Erasmus: Alpine retreat
The Erasmus scheme was established in 1987 to promote the exchange of students between European countries and many medical students take part. Lewis Gray gives an overview of the programme and describes his experiences as a preclinical student in Switzerland
The European Community Action Scheme for the Mobility of University Students (Erasmus) is the cumbersome title of an excellent programme, named after Erasmus of Rotterdam (1466-1536), a Dutch humanist, and theologian, who travelled and studied throughout Europe.1 The scheme provides organisation and funding to enable university students of any discipline to complete a period of study abroad, attending a university in any one of 30 member European countries.
In general, students who study subjects other than foreign languages use the scheme to add a touch of interest and diversity to their course. An increasing number of medical schools are offering Erasmus exchange programmes to their students.
Erasmus schemes with universities in different countries are usually arranged in advance by participating universities and they provide students with a short list of countries from which to choose. The home university then makes flexible arrangements so that important modules and exams are still