each essay to a particular qualification. Isn’t it this experience which helps to develop journalist qualities among Erasmus Mundus students whose articles can be read at Cafebabel? Besides students have something to say. During their studies they study languages, get to know other cultures, exchange with new ideas, in a word, they get valuable experience which allows to work through boarders. However, as they return home, it appears sometimes that the only way to share new ideas and thoughts that inspire them is via the internet that’s why some of the Erasmus Mundus students become journalists.