How does the year abroad work for mature students with family?

I'm a mature student with a husband and 13 year old daughter. I study Italian and History and am hoping to study in Florence for my 3rd year but also hoping to bring my daughter and husband with me. We are considering applying for an International school for my daughter and my husband may get a years secondment with his work. We feel that not only would it be an experience for me but an amazing life experience for my daughter. I am entitled to funding and we would be renting independently. Has anyone done this before or is it not allowed on the scheme? I cannot find any information on this at all.

This question was asked on 24th July 2014 and has been read 2884 times.

  • Global Graduates · 8 years ago

    From the British Council:

    Thanks for sharing this; as you are probably aware there are no age restrictions to taking part in Erasmus/Erasmus+ at HE, so there is no formal guidance for mature students - they have the same funding/opportunities/criteria as younger students. Students' personal circumstances are not something we would get involved in or comment on really - other than to say we encourage students of all ages to take part. Erasmus+ is a programme for all students, no matter your age or background, whether you are studying full-time or part time. So long as you are approved by your university ( which must hold an Erasmus Charter for Higher Education) and meet the eligibility criteria*, you can take part.  

    * You must be formally registered at an Higher Education Institution(HEI) in order to follow higher education studies leading to a recognised degree or other recognised tertiary level qualification up to and including the level of doctorate. You can also be enrolled in a short term higher vocational education course, which includes foundation degree courses. Part-time students can also participate providing they study full-time during their period abroad.

    There certainly have been other mature students who have taken part in the programme - but I don't have any case studies/guidance for someone looking to take their family - although anecdotally I know this has been done. Please do post if you've been through this and have some personal advice!

  • Ethan R Wilkinson · 8 years ago

    I am a mature student (although maybe not as mature as yourself) and I have just got back from my year abroad in Spain and Italy with my wife and 9 month old son (who was born in Spain on the year abroad!)

    My wife (also a student) accompanied me and didn't speak either Spanish or Italian, however, she learned a lot of the languages thanks of free language classes offered by our Church and watching lots of cooking programmes on the telly! 

    Our situation is slightly different to yours but I can say from personal experience that this year abroad, if you have a positive perspective, will be amazing for you and your family. We learned so much as individuals and as a family; new skills, made new friends and we saw amazing places and ate delicious food together as a family.

    If you are able to work out all of the details, plan and prepare well and make sure you listen to your partner's concerns, it will all work out. There will still be unforeseen issues but you will be able to work them out as a family.

    Good luck!

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