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Erasmus students to get help finding accommodation with new scheme

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Students undertaking Erasmus placements are to be given a helping hand with the launch of a new scheme.

A partnership between Erasmus and Uniplaces, the student accommodation platform, will help the 180,000 students from across Europe that take an Erasmus placement find a home away from home.

Through the partnership, Uniplaces will offer accommodation to Erasmus students with special booking discounts. Booking through the Uniplaces platform will also ensure that they are safe from the schemes and scams that overshadow many online accommodation deals.

The partnership also involves cooperation on the UniPlacesScholarship, a scheme that offers free housing to students worldwide, as well as an Ambassadors’ Academy, giving students professional development opportunities.

Erasmus and Uniplaces are also planning to conduct research to identify the challenges students face, so that they can work along international students’ support services to ensure mobile students get all the support that they require.

The EU currently has a target of 20% of Europeans studying abroad by 2020, meaning competition for safe and cheap accommodation is likely to become more difficult.

It is hoped that the new scheme will rectify this by helping students who are studying abroad in Europe to find accommodation, as the market grows over the next five years.

Uniplaces believes that “accommodation is the first obstacle that must be tackled to attain the EU goal of having at least 20% of its students train or study abroad by 2020.”

According to Uniplaces, accommodation is likely to be the largest burden on Erasmus students’ finances – sometimes costing up to 50% of their living expenses.

Erasmus, which is active in 33 countries, allows students to take up six or 12-month exchange programmes.

Uniplaces is currently active in the UK, Spain, Italy, Portugal, The Netherlands and France, meaning that students looking to take up their Erasmus placement in these countries can benefit directly from the partnership.

Stefan Jahnke, president of the Erasmus Student Network AISBL (ESN), says: “Thousands of students leave every semester worried about where they will be staying instead of being able to focus on the upcoming academic and cultural exchange.

“This is exactly why we’re very pleased to have entered into a long-term partnership with Uniplaces, an online accommodation provider that focuses exactly on our target group – international students.”

He adds:“We look forward to tackling the challenge of student accommodation in Europe together and to contributing to the future increased mobility of young people in Europe and beyond.”

 

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