Looking after yourself and having fun
Erasmus and extra funding
As the placement is credit bearing, involves full-time work and is undertaken in one of the Erasmus registered countries, you have the option to apply for the Erasmus Training Programme to receive extra funding. The steps and conditions for this will all be explained in your ‘pre-departure talk’ , where you’ll also receive a handout guide. You’ll have to contact the Erasmus department yourself to arrange this, but it’s worth organising it as a group meeting for all of the Materials students going to Eindhoven, so make sure to pick a time you’re all free. There may be larger talks of this kind given, but I think the time of the year (March – April) meant that there wasn’t anyone for us to attend. Although, to be honest, it was useful having a smaller group and talk, with everyone going to the same country and on a ‘training’ placement, for discussion of specific details to our case.
The main forms you’ll have to fill out are the ‘Training Agreement Part 1’ which you have to complete and send to your project supervisor in Holland for them to fill in their relevant section and sign, so make sure you do this in plenty of time before leaving. Once you arrive at Philips you’ll again need your supervisor to sign a ‘Proof of arrival’ form, and finally the ‘Training Agreement Part 3’ at the end of your placement. (‘Training Agreement Part 2’ need only be filled out if there have been any changes from ‘Part 1’.)
After sending the prior two forms you should receive a first instalment (~70%) and then the last payment only once you’re back in England with ‘Part 3’ completed and signed. The amount you receive will depend on the exact duration of your placement (so may be 4 ½ months not 5).
If you are not an E.U. citizen (sorry if you’re British and reading this in 2019) then you’ll need to arrange your visa as soon as possible after your place has been confirmed, to ensure everything is set to go at the beginning of May. It’ll be useful being in England for this process and if you don’t get this arranged quickly then set backs may mean you have to start your placement later than planned.
The University of Sheffield also offer free travel insurance through the programme, which covers emergency medical expenses and the usual travel allowances of baggage lost or flight cancellation etc. .
Additionally, to sign up for the funding we had to take an initial Dutch language test to gauge our level of learning. It is 100% okay to do badly on this because the point is for you to receive free online lessons in Dutch appropriate for your language level. (Many of us just clicked any answer and next, but my English and minimal German did help me qualify for the advanced beginner in vocabulary! So it’s a bit of fun if you have some time to spare).
You can check your eligibility for Erasmus here: http://www.sheff.ac.uk/erasmus/outgoing/prospective-out/eligibility
The Erasmus process also advises contacting student finance to let them know you are working abroad as part of your degree for further financial support. They may give you an extra loan or reimburse some of your flight costs. This is known as a travel grant and you should be sent the relevant steps for applying once you have contacted the loans company.