The Erasmus+ (formerly the Erasmus) programme supports student and staff mobility throughout the European academic community. Amongst many other things it provides students with the opportunity to study in another EU country for up to a year for free. It also funds students who opt for a work placement in industry or who choose to work as Language Assistants in schools. Not only do students studying Modern Languages Degrees participate in this scheme but it is also available to students from all other degree courses. (For more information see http://www.eua.be/Libraries/publications-homepage-list/after- the-brexit-referendum-possible-outcomes-for-horizon-2020-and-erasmus.pdf?sfvrsn=4 )
Since its launch in 1987 over 200.000 students have studied and worked abroad, mainly in France, Spain and Germany. This represents approximately 0.5% of the UK student population.
Although roughly twice as many European students come to the UK under the Erasmus scheme compared with UK students studying abroad (2012/13: 2100 UK students went to Germany and 4400 German students came to the UK) this trend has started to change. Currently, more and more students from Britain are choosing to study or work in Europe. During the academic year 2013/14 almost 15.600 students spent up to a year in another European country. This is an increase of 115% since 2007. (cf. The Guardian, 28.5.2015 and https://ec.europa.eu/programmes/erasmus-plus/node_en)
For the years 2014 – 2020 almost one billion euros has been allocated to the UK alone and it was expected that about 250.000 people would benefit directly from the programme during this period. One must also not forget the advantages the UK economy alone derives from this exchange: EU students bring approximately £3.7bn annually to the country. (cf. Jo Johnson in The Guardian, 20 June 2016)