Erasmus Boosts Employability and Job Mobility of its Participants

Written by | Friday, September 26th, 2014

Students who have participated in a student exchange or a traineeship abroad via one of the European Union’s exchange and mobility programs, such as Erasmus or Leonardo da Vinci, are better equipped to succeed in the labour market. A recent EU study reveals that for example the Erasmus student exchange program not only helps students to gain knowledge in specific disciplines but also sharpens keys soft skills that are on demand among employers. Erasmus participants are less likely to experience long-term unemployment compared to those who have not gained any international mobility experience or training five years after graduation.

Moreover, unemployment rate is about 23 percent lower among Erasmus participants compared to those without Erasmus experience. The study which was authored by independent researchers is the largest of its kind. Authors studied almost 80,000 respondents including students but also stakeholders from the private sector. The new study further demonstrates that more than 90 percent of employers are looking for characters traits boosted by the program such as tolerance, confidence, problem-solving, curiosity, knowing one’s strong and weaker sides including decisiveness. Tests that were pursued both before and after exchange periods show that Erasmus participants demonstrate higher values of these personality traits even before the mobility starts. By the time they come back, these values go up by 42 percent on average compared to non-participants.

Furthermore, Erasmus participants benefit from EU funding and can choose to take up an internship or study abroad. The study reveals that about a third of Erasmus trainees get an employment offer from the company where they did their internship. Erasmus trainees have also been described as more entrepreneurial than their counterparts without international experience: 1 in 10 has started their own firm and more than 3 out of 4 plan to or can imagine doing so. Erasmus participants can moreover expect faster career advancement.

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