The Erasmus scheme was set up in 1987 by the European Union to give students in universities within the Union an opportunity of spending a period (between three and twelve months) at an institution in another European country. Erasmus, which is, in principle, a reciprocal scheme, gives our Biochemistry students the opportunity to carry out their Part II project in a different country whilst welcoming students from Europe into our labs in exchange. Supervisors in Oxford who are willing to accept students from abroad into their labs make an important contribution to this exchange scheme.
The student exchange scheme between the Biochemistry Department and Princeton University has now been running successfully for 20 years but Oxford University has been exchanging students in other disciplines with Princeton for several more years. The exchange agreement is currently for up to four students providing there are suitable applicants on both sides.
ERASMUS is intended only for undergraduate students from European universities with whom Oxford has a reciprocal arrangement to exchange students under the Scheme. These universities are:
A local ERASMUS co-ordinator in each of these institutions is responsible for advertising the scheme in their university and for selecting suitable students to come to Oxford.
We also exchange students with:
NB This is not part of the Erasmus scheme but the arrangements are very similar.
It is usual for the students' stay to co-incide with our own students' Part II projects, i.e. 18 weeks starting in mid-September. Details of what each student needs to accomplish during the period of study in Oxford differs for each university, and also from year to year, however, the student will know what is required and will let the Oxford supervisor know if they are required to write-up or need to provide a certificate of work (ECTS) which you will be expected to sign. The host supervisor in Oxford is expected to treat these students in the same way as they do a Part II student. The supervisor's group will be an important source of social as well as intellectual contact for these students and it is hoped that they will be integrated into the group.
Students from Princeton will often only undertake a part-time project and combine this with lectures and tutorials, which will be arranged by the co-ordinator.
The exchange students are asked to make a choice of project from the Part II projects on offer to our own students. Gill McLure then matches the students and projects for both exchange and our own students at the same time.
As the scheme is run on a reciprocal basis, each incoming student is allocated to one of the Colleges which has an outgoing student. The College is responsible for providing accommodation and matriculating the students into the University; the College is also expected to give the student membership of their graduate common room. The students, therefore, will have the same access to the University and their College as do our own students. In addition, of course, these students will come into contact with the College biochemistry fellow.
The students will be registered with the University through their College, but it is also necessary to register them with the Department; this will be arranged by Gill McLure. If the student is working outside the Biochemistry Department, then the supervisor should comply with any local administrative procedures.
Health & Safety forms must be completed for all students. Those in Biochemistry must undertake the usual briefing session with the Safety Officer. At the beginning of term there is a Health & Safety seminar for all Part II students which the exchange students should attend.