An Erasmus+ Information Day was held at the Academy of Economics under the title of, “Erasmus+: changing lives, opening minds!”

The Centre for International Cooperation and Projects (CICP) at the D. A. Tsenov Academy of Economics organised an information day for students from Svishtov with the purpose of presenting the Erasmus+ programme and mobility opportunities during the academic year 2015/2016. The meeting was held under the title of, “Erasmus+: changing lives, opening minds!” Participants included students from different majors and courses, the team from the CICP and departmental Erasmus coordinators.

Institutional Erasmus Coordinator, Assoc. Prof. Marusya Ivanova, PhD, introduced the scope of the programme, the partner universities and countries where students can benefit from mobility, and the advantages of taking part in mobility with regards to study or practice. She explained that students from all majors, degrees (Bachelors, Masters and Doctorate) and forms of education (full-time, part-time and distance) can apply for mobility for education in a foreign university and for placements abroad.

Students from the Academy can study in a foreign university which has concluded an inter-institutional agreement for Erasmus+ exchange with the Academy of Economics. For the current academic year, students can choose among 34 foreign universities in 15 programme countries. Outside European Union countries, there are 23 inter-institutional agreements with partner universities from the Erasmus+ programme, in 2 of which students can take part in mobility for education in the summer semester of the academic year 2015/2016.

The number of student mobilities for education and the duration of stay is determined by the Centre for the Development of Human Resources and the inter-institutional agreements concluded for the Erasmus+ programme. Currently, students from the Academy are eligible to apply for a total of 10 mobilities for education, including 8 mobilities in universities in Erasmus+ partner countries, with 2 mobilities in universities in the Russian Federation.

Current employment opportunities for practical mobilities through the Erasmus Consortium in Bulgaria are published on the official website of the Association for the Promotion of the Academic Community (APAO). Currently, students from the Academy are eligible to apply for a total of 10 practical mobility placements abroad.

Assoc. Prof. Marusya Ivanova, PhD, said that European Commission analyses indicated that the biggest barrier to students in the previous programme period was the working language in which mobility was implemented. With regard to this, a new development in the Erasmus+ programme is the opportunity to undertake online language courses in one of six languages – English, German, French, Spanish, Italian and Dutch.

Participants in student mobility for education are subject to selection by the Academy. Successful applicants acquire the status of "Erasmus student", whose rights and obligations are set out in the Erasmus Student Charter and internal academic rules.

A new development for the Academy is the issuance of the Europass Mobility certificate in order to participate in mobility for practical or educational purposes.

With the help of the team at the CICP and the departmental Erasmus co-ordinators, students can choose a foreign university in which to undertake their education. For educational mobility, when choosing the appropriateness of education in the partner university, it is recommended that it should be similar to that obtained in the Academy as a set of disciplines, educational content, workload and number of credits. For practical mobility, one of the conditions is that it should match the thematic area of knowledge or the discipline studied by the student. The aim of mobility is the acquisition of practical skills in a specific discipline which could be recognised as pre-graduation practice.