Hello, everyone! In today’s post, I will explain some of the main differences between being an exchange student and being a free mover.
I’ll start with the definition provided by Wikipedia:
Mobile students are usually divided into two groups: Free movers are students who travel entirely on their own initiative, while exchange students use exchange programmes at a department, faculty, institution, or national level (such as Erasmus
). Now that you know the fundamental difference, here are the main practical ones.
The international office welcomes the exchange students and helps them to find accommodation, and follow them during their stay.. As a free mover, you will receive the same help that the usual local student. Don’t count too much on it ;p As a free mover, you have to be a bit more prepared than an exchange student. For example, it will be essential to know the basics of the country’s’ national language in order to be more independent for day to day life.
N°2 Money, money, money
Exchange students usually benefit from an existing partnership between the Universities
and they can keep their student status from their home during their trip abroad. They also receive grants or scholarships more easily. Free movers will have the same status as local students. They will have to look for specific scholarships in their home country and their host country to fund their experience abroad.
N°3 Social Life
Welcoming International students is always an event for a University and its students. And with networks like Erasmus
, exchange students are often invited to a lot of activities and parties. Not to mention that exchange students often move in groups and stay together in similar places. So their time abroad will be a completely different experience from the one of free movers, in regard of this aspect. The interesting part in studying abroad as a free mover is to live a much more immersive experience
. You won’t be in the special cocoon in which exchange students are. So you will have to push yourself to adapt and truly understand a different culture and environment. And that is quite a challenge, don’t you think?