The new study shows that 92% of employers are looking for personality traits boosted by the programme such as tolerance, confidence, problem-solving skills, curiosity, knowing one´s strengths/weaknesses, and decisiveness when making a recruitment decision. Tests before and after exchange periods abroad reveal that Erasmus students show higher values for these personality traits, even before their exchange starts; by the time they come back, the difference in these values increases by 42% on average, compared with other students.
Students benefitting from Erasmus funding can choose to study or take up a traineeship abroad. The report reveals that more than one in three Erasmus trainees is offered a position at the enterprise where they do their traineeship. Erasmus trainees are also more entrepreneurial than their stay-at-home counterparts: 1 in 10 has started their own company and more than 3 out of 4 plan to, or can imagine doing so. They can also expect faster career advancement; staff with international experience are given greater professional responsibility according to 64% of employers.
Erasmus not only improves career prospects, it also offers students broader horizons and social links. 40% have changed their country of residence or work at least once since graduation, almost double the number of those who were not mobile during studies. While 93% of students with international experience can imagine living abroad in the future, this is the case for only 73% of those who stay in the same country during their studies.
Former Erasmus students are also more likely to have transnational relationships: 33% of former Erasmus students have a partner of a different nationality, compared with 13% of those who stay home during their studies; 27% of Erasmus students meet their long-term partner while on Erasmus. On this basis, the Commission estimates that around one million babies are likely to have been born to Erasmus couples since 1987.
The new Erasmus+ programme will provide opportunities to go abroad for 4 million people, including 2 million higher education students and 300 000 higher education staff in the next seven years (2014-2020). In addition, the programme will fund 135 000 student and staff exchanges involving non-European partner countries. Erasmus+ will be even more accessible thanks to increased linguistic support, more flexible rules and additional support for people with special needs, from disadvantaged backgrounds or from remote areas.